Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

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Pondering Her Percy
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Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:27 am

Well, what a win yesterday. Couldn't be happier with how this team played. However, we have to move on and prepare for SF and not have a repeat of 2017 coming off a big win.

Overall, I think this 49ers team is very beatable. As for the offense:

Garoppolo really tends to struggle under pressure. Getting to Garappolo is a must. I specifically remember us doing that last season in week 1 and he threw 3 INTs and his accuracy was horrid all game.

PFF has their OL ranked 14th following week 17. They are good but not great. We definitely just saw a better OL in New Orleans.

As for the run game, no standouts here but they are an elite unit overall. We have to focus on stopping the run and getting to Garoppolo. I like how Zimmer said in his presser after the game yesterday that they have to be aggressive in the playoffs if they want to continue to advance. Hopefully he sticks to that plan and throws things at Garoppolo that he hasnt seen.

SF's WRs dont impress me much at all. Granted our DBs, cant get lackadaisical but they have looked much better over the last few weeks of the season. I'm interested to see if Mac will be back or not. However the more looks we continue to show (Sendejo at nickel, Griff and Hunter lining up inside, etc.) the harder it is to scheme against us. Zim has to continue to keep the offense guessing and throwing various things at Jimmy.

Kittle is an elite TE and definitely needs to be accounted for. Hopefully we find a way to NOT have Barr on him in coverage constantly.


As for the defense:

This defensive line is LOADED. One thing that scares me about this team is their interior DL talent vs. our interior. I hope we have plenty of rollouts in place because Cousins isnt going to have a pocket to step into often is my guess.

LBs seem to be this defenses glaring weakness although they are suppose to get Kwon Alexander back this week.

Pass defense is top of the league by a long shot. I feel like we really have to take advantage of Cook and Mattison this game and catch these guys guessing on play action.


In the end, we are going to be a massive underdog again IMO and once again, nobody will pick us to win this game. Although I feel just as good about this game as I did vs. NO. The offense has to not resort to being one dimensional and keep this defense guessing as well as being stout on defense like we have for the past few weeks.
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by StumpHunter » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:52 am

Agree with pretty much all of that.


Their defense is the Packer's defense on steroids. I assume they will take away the roll outs by lining up wide like the Pack did, only their front 7 can do that AND stop Cook, unlike the Pack in week 2.

We need to win a defensive battle 13-10 or something like that to win this game. My biggest concern on SF is Sanders, who is a great slot WR, and if Mac can't go this week, he will absolutely torch Sendejo. Jimmy G WILL throw at least one interceptable pass in this game and when he does, we need to take advantage.
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by VikingLord » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:38 am

The 49ers are a very good pass defense, primarily because they have a very good pass rush. They're solid on the backend, but that rush is what makes them effective because downfield routes don't get as much time to develop.

But the 49ers aren't a complete defense because that pass rush comes at a price (albeit not a massive price in their case), that being they aren't as good defending the run.

You know what can pose the most problems for a defense like that? Balance.

To exploit their offensive balance, the Vikings offensive line will need to play well again. If they do, the 49ers are going to struggle to stop them. If they don't, well, we've already seen what that looks like a few times this year.

Defensively for the Vikings, this game is going to come down to two things - playing good run defense on 1st and 2nd down and getting pressure on obvious passing downs. All offenses will struggle if they face 3rd-and-long, and the 49ers are no exception to that. Garrapolo isn't a great QB. He's good enough, obviously, but not great, and the Vikings should be able to get some pressure on him and possibly force him into making a few key mistakes.

I think the game will actually come down to exactly that - which team makes the key mistake(s) and which team takes the greatest advantage. Turnovers are going to be huge in this one. The field is likely to be wet. The forecast calls for early rain. It is going to be very cool at gametime. It's going to be slick and slippery. The conditions will be ones that promote old school football and the game will come down to which team is more physical and executes better.

One last thing - no way the Vikings should be 7 point dogs in this one. Apparently, their win over the Saints didn't change overall opinions about them, which is fine because they can keep that big chip on their shoulders heading into the game against the 49ers, but objectively there isn't a massive difference between these two teams. Not one that justifies such a point spread or the dismissiveness of the Vikings that I'm already seeing from the media and 49ers fans.
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:02 am

San Francisco's Achilles heel on defense is the very thing they do well on offense ... outside zone, play actions, rollouts and screens. Their front four are so concerned about getting upfield with their athletic D-linemen that they become vulnerable to misdirection, much like Dallas. I have no doubt they will scheme to take that away from us. But to do that, they'll have to be less ferocious on the pass rush, and they'll have to keep their linebackers closer to the LOS. Our tight ends should be able to get open over the middle. Our running plays may need to be more straight-ahead early in the game -- kind of the old Alan Page treatment ... to beat him, run straight at him. Might be easier said than done.

Later, when they re-adjust, we will hopefully be able to get back to our normal offense. The big thing is that Kirk needs to stay calm and make great decisions. They will get pressure. He needs to avoid turnovers like the plague.

