Flashback Friday: Vikings Throttle 49ers in 1999 + Prediction

Nov 2, 1997; San Francisco, CA, USA: FILE PHOTO; San Francisco 49ers receiver Terrell Owens (81) on the sideline against the Dallas Cowboys at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Cowboys 17-10. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

The 2-4 Minnesota Vikings will host the 5-1 San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.

Minnesota won last week at Chicago, but it has been a disappointing start to the season. Not just the losses but how they are losing. All have been by one score, and the turnovers have been a major problem.

Flashback Friday: Vikings Throttle 49ers in 1999 + Prediction

San Francisco could perhaps be without stars Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, and Trent Williams. If all three or even two of them do not play, it will significantly benefit Minnesota, but beating them would still be very difficult. Minnesota itself is still without star Justin Jefferson.

In 1999, Minnesota won 40-16 against San Francisco at the Metrodome.

Like this team, they were 2-4 on the season heading into the game. It’s a much different San Francisco team this time around, but it is still a fascinating fact. Despite coming off a shocking loss last week against the Cleveland Browns, they are Super Bowl contenders.

Vikings Throttle 49ers
Sep 27, 1998; Chicago, IL, USA; FILE PHOTO; Minnesota Viking receiver Randy Moss (84) in action against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

That San Francisco was without Steve Young that game, so they clearly looked like a different team. Minnesota also had two future Hall of Fame wide receivers in Cris Carter and Randy Moss.

For Minnesota, Jeff George in his first start with them, went 15/28 for 250 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. Leroy Hoard rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Matthew Hatchette caught two passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. Carter caught seven for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Dec 26, 1999; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; FILE PHOTO; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jeff George (3) in action against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Lou Capozzola-USA TODAY NETWORK.

On defense, Ed McDaniel had game-highs of 14 tackles and two sacks. John Randle recorded an interception (the only one of his career).

For San Francisco, Jeff Garcia went 14/31 and threw two interceptions. He also rushed for 35 yards on carries. Lawrence Phillips caught three passes for 49 yards. Jerry Rice caught five receptions for 45 yards.

On defense, Ken Norton recorded a team-high nine tackles.

San Francisco leads the all-time series 25-23-1 and has won three of the past four matchups.

Minnesota improved to 3-4 with the win and finished the season at 10-6. They made the playoffs as a wild card. They also advanced to the divisional round.

Like that 1999 team, can this team also win at home against San Francisco to improve to 3-4 and turn the season around from there? It will be tough for both to happen, but you never say never. Even if they win and still end up not making the playoffs, they could still make things very interesting later.

Oct 1, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) runs off the field after the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, could the Vikings party like it’s 1999? Maybe not, but we will see.

A loss would drop them to 2-5, and while the schedule does get easier after that, you have to wonder what will happen at the trade deadline, which is less than two weeks away. Coming back from 2-5 is very difficult, so Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could very well ship some of his veterans for draft picks.

Prediction: Vikings lose 23-13