On Saturday night at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings hosted the San Francisco 49ers in the second preseason game of the year for both teams. Of all the games in NFL preseason history. . .this was definitely one of them.
Neither offense got a whole lot going, but when the dust settled and the smoke cleared the visiting team did just a little bit more. The Niners will fly back to the West Coast with a 17-7 victory over the Vikings in their pockets.
Minnesota got the football first and they started their second-team offense, led by Kellen Mond at quarterback. Mond had his moments on the first drive but it ended with an interception by Niners safety George Odum with the team in field goal range. That drive ultimately ended with a turnover on downs as rookie cornerback Akayleb Evans made a brilliant stop on 4th-and-1 to end the Niners’ drive.
The Vikings’ defense got a second fourth-down stop as they forced an incompletion from Niners’ third-string quarterback Brock Purdy on a 4th-and-3 from the 34-yard line near the end of the first quarter.
There was no scoring until nearly midway through the second quarter, as Robbie Gould connected on a 49-yard field goal to make it 3-0. That came after a fumble on a punt return by Ihmir Smith-Marsette gave the Niners the ball in scoring position.
The Minnesota defense got a scare when rookie cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. suffered a non-contact injury in the second quarter. He was ruled out for the game with an ankle injury but it looked much worse when it first happened. We’ll be awaiting further word on his status throughout the week.
The game’s first touchdown came just after the two-minute warning, and it came courtesy of rookie running back Ty Chandler, who went over from three yards out for a score to give the Vikings a 7-3 lead late in the second quarter.
The Niners closed the gap on the final play of the first half, as Gould connected on another field goal. This one was a 46-yarder and sent the two teams into the locker room at halftime with the Vikings holding a 7-6 lead.
San Francisco then took the opening possession of the second half and marched all the way down to the Minnesota 1-yard line. On second-and-goal from the 1, Niners’ quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Tyrion Davis-Price botched a handoff, and rookie Luiji Vilain pounced on it for a turnover for the Minnesota defense.
The Vikings put Mond back in at quarterback to start the second half but the offense didn’t do a whole lot on their first possession. San Francisco then once again pushed the ball deep into Minnesota territory and put the ball into the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter. Sudfeld found running back JaMycal Hasty for a 3-yard touchdown to take the lead back. The Niners lined up to go for two and were successful to make it 14-7.
Minnesota put Sean Mannion back in at quarterback to start the fourth quarter because. . .I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine. After the offense sputtered, the Niners added to their lead on another field goal by Gould, this one a 28-yarder to make it 17-7 with just over four minutes remaining.
Mond came back into the game at quarterback and got the Vikings into Niners territory, but then threw his second interception of the night, this one to Tayler Hawkins to pretty much put a bow on things at U.S. Bank Stadium.
We’ll talk more about this game over the next couple of days, and then turn our attention to the final preseason game as the Vikings travel out west once again to take on the Denver Broncos.
The Vikings fall to the 49ers in preseason action at U.S. Bank Stadium by a final score of 17-7. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!