On offense, their big weapons in the passing game are George Kittle and fullback Kyle Juszczyk, not their receivers. Biggest thing with the outside receivers is to keep them in front of you. I like our linebackers on Juszczyk and Harrison Smith on Kittle. But there's no doubt, Kittle is seriously tough. IMO he's the best tight end in the NFL. He's also an elite blocker in the run game. They do a lot of the same things we do on offense, so hopefully our defense will be accustomed to it.

If we can get pressure on Garoppolo, he is prone to bad decisions and turnovers. If we win this game, a Garoppolo turnover is likely to contribute to that win.

SF can run the ball, and it's very doubtful they'll abandon the run the way New Orleans did. They're second in the league in rushing, so they can grind up yards and clock. We've been susceptible to the run at times this year. Gotta stop that first, IMO.

We're gonna have our hands full. They're the favorites, and they should be. However, we just took down a really good Saints team with an identical 13-3 record in an environment that was tougher than Levi Stadium will be. And I can't believe I'm saying this, but if we stay close and have a chance to win late, I like our chances.
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by Dames » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:14 am

Time to slay another giant! I love that they are 7 point dogs again. Keep that edge Zim! SF should be favored, but I agree that 7 points is a bit disrespectful after yesterday's win. Hopefully we stay angry :) :steamed:

Getting pressure on Jimmy is key, because like some other have said, he's a good QB, not a great one, and he can be rattled. I love the idea of locking down on the running game in the early downs and putting them in 3rd and long. I know that's not nearly as easy as it sounds, but hopefully Zim has some more tricks up his sleeve this week! If we can keep Brees in check, it definitely gives me hope that we can do the same to Jimmy.

It's very likely that our Offense will struggle against this defense. I think points will be hard to come by for both teams. Getting Cook going is key once again, but it won't be easy against these guys.
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by StpViking » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:37 am

I put this game mainly on the Vikings coaches game plan. This team has shown all year O Line play is the most important factor in winning and losing. The Vikings O Line does not match up well against the 9'ers D Line. This O Line is not great at 1 on 1 pass blocking. The Santa Clara 49'ers D Line IS ALL ABOUT DESTROYING blockers 1 on 1. So what will the Vikings coaches game plan be?

My hope is that we throw a bunch of trap blocks and Wam blocks to get the run game going. Use the 9'ers agression against themselves. In passing situation, we would use the Bill Walsh system of short passes against the team that was known for it. YEAH 9'ERS YA LIKE THAT!

Anyway, I think we all know, OL play will be the most important key to this game. Vikings brought in Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison for a reason, let's see if the plan works out.
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by CanUDiggsIt? » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:40 am

I loved how every analyst picked New Orleans by 14-17 points and now favoring the 69ers by a touchdown. If we play our game offensively with some misdirection, stretch plays, and quick passing game, I believe our offensive can get the job done. Don't expect a lot of 5 step drops, as that 69ers pass rush is absolutely deadly. I expect San Fran to have a ground based attack offensively, using Kittle and Sanders/Samuels in the passing attack. If we frustrate Jimmy G like we upset Brees, our defense has a shot!! Going to be another brutal SLOBBERKNOCKER :govikes:
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by Dames » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:48 am

CanUDiggsIt? wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:40 am
69ers
Intentional or Freudian? :tongue:
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by mansquatch » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:06 pm

At first glace here are my takes:

Defense: I think Zimmer overall will own Garrapolo. The question is Shanahan. Shanahan is probably the best signal caller in the league and that offsets some of the talent deficiencies at QB. RB and WR are not scary from a matchup standpoint, it is more Shanahan's ability to throw wrinkles and keep the defense off balance. The playmaker to be moste concerned about is Kittle, but I do not see him winning the game by himself. I think this matchup favors the Vikings, even if only by a little. In someways this is a good game for our CB to get healthy. Outside of Samuel, their WR are not that menacing. Health of Kendricks is probably a big deal going into this one.

Offense: Our outside run / playaction game matches up VERY well against their defense. However this is no secret. I think a big key here will be similar to last week in that we cannot commit bad turnovers against their defensive front. This team has yet to face an offense with as many skill position playmakers as the Vikings possess. We will find out how well they do.

I think, similar to Sean Peyton, Shanahan will eventually help his team put points on the board. I think we need 24 to win this thing as I think 49ers will be able to get to 20, but no more without help from Vikings turnovers.

This should be a well played game for all 4 quarters. Unless Zimmer lays an egg. No eggs please...
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by StumpHunter » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:23 pm

mansquatch wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:06 pm
At first glace here are my takes:

Defense: I think Zimmer overall will own Garrapolo. The question is Shanahan. Shanahan is probably the best signal caller in the league and that offsets some of the talent deficiencies at QB. RB and WR are not scary from a matchup standpoint, it is more Shanahan's ability to throw wrinkles and keep the defense off balance. The playmaker to be moste concerned about is Kittle, but I do not see him winning the game by himself. I think this matchup favors the Vikings, even if only by a little. In someways this is a good game for our CB to get healthy. Outside of Samuel, their WR are not that menacing. Health of Kendricks is probably a big deal going into this one.

