Both first and second-team offenses marched their way to first-half scoring drives Friday night in the San Francisco 49ers’ 17-6 preseason win over the Minnesota Vikings.
The impressive drives looked vastly different but still yielded the desired result. As it turned out, it was all the 49ers needed to defeat the visiting Vikings.
“We ran the ball really well on the opening drive and for the whole game,” Smith said. “Obviously, the offensive line did really well… I don’t know what the yards per rush was, but I’m sure it was pretty high.”
Not just a power back, Jacobs picked up a 23-yard run on the opening drive, following starting fullback
“Brandon Jacobs looked really light on his feet,” Jim Harbaugh said. “He got the big run, was able to bounce it outside. I thought he did a great job – very encouraged, very happy with the way that he has assimilated into the team… I think it has been a good fit. He certainly is one guy that really had a highlight night tonight.”
After Hunter and Jacobs moved the team inside the 5-yard line, Smith finished the drive with a short touchdown pass to Swain, who got behind the coverage of Vikings cornerback Chris Carr in the back left corner of the end zone.
“I didn’t throw that great of a ball,” said Smith, who completed all three of his passes on the night for 16 yards. “Brett did a great job outside, won with his release and it was good enough.”
The 49ers running trend continued with second-team quarterback
“I was on the other side, blocking my dude and heard the crowd go crazy,” said Pro Bowl left tackle
Kaepernick entered the game to start the second quarter. Two plays later, the second-year quarterback dashed off to his impressive rushing score while leading a no-huddle attack. Kaepernick faked a hand-off to rookie
“I look up and I see 11 defenders, so I look over and he’s gone,” James said. “Credit to him, he’s a fast runner, he made the right read and took off.”
Kaepernick played the entire second quarter, completing 5-of-9 passes for 40 yards to go with 92 rushing yards.
Defensively, much was the same for San Francisco’s first-string defense as it was last season when Vic Fangio’s unit finished as the league’s second-best scoring unit. Though Minnesota’s second-year quarterback Christian Ponder connected with wide receiver Stephen Burton on a 52-yard passing play on Minnesota’s first offensive series, the unit toughened up in the red zone holding the Vikings to a 39-yard field goal from Blair Walsh.
“It was good to finally go up against another team,” said fourth-year defensive tackle
The 49ers held the Vikings to 12 first downs, 82 rushing yards, recorded a fourth-quarter interception and totaled four sacks, led by reserve linebacker
The only setback for the defense was second-year linebacker
This year’s first-round pick,
At the half, the 49ers led 17-6, racking up 198 rushing yards on the ground. Conversely, the defense excelled, holding the Vikings to just 59 rushing yards.
No points were scored in the second half, but third-team quarterback
Tolzien led the 49ers into the red zone late in the third quarter, but was intercepted by Vikings linebacker Solomon Elimimian at the start of the fourth. As a result, Minnesota took over at San Francisco’s 17-yard line but couldn’t move the ball down the field.
Vikings reserve quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who was with the 49ers last training camp, threw an interception in front of the visitor’s sideline late in the fourth quarter. New 49ers cornerback
“They want to score, they want to keep playing,” Harbaugh admitted, “But elected to be prudent, and not see anybody get hurt on the last three plays of the game if we don’t have to. We take a knee and the game’s over, so chose that option.”