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49ers offense controls second half in 17-7 preseason win over Vikings

Aug 20, 2022 at 7:04 PM--

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
SF 0 6 0 11 17
MIN 0 7 0 0 7

In a game where both teams decided to rest the majority of their starters, the San Francisco 49ers rode two second-half scoring drives to come away with an 17-7 road victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday.

The 49ers faced a 7-6 halftime deficit after an inconsistent first half, but they controlled the ball for most of the second half en route to their second preseason win in as many games. With starting quarterback Trey Lance on the bench, the 49ers split snaps behind backups Nate Sudfeld and Brock Purdy, who went a combined 27-of-40 for 215 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions.

The Vikings gave snaps at quarterback to Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion while starter Kirk Cousins watched from the sidelines. Mond and Mannion finished with a combined 136 yards on 20-of-36 passing with zero touchdowns and two interceptions.

First Half

The Vikings opened the game on offense and moved downfield into 49ers territory, setting themselves up with a 1st-and-10 at the 49ers' 31-yard line after six plays. But the 49ers held firm on defense and produced their first turnover of the game when safety George Odum picked off a Kellen Mond pass on a 3rd-and-8 and returned the ball to the Vikings' 48-yard line.

The momentum from Odum's interception was quickly wiped out, however, due to a turnover on downs for the 49ers that was made worse by a 15-yard penalty on the failed fourth down attempt. The 49ers handed the ball to rookie Tyrion Davis-Price on fourth down, but after Davis-Price was stopped for no gain, wide receiver Malik Turner was hit with an unnecessary roughness call that gave the Vikings a 1st-and-10 at the 49ers' 45-yard line.

The 49ers responded to the turnover on downs by forcing the Vikings to a three-and-out, then were forced to punt back to the Vikings after five plays. The Vikings then went through another three-and-out due in part to a third down sack from 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, who continues to make strides while working his way back from knee surgery.

Kinlaw's sack pushed the Vikings back to their own 5-yard line, which set the 49ers up with good field position at the Vikings' 41-yard line after the punt. Brock Purdy replaced Nate Sudfeld at quarterback for the 49ers, but the 49ers were once again held to a turnover on downs after passes were dropped by wide receiver Jauan Jennings and running back Trey Sermon.

The Vikings took over at their own 34-yard line and ran one play before the first quarter came to a close, then put together four more plays before being forced to punt near midfield. The 49ers were held to a three-and-out after the punt but came up with their second turnover of the game when Turner forced a fumble on the return that was recovered by the 49ers at the Vikings' 34-yard line. With Sudfeld back in the game, the turnover led to a 49-yard field goal from kicker Robbie Gould that gave the 49ers a 3-0 lead.

The teams traded punts following the field goal, then the Vikings put together their first scoring drive of the game when running back Ty Chandler ran in from three yards out to cap an eight-play, 60-yard drive and give the Vikings a 7-3 lead. Sean Mannion was 4-of-4 passing on the drive, then Chandler finished things off with 1:39 remaining in the half.

Purdy re-entered the game on the ensuing possession and was able to engineer a scoring drive despite the 49ers being called for three false start penalties. Purdy connected on a 21-yard completion to Turner on a 3rd-and-12, then found wide receiver Willie Snead for an 11-yard completion and tight end Tanner Hudson for a 16-yard completion before Gould connected from 46 yards to cut the score to 7-6 as time expired in the half.

The 49ers had just five first downs in the first half and went a combined 1-of-10 on third and fourth downs while racking up five penalties for 36 yards. The Vikings produced 10 first downs but weren't much better on conversions, finishing just 1-of-6 in the half on third downs.

Second Half

The 49ers opened the second half with an effective drive, moving 60 yards in 12 plays on a combination of passes from Purdy and runs from Davis-Price and JaMycal Hasty. But just as it seemed the 49ers were ready to finish off the drive, Purdy botched a handoff to Davis-Price, which sent the ball to the ground for a recovery by Vikings linebacker Luiji Vilain at the 5-yard line.

The Vikings couldn't cash in on the turnover and were forced to punt back to the 49ers after four plays. The 49ers answered with another lengthy drive, this one being engineered by Sudfeld. On the first play of the fourth quarter and the 14th play of the drive, Sudfeld was able to finish things off when he found Hasty in the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown. A two-point conversion pass to wide receiver Danny Gray followed the touchdown to give the 49ers a 14-7 lead after a 79-yard drive.

After the teams traded punts over the next three possessions, the 49ers took over with 8:26 remaining in the fourth quarter and chewed up a few more minutes off the clock before a 28-yard field goal from Gould extended the lead to 17-7 with 4:09 left to play. Purdy and running back Jordan Mason led the offense downfield to the Vikings' 5-yard line on six plays, but after a touchdown run from Mason was nullified by a holding penalty on Hudson, the 49ers were forced to settle for the field goal to cap a nine-play, 27-yard drive.

The game was iced on the next possession courtesy of an interception by rookie safety Tayler Hawkins. Mond led the Vikings into 49ers territory on an eight-play drive, but on a 3rd-and-1 from the 29-yard line, Hawkins picked Mond off inside the 5 to give the 49ers their third turnover of the evening. The 49ers ran the clock out from there to seal the win.

After having just 5 first downs in the first half, the 49ers finished with 21 first downs and outgained the Vikings 344-195 in the victory. The 49ers dominated in overall time of possession with an edge of 37:45 to 22:15. The 49ers finished 7-of-18 on third and fourth downs, while the Vikings ended up just 2-of-11 on third down attempts.

Next up for the 49ers: The preseason schedule comes to an end on Thursday, August 25 with a road game against the Houston Texans (8:15 p.m. ET/5:15 p.m. PT). The 49ers will then need to cut their roster to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on August 30 before opening the regular season in Chicago against the Bears on Sunday, September 11 (1 p.m. ET).

SF Team Stats MIN
215 Passing Yards 136
129 Rushing Yards 59
344 Total Yards 195
5.75 Avg Yards per Pass 4.2
4.16 Avg Yards per Run 4.21
1 Fumbles Lost 1
0 Int Thrown 2
3 Sacks Allowed 1
00:37:45 Time of Pos 00:22:15
10 Penalties 2

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