49ers @ Vikings live blog

Players warm up on the field before an NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

This is the live blog for the 49ers Week 1 road game against the Minnesota Vikings. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from my living room.

Here are the 49ers inactive players:

  1. LB Malcolm Smith
  2. WR Richie James Jr.
  3. OL Erik Magnuson
  4. OL Matt Tobin
  5. OL Shon Coleman
  6. DT Jullian Taylor

Here is my pregame report:

10:12 The Vikings punt three plays after DeForest Buckner sacks Kirk Cousins. Great series for Buckner.

10:16 On third-and-7 from the 49ers 23, Garoppolo throws to George Kittle, who is triple covered. Incomplete. The 49ers punt. The Vikings will take over from their 30-yard line.

10:18 Bad first series for the 49ers offense. The Vikings seemed to know where the ball was going every play.

10:23 On third-and-6 from the 49ers 30, Cousins throws a short pass over the middle to No. 3 wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, who drops the ball. Rookie kicker Daniel Carlson makes a 48-yard field goal, and the Vikings lead 3-0.

10:24 The 49ers defense has held Dalvin Cook to just seven yards on nine carries. Fred Warner has been terrific — he tackled Cook for a two-yard loss during this past series.

10:25 The pass coverage has been an issue, though. K’Waun Williams, Richard Sherman and Fred Warner each have given up big gains.

10:31 On the first play of the drive, Laken Tomlinson commits a holding penalty. Next play, Sheldon Richardson bulldozes Mike Person and hits Jimmy Garoppolo, who stumbles and gets sacked by Everson Griffen. The 49ers punt a few plays later. Terrible start for the offense. Completely disjointed and out of sync.

10:39 On third-and-3 form the 49ers 46, Robert Saleh calls a blitz and Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFelippo beats the blitz with a screen pass to Cook, who gains 17 yards.

10:40 On third-and-3 from the 49ers 22, Ahkello Witherspoon gives up a touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs, who ran a go route up. Witherspoon covered him man to man and never turned his head to find the ball. Easy touchdown. The Vikings lead 10-0.

10:41 The 49ers defense is struggling on third down. The Vikings have converted 60 percent of the time.

10:45 On the third series, Kyle Shanahan makes two adjustments — he goes with a hurry-up offense, and he calls play-action roll-out passes. He calls that concept three times in a row to start the drive. The result is two first downs. He found a way to attack the Vikings base defense on first down, which is critical to beating Minnesota. Good job by Shanahan.

10:46 On the third play of the drive. Marquise Goodwin ran into a defender and appeared to injure his right leg.

10:50 Goodwin’s injury ruins the drive. Dante Pettis replaces him and draws a 15-yard penalty. But after that, the 49ers go nowhere. Robbie Gould makes a 42-yard field goal to make the score 10-3 Vikings.

10:51 Losing Goodwin after already losing McKinnon would be devastating.

10:56 Cook bursts through the 49ers defense for a big gain, but Warner catches him, strips him and Richard Sherman recovers. Wow!

10:59 On third-and-1 from the Vikings 47, tight end Garrett Celek commits a false start and Mike Person injures his right leg. Joshua Garnett will replace him.

11:00 Goodwin is questionable to return with a quad injury.

11:11 On second-and-goal from the 1, Alfred Morris runs into the line, fumbles and the Vikings recover. Morris fumbled on the previous play, but got the ball back.

11:12 What a bad break. The Vikings had given the 49ers a gift, and Jimmy Garoppolo had just led a brilliant 14-play drive.

11:13 The 49ers red-zone offense remains an issue.

11:23 On the final play of the first half, the Vikings attempt a Hail Mary from the 49ers 44, and Buckner sacks Cousins for a loss of nine. The 49ers will get the ball when the third quarter starts.

11:37 The third quarter will start any minute, and Goodwin still is sitting on a stationary bike.

11:41 On the second play of the drive, backup right guard Joshua Garnett injures his left leg. He can’t walk off the field by himself. Looks bad. The 49ers will have to play backup tackle Garry Gilliam at right guard. This is exactly why the 49ers should have drafted a guard this year.

11:43 On third-and-9, Garoppolo throws incomplete over the middle to Trent Taylor, and the 49ers go three-and-out.

11:47 On third-and-12 from the Vikings 42, the 49ers get a coverage sack. Cousins scrambles around with no one to throw to, and runs into Buckner and Ronald Blair. Big series for the defense.

11:48 Dante Pettis fumbles the punt, but Witherspoon recovers the ball at the 49ers 18.