Offense: Our outside run / playaction game matches up VERY well against their defense. However this is no secret. I think a big key here will be similar to last week in that we cannot commit bad turnovers against their defensive front. This team has yet to face an offense with as many skill position playmakers as the Vikings possess. We will find out how well they do.

I think, similar to Sean Peyton, Shanahan will eventually help his team put points on the board. I think we need 24 to win this thing as I think 49ers will be able to get to 20, but no more without help from Vikings turnovers.

This should be a well played game for all 4 quarters. Unless Zimmer lays an egg. No eggs please...
Couple things.

They faced the Rams twice, and that receiving corp is the only one better than ours when both are healthy, imo.

That 9ers offense is the only one that ran as much play action as we did this season. Both defenses have a ton of practice going against this style of offense, so expect them both to be ready to stop it.
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by CanUDiggsIt? » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:24 pm

Dames wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:48 am
CanUDiggsIt? wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:40 am
69ers
Intentional or Freudian? :tongue:
Absolutely intentional. SKOL :v):
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by cmoss84 » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:18 pm

One thing I haven't seen talked about a whole lot on here is how important it was for the defense to hold NO to a field goal after the Thielen fumble. A touchdown there would have been a huge blow. It seems we got a little bit of momentum back-even after they got their 3.

Have a feeling turnovers and momentum shifts are going to be the deciding factors in SF. Does someone have a pick-6? Who holds who to zero points off of turnovers? Who wins the field-position battle? Who makes a bone-headed penalty?

I am confident that if we play turnover free football (even if we give up a few sacks, which seems inevitable) we win a tight one. If it is windy and rainy, might come down to who wins the offensive/defensive line battles and who can run.

Pumped. We win 19 - 16 (both kickers miss an extra point).
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by VikingLord » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:07 pm

Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:27 am
Kittle is an elite TE and definitely needs to be accounted for. Hopefully we find a way to NOT have Barr on him in coverage constantly.
There just isn't evidence to suggest the 49ers have any advantage comparing the two offenses. They have their strengths (balanced run game and one primary receiver who happens to be a TE) and the Vikings have theirs (explosive run game with a very balanced passing game). The difference to me is going to be how the offensive lines of the two teams perform and overall execution, which I'll get to below...
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:27 am
This defensive line is LOADED. One thing that scares me about this team is their interior DL talent vs. our interior. I hope we have plenty of rollouts in place because Cousins isnt going to have a pocket to step into often is my guess.
I know the Vikings offensive line has put up some stinkers this year against aggressive pass rush defenses. First game against the Bears was really not good, and last game against the Packers was likewise poor. The potential is there for the line to struggle again against a solid 49er front, and if they do then I don't expect the game to be close.

But the offensive line of the Vikings has played very well too, and they seem to be at their best when they can establish the run game early as they did against the Saints. So that is going to be critical and is something to watch for. Early success running is going to cause pause in the 49er rush just as it did against the Saints. If they can keep the 49ers defense honest and force them to play run first, I really like the Vikings chances in this game, because that will open up the passing game.

And on the other side, the 49er offensive line has their work cut out for them too. The 49er pass rush produced 48 sacks this year. Guess who else produced 48 sacks this year? That's right - none other than your own Minnesota Vikings. The 49ers have a reputation as a ferocious pass rushing defense while the Vikings don't seem to get that much respect for what they are capable of doing, which I partially understand given the 49ers finished with 13 wins and the Vikings with 10 wins. But the moral of the story is, the Vikings can bring it too. Garropolo has taken more sacks than Cousins this year and has turned it over more than Cousins. The 49ers are vulnerable at the QB position, but to unlock that advantage as the game wears on the Vikings have to expose it, and they do that by stopping the run and getting a lead.
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by Dames » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:32 pm

StumpHunter wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:23 pm
Couple things.

They faced the Rams twice, and that receiving corp is the only one better than ours when both are healthy, imo.

That 9ers offense is the only one that ran as much play action as we did this season. Both defenses have a ton of practice going against this style of offense, so expect them both to be ready to stop it.
The Rams have very good receivers. They are deeper than the Vikings. Higbee really came on at the end of year at TE too. At this point, Cook is the better RB. Overall, they are comparable to the Vikings, just some interchangeable parts.

The good news is the Rams were very successful using play-action, roll-outs, screens, and outside runs in their 2nd game late in the year. Sound familiar? So, they may see it every day, but may to be able to stop it regardless. I have no doubt they will try to do some things differently though. I still think it's possible that we'll have a hard time moving the ball, but if we can find success like the Rams did, we will be looking pretty good.
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Re: Divisional Round: Vikings/49ers Pre-Game Thread

Post by CharVike » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:56 pm

It's the same deal as every week. On D we need to get heavy pressure on the QB. He will crumple or fold or whatever you want to call it. All QBs are done when under big time pressure. On O get Cook rolling. Cook is the driving force and Matti is a great change up. If those two things happen we have a chance. And of course no TOs.
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