This week, we decided to do a two-part series covering both the positive and negative takeaways from Monday night’s 20-3 loss to San Francisco. I always feel like it’s easiest to get the bad news first, so take a look at our observations of the game’s problems here and watch for a “positives” post around lunchtime today. As always, please take the poll and feel free to weigh in via the comments section, as well!
Brent: Offensive line
Biggest problem has to be the offensive line. Anyone watching could see how uneasy Teddy Bridgewater was in the pocket and he didn’t seem like himself whatsoever. Ultimately, Bridgewater’s anxiousness caused him to rush his reads and throws and probably forced him to take his eyes away from his down-field targets.
Brian: Run defense
No doubt the run defense has to be the biggest concern coming off of Monday’s game. San Francisco didn’t try anything tricky. The 49ers lined up and just out-muscled and out-executed the Vikings. They started on the first drive with the three tight end sets and didn’t stop.
As Anthony Barr mentioned on Wednesday, “Honestly, they ran maybe two or three plays over and over again. We just couldn’t stop it. It was simple. We knew it was coming, we just couldn’t stop it. So we’ve just got to take a deep look within and figure it out.”
To be outperformed like that, especially after so much emphasis was put on the run defense this season and staying in gaps, it was a humbling start. Carlos Hyde is a talented running back who was a second-round draft pick just the previous year and he surely looked good in his first real chance to be an every-down back. But Minnesota has to be frustrated after an opening performance in which it allowed the most rushing yards in the league (230 yards) and the most yards per rushing attempt (5.90).