11:51 Garry Gilliam is playing right tackle and Mike McGlinchey is playing right guard.

11:51 On second-and-8, George Kittle drops a deep pass. He was wide open. He dropped passes last season, too.

11:52 Next play, Garoppolo throws a pick-six. The Vikings blitzed, he threw off his back foot while spinning away from a hit and threw the ball directly to rookie cornerback Mike Hughes. The Vikings lead 17-3. Terrible decision by Garoppolo.

11:58 On the first play of the drive, Garoppolo throws a 56-yard pass to Kyle Juszczcyk, who was wide open. Brilliant play design by Shanahan in the middle of the field.

11:59, In the red zone, Shanahan’s play design fails the 49ers again. On third-and-6 from the 15, Garoppolo throws an incomplete pass to Garcon, and the 49ers kick a field goal. They trail 17-6.

12:08 On second-and-goal from the 11, Jaquiski Tartt gives up a touchdown catch to tight end Kyle Rudolph. Tartt was in man-to-man coverage and never turned his head to find the football. The Vikings lead 24-6.

12:17 On second-and-goal from the 22, Garoppolo scrambles to his left and flicks a touchdown pass to Dante Pettis. Beautiful throw. Fantastic catch. Good job by Pettis adjusting his route and running deep when Garoppolo started scrambling. The 49ers trail 24-13 with 31 seconds left in the third quarter.

12:24 On third-and-8, Tartt breaks up a pass intended for Diggs, and the Vikings go three-and-out.

12:24 Pettis returns the punt 14 yards to the 49ers 31.

12:28 On the first play of the drive, Shanahan calls a pass to Pettis, who runs a slant. Garoppolo throws a bad pass that gets picked by Xavier Rhodes.

12:30 The Vikings go three-and-out again. The defense is keeping the 49ers in the game, but Garoppolo has played poorly in the second half.

12:41 On third-and-goal from the 4, Garoppolo overthrows Kittle, who was wide open. Robbie Gould makes a field goal, and the 49ers trail 24-16 with 8:09 remaining.

12:47 The Vikings go three-and-out again. After a short punt, the 49ers get the ball at their 45 with 7:09 left. They can tie the game on this drive.

12:50 On third-and-5, the Vikings blitz, and safety Harrison Smith sacks Garoppolo. Bad time for a three-and-out.

12:53 On that sack, Laken Tomlinson was at fault. He should have come off the double team with center Weston Richburg and taken the first dogger through the hole to let Matt Breida take Harrison Smith.

12:53 Brock Coyle is down.

12:55 Coyle is up. He’s walking off the field holding his helmet in his hand.

12:58 On third-and-6, Cousins tries to scramble for the first down, but Elijah Lee, Coyle’s replacement, tackles Cousins one yard short of the sticks. The Vikings are challenging the spot.

1:02 The officials confirm their ruling. It’s fourth-and-1 with 2:54 remaining. The 49ers have one timeout.

1:04. On fourth-and-1, with the game on the line, Solomon Thomas jumps offside. The Vikings weren’t even going for it. They were trying to draw the 49ers offsides, and succeeded. Brutal.

1:08 The Vikings punt three plays later with 1:54 left. Pettis makes a fair catch at the 11 with 1:49 to go and one timeout.

1:10 On second-and-10, Garoppolo throws his third interception of the game, and the 49ers lose.

This article has 229 Comments

      1. Well when the cost of land is more than double that of Minnesota…what do you expect.

        And Levi’s is great, when this team starts winning no one will complain.

          1. And University of Phoenix stadium in AZ looks like a deflated balloon…from the outside.

            How is it on the inside, are there great sightlines? Wide walk wahs? No lines at the bathroom? It’s a great experience on game day, all that matters. When the team wins and that stadium is filled and rocking, nothing else will matter.

        1. Having been to both, Levi’s is a lot like Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Giant metal erector sets. Gillette hasn’t held back the Pats success and Levi’s won’t either once the team starts rolling.

  1. This could be rough. Minnesota can get there with just their front 4 and that allows them to play a coverage D.
    They have to do a bit better on first downs, to make it easier.

  2. Guards on both sides are pathetic.
    Goodwin going down is a very bad development.
    Witherspoon not very good.
    Not moving up to get Nelson and working it out with Brown big mistake.

    1. Colbert was a run of the mill guy. Never should have been a starter. As hurt as Jimmy Ward is, I’d take him over Colbert. At least when he does get hurt, he makes a play.

