MINNEAPOLIS -- It wasn't the dream start to the season that San Francico 49ers fans hoped for. The 49ers fell to the Minnesota Vikings, 24-16, in Week 1 from U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings looked every bit like a team with Super Bowl aspirations. San Francisco remained within striking distance until the bitter end, but turnovers and a few untimely drops loomed large in the loss. Here's what you need to know from Sunday's game.
1. San Francisco got the ball back at their own 45-yard line in a one-score game, trailing 24-16 with 7:09 left to play. The 49ers went three-and-out with a third-down sack ending the drive. Jimmy Garoppolo was sacked three times on Sunday with injuries on the offensive line playing a huge part. Mike Person (foot) and Joshua Garnett (foot) both left the game. Mike McGlinchey was forced to move inside to right guard with Garry Gilliam stepping in at right tackle. That's suboptimal against a defensive line as good as Minnesota's.
2. The 49ers turned the ball over four times on Sunday. Alfred Morris fumbled at the goal line and Garoppolo was picked three times, one of which Minnesota corner Mike Hughes returned for a touchdown. Morris' fumble came with the 49ers knocking on the door to try to potentially tie the game at 10. Garoppolo's final interception came during the final two minutes on the 49ers final chance to tie the game. Minnesota's defense made the quarterback pay at every opportunity.
3. Drops were also killer. Pierre Garçon and Dante Pettis dropped would-be touchdowns. George Kittle couldn't hang onto what would have been a monster gain up the left sideline. Defensively, Jaquiski Tartt couldn't hang on to what may have been a pick six. None of the plays were trivial, but those are the opportunities that help you steal a game on the road against a tough opponent.
4. Pettis atoned for his miscues with an impressive fingertip 22-yard touchdown catch. Garoppolo spun away from pressure and found the rookie wide receiver in the back left corner of the end zone for the highlight-reel score. It was Pettis' first career catch. He finished with two receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown.
5. DeForest Buckner posted 2.5 sacks in a standout performance. He's now just a half sack shy of his total for all of 2017. The 49ers are expecting him to be a game-breaker on defense, and he looked the part in Week 1. Ronald Blair had a split sack as well.
6. Overall, the defense was very impressive, surrendering just 17 points in the game and picking up a few key stops in the fourth quarter to keep the 49ers alive. Kirk Cousins threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns but missed on his final eight pass attempts. The run defense also showed well, limiting Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray to 82 combined yards.
7. The red zone continues to be an area of concern of San Francisco. The 49ers were just 1-of-4 inside the red zone with the other three trips resulting in two field goals and one turnover. In what ended as a one-score game, these missed opportunities haunted San Francisco.
8. Fred Warner looks like a star in the making. He had nine tackles, one tackle for loss and a forced fumble in the first half alone. Richard Sherman recovered the fumble for what was San Francisco's lone takeaway of the game. Warner finished with 12 tackles.
9. Kyle Juszczyk's 56-yard catch was the 49ers longest play of the game. Kittle also checked in with five receptions for 90 yards. The tight end's day could have been much bigger. In addition to his drop, Garoppolo also missed him once in the end zone.
10. Marquise Goodwin injured his quad in the first half and did not return. The 49ers can't afford to lose him for any extended period of time.