The Minnesota Vikings took on the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday night’s preseason game. The Vikings were unable to improve their preseason record as they were defeated by the 49ers, 34-14.
The storyline of the game in my opinion was the first-team offense’s inability to move the football consistently without Adrian Peterson in the lineup. The preseason hasn’t gone very well for the purple and gold. Thank goodness it’s only the preseason.
In Sunday’s matchup, Peterson tallied two offensive snaps and literally did not touch a single opponent before coming off the field for good. Meanwhile, Toby Gerhart has proven to me why he can be a power back in the NFL. He runs hard and isn’t afraid to work harder. Every chance he has had to play this preseason in addition to the time he spent replacing Peterson in past seasons has been solid.
It looks like Gerhart may be out of Minnesota after this season; he deserves a chance to be himself without being called, “Adrian Peterson’s backup.” The good news for Vikings fans, Zach Line looks like he will do just fine backing up the All-Pro in the future. He caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Christian Ponder in the second quarter.
Other than Gerhart and Line, the offense struggled mightily. Ponder started the ball game with two straight incomplete play action passes and a lost fumble. Phil Loadholt missed his block and Ponder was hit, forcing the ball loose. The 49ers took the ball from the Vikings 11 yard line and the defense stepped up, forcing the Niners to settle for three points.
The Vikings 3rd offensive drive seemed to revolve around Cordarrelle Patterson but ended with a Justin Smith body slam of Gerhart resulting in a three and out. Patterson was thrown to once for a 10-yard first down completion after picking up four yards on a reverse.
Ponder made an athletic 1st down run which was nullified by a personal foul by Matt Kalil. Kalil then committed another personal foul causing the team to punt. A punt which was beautifully placed inside the 5-yard-line by Jeff Locke. Locke is shaping up to be a great replacement for Chris Kluwe.
Another guy who stepped up in my opinion was Stephen Burton at receiver. He looked like he deserved to be rotated in with the first team this season. He nearly made an incredible one-handed catch and had a few snags in traffic while holding onto the ball after significant contact. He finished the night with 3 receptions for 31 yards.
The defense looked solid for the beginning of the game, however Colin Kaepernick caught fire completing 6-of-6 passes during a touchdown drive late in the first quarter. The defense suffered the most significant blow of the preseason in the third quarter when DT Kevin Williams was taken out low on a block by 49ers backup guard Joe Looney. Williams was on the ground for a short time before being helped off the field. William’s MRI is scheduled to take place today.“I was upset that I’m getting cut [after] 11 years in [the NFL] from a guy who I don’t even know.” -Kevin Williams
It wasn’t all bad for the defense; Chad Greenway picked off Colt McCoy on a fake blitz and Desmond Bishop shined in the game with 2 tackles for a loss while totaling 9 tackles.