Once again, everyone needs to hold four fingers way up above their heads because we’re heading to the final fifteen minutes of play at Levi’s Stadium with the Minnesota Vikings trailing the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 34-26 after a wild third quarter.
The Niners got the football to start the second half after winning the coin toss and deferring. They marched down the field with very little resistance, keyed by a 49-yard run from Deebo Samuel to put them into a goal-to-go situation. Samuel eventually finished the drive, as he went over from three yards out for the touchdown. Robbie Gould hit the extra point, and just three and a half minutes into the third quarter the Niners had their first lead of the afternoon at 21-14.
On the first play of the Vikings’ next drive, Kirk Cousins threw what can only be described as an awful interception right to Niners linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, who returned it down to the Minnesota 3-yard line. Eli Mitchell cashed in on the Niners’ next play, as he went in for the touchdown and, just like that, the Vikings found themselves down 28-14.
Minnesota got the next drive started with a big 30-yard run from Dalvin Cook, and then hit a double pass as Justin Jefferson threw one to Cook to gain 24 yards.
On first-and-goal from the 6, the Vikings turned to Alexander Mattison, who went around the left side and scored to get the Vikings back to within eight. . .because Greg Joseph missed the extra point. So, that left the score at 28-20 with 8:28 remaining in the third quarter.
The Vikings started the next drive by allowing a 30-yard pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to Brandon Aiyuk to put the ball into Minnesota territory quickly. Eventually, the Vikings’ defense stiffened, and the Niners settled for a 46-yard field goal from Robbie Gould to make it 31-20 with just under five minutes remaining in the quarter.
Minnesota answered immediately, thanks to rookie Kene Nwangwu, who took the ensuing kickoff and sprinted 99 yards for his second kickoff return touchdown of the season. The Vikings went for the two-point conversion and did not convert, leaving the score at 31-26.
The Vikings got a stop on the Niners’ next possession, thanks to a sack of Garoppolo by Armon Watts, but then they gave it right back on the next play as Dalvin Cook took a huge hit on the play and went down hard, fumbling the football. He was carted off of the field, and the Niners took over deep in Minnesota territory. The damage was limited, though, as the Niners settled for a 22-yard field goal from Robbie Gould to make the score 34-26.
As we move to the fourth quarter of play, the Vikings are looking at 1st-and-10 from their own 41-yard line.
It’s been a wild one at Levi’s Stadium, but if the Vikings want to win their third straight they’re going to need a comeback, as they trail the 49ers 34-26 after three quarters of play.