“Even with the Vikings reeling, a game potentially without Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, Trent Williams and Dre Greenlaw would pose a massive challenge for the 49ers.
The bright side of that equation is that Elijah Mitchell is fully healthy, offering the potential to lessen the load on McCaffrey or share work between Mitchell and Jordan Mason if McCaffrey can’t go.”
“The Vikings have sent five or more rushers on 60.5% percent of passing plays they’ve faced this season, the most by any NFL team since Sportradar began tracking blitzes in 2007. The next most frequent blitzing team was Arizona (51.1%) in 2013. The league average for 2023, according to Sportradar, is 29%.
The ultra-aggressive strategy, in an era when extra rushers are being used less often in favor of thicker and safer zone coverage, has yielded mixed results for the Vikings (2-4).
Flores had an 82% blitz rate on Sept. 24 against the Los Angeles Chargers, the highest in the NFL this year, and Justin Herbert went 40 for 47 for 405 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. But relentless pressure also led directly to both of Minnesota’s wins, at Carolina and Chicago.
The Vikings sent five or more rushers on 75.9% of passing plays against the Bears and totaled five sacks, three interceptions and a fumble recovery that Jordan Hicks returned for a touchdown in a 19-13 victory.”
“These 49ers cornerbacks come looking for a fight. They both weigh around 200 pounds and are unafraid to play physically. One of the knocks on the 5-foot-11, 175-pound [WR Jordan] Addison before the draft was his stature. This game is a chance for him to showcase his ability to release off the line of scrimmage and combat cornerback aggression. Last week, Addison was mostly held in check by Bears cornerbacks Jaylon Johnson and Tyrique Stevenson. These two 49ers defenders play an entirely different style. How Addison handles the situation, and how head coach Kevin O’Connell can line Addison up in advantageous spots, will be an interesting layer of the game.”