The San Francisco 49ers looked impressive as running back Carlos Hyde rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries to give new head coach Jim Tomsula his second career win in the NFL. In 2010, Tomsula won a week 17 contest against the Arizona Cardinals as an interim coach after Mike Singletary was fired.
Tomsula and the 49ers coaching staff had the right game plan in place to shut down Adrian Peterson and the Vikings offense. Norv Turners offense got off to a slow start only managing four first downs and 56 total yards in the first half of play. Colin Kaepernick lead an efficient pistol attack as the 49ers took an early 7-0 halftime advantage behind a strong running game. Carlos Hyde found the end zone with 4:58 to play in the second quarter to open the scoring on a sick spin move that he was able to bounce to the outside for 10 yards and the score.
The Vikings were able to move the ball a little better in the second half, but the Vikings finished a dismal 1-of-9 on third downs for the game and could only mustered 71 net yards rushing and 177 net yards passing. Teddy Bridgewater finished 23/32 for 231 and 1 interception, but it was 5 sacks and an inability to find an answer for the 49ers blitz and pressure that slow the Vikings offense.
Blair Walsh connected on a 32 yard field goal with 4:49 to play in the third quarter for the Vikings only score.
The story line might be Hyde’s career night running the football and Kaepernick’s solid play at the quarterback position, but it was the 49ers ability to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball that was the real difference maker. The Vikings defense looked less physical at the point of attack and slow to react for most of the game. I realize trying to contain a dynamic playmaker like Kaepernick will cause most of that, so, I will give the defense credit for keeping the game close and within reach for over three quarters of play.
This might be a long year for Teddy if we can’t find a way to give him a little bit more time in the pocket and some help in the form of a running game.