  3. Hey ya know what? Against the team many folks predict winning the SB, in their house, down by 7 at half? Not bad. Questionable play calling at the goal line. All in all I’ll take it. It’s a ballgame.

    1. Yah Jack, if only Shanahan would stop fumbling the ball on the one yard line.

      Maybe we should call him “butter fingers” Shanahan?

      And geeze, gotta blame Shanahan for Pettis not being able to hold onto a perfect pass in the endzone thanks to a great play by by Waynes. “Butter fingers” Shanahan strikes again?

      Fred Warner 9 tackles in the first half ….. WOW! With Foster and Smith back, this defense has big-time potential! Sherman doing his thing. And is it DeFo or DpOy?

  4. A mess here (Italy) regarding who has nfl rights to show the game… sky , dazn then … maybe next week i’ll figure out. Anyway if it wasn’t for the fumble we were fully in the game. Go niners

  5. Niners hanging tough against a SB contender at home. My biggest concern was penalties and they’ve avoided them for the most part. Saleh looks a bit outmatched at times and Coyle sucks. Tighten up the coverage and stop missing tackles and they have a shot. Looking forward to Jimmy G doing what he does in the second half!

    1. Now Gilliam in at RG? What a shame.

      How quickly injuries can derail a team!

      #1 RB, out.

      #1 WR, out.

      #1 & #2 RG, out.

      #1 & #2 ILB, out.

      Who would have thought the defense would be keeping the team alive today?

      Forget about it!

    1. Who’s the rookie? Not Kittle. Not Garoppolo. Nothing to do with rookies.

      A lot of bad luck mostly, and a couple key mistakes!

  6. I feel for Jimmy… these dropped balls are killing them. Pettis and Garcon in the endzone and Kittle with only green between him and the endzone. Frustrating!!!!!!!!!

  7. Oh man the negativity from Grant is going to be seething! I only wish that before each of his criticisms, he prefaces his comment with “If I was coaching this team”.

    1. You never know when a vets hands begin to betray him. Not saying that is the case for Garcon, but it does happen. Especially after a neck injury. Any injury of the spine can effect the motor effectiveness of the hands .

  8. Red, don’t forget about the fumble at the goal line! Too many mistakes against a great team. Defense on the field too long. Offense is losing this game.

  9. Ward and Kwan are going to be torched all year by good slot receivers….painful to watch cuz Sherman and Witherspoon playing well on the outside

  10. For sure..our d backs don’t turn their heads and the offense has lost this game for us..Not Jimmy ..our playmakers aren’t making any plays,too many opportunities not taken advantage of

  11. Jimmy G playing one of his worst games. But all in all, if we can correct the mistakes and blunders we could be competitive this year. Remember that MN is one of the best teams in the NFL

  12. It’s one thing to be struggling a bit vs a tough opponent on the road, but this injury rate is really alarming. Like a MASH unit out there

  13. That was stupid of Thomas. The Vikes clearly had no intention of snapping that ball. That said, the offense lost this game. (Assuming they lose.)

  14. That’s Razor’s boy. 1 tackle on the day and the biggest boneheaded play of the day for Razor’s “King” Solomon. lol. Meanwhile, Saquon Barkley has 128 yards from scrimmage in his first game as a pro. 5.9 yards per carry VS Jax. Yah, the kid Razor felt was overrated. Razor sure can pick em.

      1. Um, I’d say so. And boy, what a disappointment Thomas is. Let’s not let ShanaLynch off the hook for that pick. I never understood why any team would spend a top 5 pick on an undersized interior lineman.

        At least ShanaLynch have made up for it with some of their late round picks.

      1. Was Marsh the 3rd pick in the draft Jack? Why you making excuses for the kid? Marsh had 3 times as many tackles as Thomas today, BTW.

  15. Well Garoppolo gets a “D” for this, his worst game as a Niner. They could have won this game, but the offense lost it.

  16. Well I’m guessing we’re gonna hear about how Jimmy G was a horrible signing all week..damn it..this team has potential but receivers got make plays that hit there hands and Jimmy gotta try to stop forcing the ball down the field..Well win some games were not supposed to this year..I know we hate to say it but I’ll take a moral victory…missed opportunities would be my key point for today

    1. Yeah, wait for it. Grant will say I told you so about how the niners should have signed Cousins and traded Jimmy G for 2 -1st round picks (because the niners have such a great track record with their 1st round picks – like Thomas…)

    1. All the dropped balls may have gotten to him a bit. He needs to learn how to shake things off.

      I believe he will achieve greatness someday…hopefully sooner than later.

  17. Overreactions are what they are….. Always disappointing to lose and obviously they need to clean some stuff up but they look competitive. Looking forward to this team downing the Lions next Sunday.

    1. Yep, gotta love the massive overreacting. They weren’t good, but they were away and competitive against a very good team.

      Yes, JG played poorly. Was always going to happen at some point soon. He had some really ugly plays. Kind of like what a guy starting just his 8th game against a top D might have.

      Yes, Thomas was a non factor against the pass. The really concerning and befuddling thing though is that he barely ever lined up at the 3T spot. WTF was going on with that?

      Keys to this game were losing Goodwin early (was a huge blow), and the missed opportunities with Morris fumbling and Garcon dropping a TD, JG missing an open Kittle in the end zone, plus Kittle dropping what could have been a big gain only to see a pick 6 the next play. 49ers had opportunities to win this game. Away against one of the favourites to win the SB. From where this team was 2 years ago that is a huge improvement.

  18. This game is nothing more than coming down from the hype. It was going to happen. The team still is very raw.

    All those wins last year mean nothing to how they play this year.

  19. Ha I was pretty close

    Electric Eells says:
    September 9, 2018 at 9:25 am
    Anyone have predictions?
    Minn 31 SF 23…. we lose because of redzone ineffectiveness and unforced errors.

    Maybe I have a future in Vegas ;)

  20. Some bright spots:

    1) Fred Warner
    2) Not too many penalties…..that bone headed play from Thomas killed us
    3) Run D was adequate and Defense overall was quite good
    4) Play calling was awesome….execution sucked though

    1. And let’s not forget how devastating it was to lose McKinnon 8 days before the start of the season. Of all the hard luck, that one was the worst.

      1. Well, IF Foster can stay out of trouble, they will be a good LB tandem for years to come.

        But I think Fred Warner might be the real deal. Have you guys read his blogs on 49ers.com? Comes across as a really down to earth and solid guy with a tremendous work ethic!

        Great pick up on the 2nd day.

  21. 2 fumbles on the 1, dropped touchdowns by Kittle (twice!) and Garcon, 3 interceptions by Jimmy. How much worse can they have played yet still somehow stayed in it. Play calling was very poor on the goal line (Shanny), play action? Roster improving but still extremely poor execution. Home stadium will not solve those.

  22. Yeah….and Oline was a turnstile today…..still we came within one score and could have won it all, if JG kept his mistakes to a minimum.

  23. Yeah….good thing Coyle might be out next game….thought it looked like a concussion. By Game 3, should have Foster/Malcolm Smith back.

    Responding to Brodie….don’t know whats up with my comment placements today :(

  24. Are you kidding me? That offsides by Thomas might be the dumbest fkn play I’ve seen in my long life. Everyone on the planet knew what was going on there. Lot’s of room for improvement but don’t overreact the way that I’m sure Grant will. I’m sure he’s licking his chops! Minnesota is projected and favored to not only make the SB, but win it all. All in all not as bad as Grant is going to make it out to be.
    Juan’s pre-Grant grades:

    QB-C Lot’s of dropped passes but also passes too high which could have changed the game
    OL- C Considering the injuries and the team they were playing, not bad
    WR- D-An F if not for Dante
    RB- D I already miss Carlos
    DL- C Pressured Cousins at times and slowed down the run, but just average at best, Solomon’s dumb mistake not withstanding
    LB- D Though Warner was great, overall too many missed tackles and open receivers
    DB- D Way to many open receivers, not looking for the ball and too many missed tackles
    ST- B Did their job
    Overall- C Average isn’t good enough to beat a top team on the road

    I’m gonna predict that Grants final grade is an F.

    1. The offsides by Thomas is literally the stupidest play possible. You just have to get in your stance and not move because EVERYONE knows that the ball wasn’t going to be hiked. This guy better get his act together right now. No impact in the game, and don’t remember his named being called until then. What a wasted pick.

  25. There were mistakes there were dropped passes. Life Goes On. we’ll see how they do next week this is a young and very raw team reminds me of the Jaguars a couple years back…

  26. Yes, that Solomon play, he looked like a rookie on that one. But the 9er D did hold them and Jimmy got the ball back, so in the end Solomon’s gaffe was recovered. I saw lots of good, lots of bad in this game. Not really sure how to get an overall assessment. But the D really stepped up and stopped Cousins on many 3rd downs it seemed. Jimmy G is good, but he’s not superman. Noy yet anyway.

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