Podcast: 49ers/Eagles NFC Championship Preview →
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


49ers off to a 14-10 halftime lead over the Vikings in NFC divisional round

Jan 11, 2020 at 2:51 PM--


Amid an electric atmosphere for the NFC divisional round contest, the San Francisco 49ers looked to get off to a hot start against the No. 6 seed, the Minnesota Vikings, amid the pageantry and pomp of the Niners' first ever playoff game at Levi's Stadium.

After one half of play, the 49ers were able to get out to a 14-10 first-half lead, clicking well on both sides of the ball in spite of some key mistakes.

Franchise legends Joe Montana and Bryant Young were honorary captains, which saw the Niners win the opening toss and then defer to the second half. And with Vikings running back Dalvin Cook a major focal point for San Francisco's defense, it was promising to see Minnesota go 3-and-out on its opening drive.

The 49ers, meanwhile, worked their way into the red zone on their opening drive, thanks to some key catches by wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and a 3-yard touchdown grab by the team's top red-zone weapon, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne:


Minnesota settled down the following drive, though, then began targeting No. 2 cornerback Ahkello Witherpsoon frequently. Witherspoon was called for a questionable defensive pass-interference call, then subsequently gave up catches to wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.

Diggs turned his 41-yard grab into the Vikings' first seven points of the game, tying things up at the 5:23 mark of the first quarter.

As the 49ers were driving again, Bourne came up huge on what might have been an intended pass his direction. Or not, it's hard to say. But the Niners picked up a crucial 16-yard gain on third down with the play:


But that didn't save the Niners from needing to punt just after the second quarter began. And with the Vikings' second offensive drive, it was clear the 49ers had a short leash on Witherspoon, pulling him in favor of fellow cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, who took his place on the boundary. Moseley ended up making a third-down tackle, forcing the Vikings to another 3-and-out.

San Francisco nearly had another disaster when wide receiver Deebo Samuel appeared to fumble the ball within Minnesota territory, and the Vikings recovered. But review determined Samuel's knee was down before the ball came loose, and the 49ers drive culminated with a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Tevin Coleman to put the Niners up 14-7.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw a key block on San Francisco's second touchdown drive, was 8-of-13 over the first half for 105 yards, a touchdown, an interception and a 80.6 passer rating. But he was also sacked twice, which is something the Niners will have to be concerned with in the second half.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, meanwhile, went 10-of-12 for 81 yards, a touchdown and was sacked twice.

But Minnesota's offensive focal point, Cook, was held almost entirely in check over the first half. He had 11 yards on the ground from six carries, adding just 8 through the air on four catches.

Garoppolo's interception, however, came at a bad time when the Niners were looking to grind down the clock before the half. A slightly underthrown pass, intended for Samuel, ended up in the hands of Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks, which immediately set up another Minnesota scoring chance, starting on the 49ers 29-yard line at the two-minute warning. Yet the defense held well enough, as EDGE Dee Ford came back from his hamstring injury to sack Cousins, forcing the Vikings to settle for a 39-yard field goal to make it 14-10.

The 49ers, meanwhile, will open up the second half on offense.
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.



LISTEN

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



5 Keys to a 49ers Win Over the Cowboys in the Divisional Round

By Wayne P. Brown
Jan 21

The Divisional round is ready to be played between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers. A rivalry that dates back to one of the most iconic games known to man, with Dwight Clark's play in the end zone, known as "The Catch," to defeat the Cowboys 28-27 in the 1981 NFC Championship Game. The 49ers and Cowboys have met eight times in the playoffs, with the Cowboys leading the series 5-3. The 49ers look to keep an 11-game win streak alive and advance to the NFC Championship Game for the third time in four years. The 49ers can do so if they stick to these five keys to victory. Coaching This may seem like one of those weird takes because why would something as obvious as coaching be a key to victory? It's simple. The coaching is responsible for many of



The X-Factors for the 49ers and the Cowboys in the Divisional Round

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 21

The San Francisco 49ers are renewing their longtime rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys when the two sides face off on Sunday in the NFC Divisional Round, one season after the former defeated the latter in the 2021 NFC Wildcard round. Both teams have strong offenses and defenses, which means that there will be many impactful players on both sides of the ball. But, for now, let's eye in on the X-Factors for each team that could help determine the outcome of the game. 49ers Offense: Brandon Aiyuk Brandon Aiyuk has enjoyed a breakout



Key stats from the 49ers' 19-12 Divisional Round playoff win vs. the Cowboys

By Site Staff
Jan 22

The San Francisco 49ers are headed to the NFC Championship Game after a 19-12 Divisional Round playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Below are several statistics and notes from Sunday's game, which were provided by the 49ers Communications staff. With the Win... The 49ers improved to 19-19-1 all-time against the Cowboys, including a 4-5 record in the postseason. San Francisco has reached the Conference Championship Game for the 16th time since 1980, which is the most in the NFL, and for the 3rd time in 4 seasons. The Niners improved to 18-7 in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. The 49ers have now won 3-consecutive playoff games against the



49ers practice and media schedule leading to Divisional Round playoff matchup vs. Cowboys

By Site Staff
Jan 17

The San Francisco 49ers will hold three full practices this week as the team prepares for its Divisional Round playoff matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. Head coach Kyle Shanahan, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryan, offensive line/run game coordinator Chris Foerster, and quarterback Brock Purdy are scheduled to speak with the media. The 49ers will make the press conferences available at 49ers.com, on the team's official mobile app, and YouTube page. Below is the schedule, which is subject to change, for the upcoming week. All


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone