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49ers’ loss to Vikings: Quick observations

Marc Adams
Oct 24, 2023 at 7:29 AM--

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I feel like punching whoever blares that stupid horn in the Vikings' stadium. The San Francisco 49ers suffered their second loss in a row and it was frustrating to watch. They fell to the Minnesota Vikings 22-17.

The 49ers' offense played well, but couldn't finish. They only punted once but had three turnovers. All three cost the team points and eventually the game.

The 49ers' defense? Well, they were a different story. They were horrible. They gave up almost 400 yards passing to Kirk Cousins, and in the first half struggled to stop the run at times. There were no sacks, and I'm not sure they put any pressure on Cousins unless they blitzed. Is Steve Wilks in over his head? I wouldn't think so, but I'm also not sure he's the answer.

I've broken down my thoughts by quarter. These are my observations from the game as I reacted live. I have not gone back and watched the film. It's just what I saw or thought at the moment.

First Quarter

  • Welcome back, Dre Greenlaw. Huge hit right out of the gate.
  • Great play by Charvarius Ward on that interception. He took the ball away from that rookie receiver.

  • Christian McCaffrey had his second turnover inside the red zone this season. And it ended a streak of opening drive scores.

  • The 49ers defense was up and down in the first quarter.
  • Brock Purdy looked great in the first quarter. He had some beautiful throws and even a nice 18-yard run, in which he avoided being sacked.

Second Quarter

  • Drive-ending mistakes (fumble, dropped pass) have squelched two good drives by the 49ers.
  • Jake Moody. Wow. Another miss.

  • The 49ers defense seems to have forgotten how to tackle.

  • That was a critical goal-line stand. The 49ers defense may not be playing their best, but holding the Vikings to a field goal was huge.
  • Purdy did a great job of spreading the ball around. Even Ross Dwelley had a catch.
  • McCaffrey is a touchdown machine. That's 16 consecutive games with a touchdown scored.

  • Purdy had an excellent first half. It was good to see him bounce back from a tough outing in Cleveland.
  • That's a brutal ending to the first half. Ward almost had his second pick. Instead, it goes for a 60-yard touchdown.
  • Steve Wilks' decision to blitz on the last play of the first half hurt the 49ers. What a terrible decision. I don't think Kyle Shanahan liked the call either.

Third Quarter

  • George Kittle got the ball on a jet sweep. He was more active in this game. He needed to be after his one catch for one yard performance a week ago.
  • The 49ers offense was not good on the first drive of the second half. This was their chance to take the lead, but they burned a timeout because the clock was expiring. Then they looked lost after that timeout.
  • Purdy looked like the pressure was bothering him. He didn't look as calm as he usually does.

  • Mitch Wishnowsky is punting as if his life depends on it this season. He's been incredible.
  • Did Nick Bosa retire? I'm not sure I've heard his name called.
  • Randy Gregory made a few plays. He was a good pickup, but the 49ers defensive front isn't getting home. They need a more legit edge rusher on the other side of Bosa. Drake Jackson doesn't look like he's the guy.
  • There were some bad calls in the third quarter. All of them went against the 49ers.

  • Fred Warner and Greenlaw are like heat-seeking missiles out there.

  • The 49ers go down by 12 and then answer quickly. That's big league. That great catch and run by McCaffrey was set up by a big catch by Kittle.
  • Oren Burks is good at tackling.
  • The 49ers defense could not get off the field. And the 49ers' pass rush never got home.

Fourth Quarter

  • Kittle had a bounce-back game. That's good to see. They need him even more when Deebo Samuel is out.
  • What a kick by Moody. He missed the first one but nailed the second one—a 55-yarder. In fact, the rookie is already making history with the 49ers.

  • The first Minnesota punt of the game came with about 9:00 left. The 49ers defense could not get stops on 3rd down, but they did get one stop.
  • And then Purdy gave it right back. He threw two 4th quarter interceptions. That's very unlike him.
  • Ward did not have a good game after that interception.
  • The wasted timeout at the beginning of the second half came back to hurt the 49ers. Without the timeout, Purdy pressed and threw a ball he shouldn't have thrown.
  • Am I the only one concerned about the lack of a 49ers running game?

The only way the Vikings could beat the 49ers was if the 49ers allowed it. They allowed it. And next up is a rested Cincinnati Bengals who are coming off a bye. If the 49ers' defense had no answer for Minnesota, how are they going to stop the Bengals' offense and the weapons they have?
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

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