SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers looked like the team that won the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship game last year and made their sixth visit to the Super Bowl in franchise history Sunday, Aug. 25 in their game against the Minnesota Vikings.
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San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks ripping the ball away from Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback Christian Ponder in part of the 49ers 34-14 win.
It was a strong play by the defense that led the 49ers to their first score, a 30-yard field goal by kicker Phil Dawson. The kick came after Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith recovered a fumble and the 49ers offense went three and out after Colin Kaepernick missed on two passes around Frank Gore rushing for a loss of one.
Kaepernick was not able to get the offense going on his second offensive series as he would again miss on his third and fifth passes of the nights with a short completion mixed in.
But the vaunted defense of the 49ers kept San Francisco on top. Then Kaepernick finally woke up.
After completing only one of his first seven completions, the second year starting quarterback completed six consecutive attempts, the sixth a five-yard touchdown pass to Quinton Patton to give the 49ers a 10-0 lead after Dawson notched the extra point kick.
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San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick didn't look himself at the start of the game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Aug. 25, but he turned it around leading the 49ers to a convincing win.
The Vikings looked ok with Christian Ponder running the show, but only one series with Adrian Peterson on the field, and receiving no touches would not bode well for Minnesota.
The Vikings would manage one touchdown in the first half, a one-yard touchdown pass from Ponder to Zach Line. That came after back up quarterback Colt McCoy threw an interception at the 39 of San Francisco which Chad Greenway returned 11-yards to the 28.
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San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colt McCoy did what he needed to do Sunday against the Vikings to all but lock down that he will be the backup to Kaepernick once the start of the regular season rolls around.
The momentum the Vikings thought they had built after the touchdown was all but erased in a manner of moments as former California Golden Bears product Lavelle Hawkins returned Walsh’s kickoff 105-yards for a touchdown. With the Dawson extra point kick it was 17-7 in favor of San Francisco.
The 49ers would tack on three more points before the first half was over as a Nmandi Asmougha interception set the 49ers and McCoy in good field position. The offense, led by McCoy would get Dawson in range for a 40-yard kick, but a n offensive holding penalty would nullify the score, pushing Dawson back 10-yards for a second attempt. Dawson would split the uprights again, giving San Francisco a 20-7 lead with just seconds remaining in the first half.
The second half would see the Vikings score first just 5:35 in. The score came as Ponder led the offense 78-yards on 12 plays, finishing the drive with a three-yard pass to Joe Webb. After the Walsh extra point kick the score was 20-14.
That was as close as the Vikings would get to the 49ers in the second half.
The fourth quarter started as the 49ers offense scored their third touchdown, this time a four-yard rush by Jewel Hampton. Hampton had eight rushes with a long of 15, for 45-yards. He was the 49ers leading rusher in the game. After another Dawson extra point kick, the score was 27-14.
Another fourth quarter score for the 49ers came as third string quarterback B.J. Daniels and recently acquired Seneca Wallace led the offense 63-yards over 15-plays for an eventual Anthony Dixon one-yard burst across the goal line. With the Dawson kick it was 34-14, which would end up being the final score.
The game showed off what looked to be true going into the seasons for the 49ers, their defense is very strong, and will once again prove to be the difference maker in games against quality opponents. It also showed that the 49ers offense is capable of pushing around a solid defense as they did with the Vikings.
Also of note, Jonathan Baldwin who the 49ers acquired via trade with the Kansas City Chiefs caught two passes for 23-yards with a long of 19. Free agent signing Seneca Wallace played a few snaps, all but ensuring that Scott Tolzien would not be around for very much longer. The report Monday afternoon from the 49ers was that they had waived Tolzien.
The 49ers improved to 2-1-0 in the preseason with the victory over the Vikings while Minnesota dropped to 0-3-0.
The 49ers final preseason matchup comes against the San Diego Chargers this Thursday, Aug. 29 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif. Kick off is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be aired on the NFL Network.