12 Snap Reactions after 49ers at Vikings
From a suggestion by a reader, we continue our “snap reactions” weekly piece this season detailing thoughts and analysis after a Minnesota Vikings game.
12 Snap Reactions after 49ers at Vikings
This will be off-the-cuff, a wee bit “random,” and hopefully insightful.
The Vikings won 22-17 in Week 7 versus the San Francisco 49ers, the purple team’s win of the season. Minnesota’s 2023 adventure took a new twist after topping the NFL’s top team, suggesting a season turnaround could be afoot.
1 – If he hadn’t already, rookie wideout Jordan Addison busted onto the scene, making a national emergence for the planet to experience. The Vikings have a rich history of hitting on wide receivers, and Addison’s 7 receptions for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns is the latest chapter. The man has formally arrived, and now the world knows.
2 – Wipe that smile off your face; they’re not joking. The Vikings defense is for real, jelling over the last month and totally stifling the Panthers and Bears while taming the Chiefs and 49ers. It wasn’t necessarily foreseen, but Brian Flores has steadily done the trick. He just needed about three games to get cooking.
3 – The Vikings finally won the time of possession battle in an important game, possessing the rock for almost 35 minutes to the 49ers 25. Usually throughout Kevin O’Connell’s early tenure, Minnesota loses this battle, but that did not occur on Monday Night Football. O’Connell must replicate this gameplan. Underwater via time of possession week after week gets a team nowhere fast.
4 – No matter what you’re told by anybody in the next few days, remember this — the Vikings beat the NFL’s best team without Justin Jefferson, Marcus Davenport, and Ezra Cleveland. Indeed, Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel missed MNF, but the absences effectively “canceled each other out.” The shorthanded Vikings beat the shorthanded 49ers.
5 – Prayers have been sent, hardships endured: The Vikings offensive line is finally an elite group. Heading into Week 7, all credible metrics suggested the purple offensive trenches were quite good, but on Monday, they passed the popular eye test once and for all.
6 – K.J. Osborn is a quintessential WR3. He is not more than a WR3; he is not less than a WR3. Over and over in 2023, he has proved this.
7 – The difficult part of Minnesota’s schedule is in the rearview. Fans knew since the schedule dropped in May that the first seven games would be brutal — and they were. Now, the club is at the mushy part: Packers, Falcons, Saints, Broncos, Bears, Raiders. The time is ripe for a winning streak or at least a fancy record in the next six weeks.
8 – The Vikings were 8 for 13 on 3rd Down, and Kirk Cousins was dazzling along the way. Until Monday, offensive 3rd Down woes were prevalent. In Week 7, there were not, and the Vikings won accordingly. Funny how that works.
9 – Minnesota left 12 points on the table — a missed extra point, two bungled goal line possessions, and Greg Joseph’s missed late-game field goal. It should’ve spanked the 49ers 34-17.
10 – The Vikings didn’t let their first-drive turnover define them. In five other games this season, 1st Quarter giveaways proved deadly, but this time, Minnesota created turnovers of its own, especially down the stretch. This is how the 2022 Vikings did business.
11 – O’Connell and the gang woke up to 8th-seed placement in the NFC’s playoff picture. They’re two games behind the Detroit Lions in the NFC North, and wouldn’t you know it? They play the Lions twice near the end of the season. The sky is now the limit, if that can be believed.
12 – The 49ers have lost seven straight games at the Metrodome and U.S. Bank Stadium.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).