49ers Are Built to Dismantle the Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings got one back in the win column on Sunday after knocking off the hapless Chicago Bears. That’s great and all, but the divisional win loses luster if Kevin O’Connell’s team goes and lays an egg this week. Unfortunately, the San Francisco 49ers are built to dismantle the Vikings.

49ers Are Built to Dismantle the Vikings

Not only are the 49ers one of the best teams in the NFL this year, but Kyle Shanahan brings in a squad that may be perfectly blueprinted to give this Vikings team fits. It was already going to be an uphill battle for Minnesota, and even if San Francisco is a bit banged up, getting extra time leading up to the contest will have their foe looking as formidable as ever.

49ers Are Built
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Coming off a win, the Vikings could be looking to replicate success from their day in Chicago. Unfortunately, there was a whole lot to be proud of in that contest. Kirk Cousins looked lackluster under center, and Jordan Addison failed to establish a larger presence with Justin Jefferson on injured reserve. The defense did hold it together against Justin Fields, but they were an interception away from a Tyson Bagent-sized meltdown.

San Francisco didn’t elevate to their recent heights by accident. Brock Purdy took over as quarterback, with both Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance going down with injuries. He has been exceptional for Shanahan but has done so with little resting on his shoulders. Rather than putting the team in poor spots, his solid decision-making has allowed the group around him to succeed.

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The 49ers skill position players in Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle aren’t necessarily designed to stretch the field. They are monsters after the catch and pick up chunk yardage in droves. That’s not an ideal scenario for a Vikings defense that puts pressure on opposing offenses to dictate the flow of the game.

Brian Flores will have to gameplan in a way where the short and quick routes don’t become a problem. The 49ers don’t need to get deep downfield to burn a team, and vacating space by sending extra pass rushers should give San Francisco plenty of room to operate. Their offensive line also boasts some superstar talent, and getting into the backfield is no easy task.

On the flip side, Minnesota could be looking at changes up front, and the 49ers can definitely cause pressure. Arik Armstead is a very athletic player in the middle of the line, and Nick Bosa remains among the best sack masters in the entire league. Cousins shouldn’t expect to have the same time or opportunity he saw against the Bears, and being ready for that change is a must.

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There is certainly a path for the Vikings to pull off the upset on Monday night. They nearly accomplished that feat against a similarly talented Kansas City Chiefs team the last time they were home. What will absolutely have to be true is that there is no room for error. A sloppy and undisciplined start has put Minnesota on the wrong side of the turnover battle more often than not. If they want to shock the 49ers, they must protect the football.

The Vikings will be facing an uphill battle against San Francisco, but if they can come prepared for the YAC-style offense, it will be one less surprise they need to deal with.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.