What a game.
An absolute slobber knocker took place at Levi's Stadium this afternoon.
What looked like a game that was going to be skittish for the 49ers after Jimmy
Garoppolo's interception turned into a phenomenal battle between two true playoff contenders.
The 49ers just ran all over the Vikings in their impressive 34-26 win.
Whether you were at the game or at home watching, this game resembled a real playoff matchup. With how the 49ers performed today, it just further legitimizes how serious they are at clinching a playoff berth. This team has turned it around and it is thanks to the commitment to the running game. It became concerning early on, outside of Garoppolo's inaccurate throws, when Shanahan looked like he was skewing his plays towards passing.
However, that was not the case.
The 49ers continued to run the rock and exhaust the defense of the Vikings. Elijah Mitchell, fractured finger and all, still looks superb. The guy is a star in the making. He is basically Raheem Mostert 2.0 right now from 2019. Anytime he carries the football, it is going to be for a positive gain.
And when the 49ers want to get away from him to keep a defense confused, they can give a handoff to Deebo Samuel, who exited the game with a groin injury. Hopefully it is not too serious as the 49ers need him to continue to sustain this electric surge that they are on since beating the Rams on Monday Night Football.
As phenomenal as the 49ers were on the ground, it is the defense that stole the show for me. The score will mislead you if you are just stat checking. One of those scores were from a kickoff return touchdown and another was on a relatively short field due to an interception from Garoppolo. Aside from the one drive in the third quarter where the Vikings drove the field with ease, the 49ers defense was stout. They made the Vikings work for every yard and came out with a few forced turnovers as well.
The defense was put to the test in the final two minutes of the game following a Robbie Gould missed field goal to put the game on ice. And boy, did they answer the call. They held firm throughout that drive and clinched the win for the team. What better way to put a stamp on a game for an impressive day than to win it in the final series.
Both sides of the ball for the 49ers are clicking and that is exactly what playoff teams do. Defeating the Vikings cements that this is a different 49ers team. The team we saw in the first half looks long gone. They have an identity.
And most importantly, they have a hold on a playoff spot.