Vikings and 49ers Halftime Recap

Here were are in the Divisional Round of the 2019 Playoffs and this matchup is a little bit of a surprise. Not many people saw Kirk Cousins and the Vikings going into New Orleans and upsetting the Saints. The Vikings ended up winning a highly contested game and booked their ticket to the next round against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Can Kirk generate more magic or will Nick Bosa and the 49ers defense shut down the Vikings? Check out the preview below.

The game started off with San Francisco won the coin toss and elected to defer until the second half. Minnesota got the ball first and not do anything with it. They ran the ball 2 times for 2 yards and then Cousins missed badly on a throw, leading to a punt.

The 49ers got the ball and crossed the 50-yard line relatively easily. Deebo Samuel got the first 1st down of the game and took the ball into Viking territory. Jimmy Garoppolo appears to be completely under control and is not showing any signs of this being his first playoff start. Garoppolo went 5 of 6 for 57 yards on this drive and capped it off with a 3-yard pass to Kendrick Bourne. The Vikings defense looked shaky on that drive and put up very little resistance.

Minnesota came out with a different attitude to start this next drive. They used a combination of short passing to the tight ends and running backs that helped get them across the 50 yard line. After crossing over midfield, they used film study to help them score their touchdown. The Niners don’t play man coverage often but when they do, its typically on 3rd and short. Kirk Cousins threw a beautiful lob fade to Stefon Diggs who went up over Ahkello Witherspoon to grab it and he ran it in for a 41-yard score.

The 49ers got the ball back and seemed to be moving it pretty well using Raheem Mostert. Jimmy Garoppolo converted a 3rd and long with an ugly pass that was corralled by Bourne. Garoppolo came up limping on the play and that seemed to stall the drive. On the next play, Danielle Hunter timed the snap well and absolutely beat the tackle to take down Garoppolo for a 10 yard loss. The Vikings defense looked really good this drive and this makes me think they have a chance at the upset.

The first quarter came to an end and the Vikings got the ball back on a punt. For the second time in three drives, the Viking offense had an 3 and out. Cousins was sacked on the first play for an 8-yard loss and then Minnesota ran 2 times for 3 yards each carry. It seemed that the coaches game up on the drive after that initial sack.

This 49ers drive was all about Tevin Coleman and Deebo Samuel. Samuel had 2 catches for 24 yards including a bruising catch and run down to the 1-yard line. Coleman ran the ball 4 times for 17 yards and scored the 2nd touchdown of the game for the 49ers.

For the 3rd time this game, the Vikings went three and out. The running game is not able to get anything going and while Kirk has been efficient, he hasn’t taken many shots downfield. Most of the throws are screens or slants. Kirk needs to step up and deliver for this team.

Right as I state that, Eric Kendricks comes up huge for the Vikings. Kendrick read the eyes of Garoppolo and picked off a pass giving Minnesota the ball inside the Niners 30-yard line. Kendricks has hd a really good game so far and just made it better.

The Vikings can only come up with 3 points off the turnover and they need to do better if they want to upset the favorite 49ers. As the game is going into halftime, check out the storylines that I feel were the best of the half.

Storylines of the First Half

-Ahkello Witherspoon does not look like he should be playing this game. He was benched in the Week 17 game against the Seattle Seahawks on the final drive but somehow managed to start this game. He had a costly pass interference call and of course gave up the long touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs.

-Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins are trying to prove all of their doubters wrong with their play. Cousins and Garoppolo both missed on a few passes but both have been fun to watch so far.

-Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense has had 3 three and outs. The 49ers defense has been the better one of the two teams so far.

-There has been a lack of downfield plays for both teams. I would like to see Cousins and Garoppolo target the downfield receivers more often in the 2nd half.