Tyrion Davis-Price Hits His Stride in Minnesota
It took the rookie running back the first half of the game to really settle in, but Davis-Price had the hot hand coming out of halftime. In the 49ers first offensive series of the second half, he recorded the longest rush of the game (12 yards) up to that point, and and followed up with a 14-yard run that was part of a 14-play, 79-yard touchdown drive in the next series. The 49ers third-round draft pick closed out the night with 10 carries for 41 yards.
Javon Kinlaw is Back to Health and Back to Disrupting Opposing Offenses
No. 99 played nearly the entire first half, battling against double teams on the majority of his snaps. After undergoing offseason knee surgery and easing into training camp workouts, Kinlaw is looking faster, leaner and more powerful. He recorded a third-down sack on Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond to force a Minnesota punt from the Vikings 16 yard line late in the first quarter.
"I feel like a totally different player," Kinlaw said. "I don't have to worry about being in pain. I don't have to worry about anything but playing football."
Banks and Burford were part of the few expected starters to suit up for Saturday's game and both played the entire first half before being replaced by Nick Zakelj and Jason Poe. The goal is to continue getting this duo substantial reps headed into Week 1 of the regular season.
Rookie Defensive Players Contribute Early and Often
Defensive end Drake Jackson and cornerback Samuel Womack III continued to build off strong first performances in their preseason debuts. After notching two interceptions in the opener, Womack III came up with another takeaway, recovering a fumbled punt in the second quarter and providing an assist on the play that resulted in George Odum's first quarter interception. While Womack III was blitzing on that play, Jackson rushed up the middle on Mond. Later in the third quarter, Jackson also had a deflected ball that the 49ers second-round pick said "should have been a pick."
Malik Turner Shows Promise on Offense and Special Teams
Turner had the longest reception of the night (21 yards) as well as one of the more impressive special teams plays. No. 17 punched out the ball from the hands of Imhir Smith-Marsette on a punt return that was later recovered by Womack III.
"We only have one game tape of the Vikings returner, and somebody pointed out in film that he runs with the ball loosely," Turner said. "An opportunity presented itself to make a play, punched it out and recovered it."
Dropped Passes and Penalties Stall the Offense
The 49ers offense had trouble getting going in the first half as a result of multiple penalties and dropped passes. San Francisco racked up a total of 10 penalties for 65 yards — four of which were false starts that came in the first half of Saturday's game. Dropped passes were also an issue for several of San Francisco's weapons with Trey Sermon, Jauan Jennings, Danny Gray and Tanner Hudson all missing catches.
Alfredo Gutierrez Makes His NFL Debut and Brings Home the Game Ball
The Mexican-born offensive lineman who came to the 49ers via the NFL International Player Pathway Program got his first taste of the NFL on Saturday. No. 77 entered late in the fourth quarter, getting four snaps at the left tackle position. To commemorate his big debut, the team awarded him the game ball.