There were a plethora of mistakes on San Francisco’s end, as the 49ers struggled to stop Minnesota defensively, with the Vikings scoring on five consecutive drives.
Additionally, running back Christian McCaffrey fumbled once and quarterback Brock Purdy threw back-to-back interceptions on the last two drives, limiting San Francisco to 17 points offensively.
However, one specific play call came under intense scrutiny: defensive coordinator Steve Wilks’s choice to fire up a Cover-0 blitz on the final defensive play of the second half, leading to no help deep on a 60-yard touchdown from Jordan Addison.
After the game, head coach Kyle Shanahan was clearly upset at the result when asked about the decision.
“That’s stuff we’ll discuss throughout this week,” Shanahan said. “Obviously, I did not like the result.”
What made the call intriguing was that the Vikings were entrenched inside their own territory with just 16 seconds left and no timeouts, meaning the 49ers just had to keep them in bounds and in front of them to run out the clock and go into halftime.
Instead, the call ended up allowing for a deep shot to Jordan Addison, as the pressure couldn't get home in time, and the wideout snatched a near-interception from Charvarius Ward for the long score.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, head coach Kyle Shanahan doubled down on the issue, sharing that Wilks understands the mistake he made, given the situation that was present.
“He knows he messed up on that call,” Shanahan said. “I have no problem with zero blitzes, especially when people need a lot of yards. If you need to get 20 yards to kick a field goal, I have no problem with a zero blitz, but I do [have a problem] when there’s 16 seconds left, and that’s where he lost track.”
“There was no necessary need for that, just because of the time. I have no problem with that play call, but when it’s that time, you can’t do that. That’s not an option.”
It was far from the only mistake that the 49ers had, but a costly one that gave up seven points for the 49ers in a one-score game.