49ers Come Away with Second Preseason Win in Minnesota Despite Offensive Line Woes

Aug 20, 2022, 8:44 PM

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 20: Brock Purdy #14 hands the ball off to Jordan Mason #41 of the San Fran...

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 20: Brock Purdy #14 hands the ball off to Jordan Mason #41 of the San Francisco 49ers against the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter of a preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 20, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 49ers defeated the Vikings 17-7. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

A few key phrases from Saturday night’s game: Turnovers, Penalties, Drops.

That about sums it up as the 49ers put up enough points to beat the Minnesota Vikings on the road, 17-7. Saturday’s victory marks the second of the preseason for the red & gold.

The game was slow from the jump, with both teams unable to put any points on the board into first quarter. The Vikings had the first possession of the game, taking it down inside 49ers territory before QB Kellen Mond threw a ball directly to backup S George Odum for the easy INT. Odum returned the ball to the Vikings’ 48-yard line and halted a good start from Mond.

The 49ers didn’t do much better their first time out, getting stopped on a Trey Sermon run that resulted in a turnover on downs. Both teams gave the ball back to one another for the duration of the first quarter, ending the period 0-0.

The second quarter brought with it some more action as the Red & Gold were the first team to put points on the board after a botched punt return turned into a fumble recovery for rookie nickelback Samuel Womack III.  Unfortunately the 49ers couldn’t capitalize fully, thanks to a dropped pass by TE Tanner Hudson inside the redzone. Forced to bring out the kicking team, Robbie Gould converts to make it 0-3 to the Bay Area squad.

The Vikings eventually answered back. QB Sean Mannion drove down the field with his offense, capping an eight play, 60-yard drive with a rushing TD by rookie RB Ty Chandler.

With about a minute and a half to operate, rookie QB Brock Purdy came on to try and take the lead before halftime. Getting inside the 30 yard line, Purdy tried to connect with his wideouts on two fade routes, to no avail. Gould was again asked to come out for the place kick, 6-7 at the break.

The third quarter yielded the same result as the first: No points.

Both teams experienced punts and turnovers as neither really established much offense. Purdy and 49ers came close midway through the quarter, getting inside the ten yard line of Minnesota before disaster struck again. A poor block by Keaton Sutherland lead to a push by Vikings’ DT T.Y. McGill that pushed the center back into Purdy, forcing him to bobble the exchange with RB Ty Davis-Price and fumble the ball to the opposition.

The fourth quarter is where the scoring resumed.

After driving down the field to close out the third, QB Nate Sudfeld had his offense inside the ten, connecting from two yards out on an angle route to RB JaMychal Hasty. The 49ers went the two-point conversion and got it, hitting Gray this time to make it 7-14 in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings were unable to answer, punting the ball away twice before Purdy returned to drive the team down the field.  49ers’ faithful rejoiced for a moment when undrafted RB Jordan Mason found the end zone from a few yards out. Unfortunately, penalties negated momentum once again, this time getting Hudson on a holding call to back up the red & gold. Forced to settle for three, Gould came on to make the score 7-17 with four minutes to go in the game.

Mond came on to try and salvage some points but was abruptly stopped inside the redzone of the 49ers after throwing a terrible lob pass that was picked off by S Tayler Hawkins.

That was all she wrote as the Bay Area team took home their second win of the preseason, 7-17.

The biggest takeaways from the contest was the sheer volume of turnovers, penalties and drops. Ten penalties called against the 49ers compared to only two for the home team, including four false starts in the first half.

Drops were also a key issue for the red & gold, halting any momentum the team had made on the gridiron Saturday. Two dropped balls in particular stood out, both from Purdy. The first occurred in the second quarter, looking to hit WR Jaquan Jennings on an out route. The other involved Gray, hitting the rookie speedster in stride but he couldn’t hold on to it. Drops have been an issue for head coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers, something he looks to correct in the regular season.

Additionally, the offensive line struggled against Minnesota. Yes, it’s second and third-stringers but that shouldn’t matter in exhibitions.  The Vikings achieved three sacks, constantly getting pressure in the backfield, forcing poor throws and incompletions all evening long.

The struggles were felt most in the run game, garnering a mere 25 yards on nine carries in the first half. For a team that loves to run the ball, that is certainly not the production Shanahan wants from his unit.

Among the biggest culprits was veteran OT Justin Skule, called for false starts and giving up pressure throughout this one. The former Vanderbilt lineman may not get another chance to prove his worth for the 49ers, possible a prime candidate for cuts coming up.

Among the standouts defensively, DT Javon Kinlaw got some limited action in the first half. The former Gamecock appeared in only a few series but made his presence felt with a sack on Mond in the first quarter.

The third-year defensive tackle saw double and triple teams throughout, as the Vikings realized quick that he can’t be one-on-one with the backups.

The 49ers wrap up their preseason tour Thursday, traveling to Houston to take on the Texans. Kickoff from Texas is set for 5:15 p.m. PST.




San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brandon Allen (4) fist bumps quarterback Trey Lance (5) during the ...

Amiliano Fragoso

5 Takeaways from 49ers 2023 Offseason Program

The San Francisco 49ers offseason program officially wrapped up Wednesday. Now with 40 days to go before training camp, here are the highlights.

1 day ago

Head coach Steve Wilks of the Carolina Panthers looks on during the second half of the game against...

Amiliano Fragoso

Steve Wilks sees Nick Bosa in a Brian Urlacher, Luke Kuechly mold as a person

Steve Wilks believes Nick Bosa is capable of even greater accolades in the NFL, hoping to guide him towards a gold jacket in Canton.

2 days ago

Trent Williams #71 of the San Francisco 49ers takes the field prior to an NFL football game between...

Amiliano Fragoso

Trent Williams details ‘business as usual’ offseason after contemplating retirement

Trent Williams is fresh & ready to go on another long journey to the NFL's mountaintop, fueled by a desire to compete at the highest level.

2 days ago

John Lynch Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on after defeating the Seattle Seahawks...

Amiliano Fragoso

Kyle Shanahan: Brock Purdy is ‘right on pace’ in recovery from elbow surgery

Kyle Shanahan said Brock Purdy is on track in his rehab from elbow surgery, but that the team won't rush him back for the start of the season.

2 days ago

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers is taken off the field on a cart after being injured du...

Amiliano Fragoso

Deebo Samuel gives eye-opening insight after ‘awful’ 2022 season

49ers star WR Deebo Samuel was honest with his assessment of the 2022 season, critiquing every aspect of his play last year.

3 days ago

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on after a win against the Washington Commanders at ...

Amiliano Fragoso

Nick Bosa is ‘pretty confident’ on getting a new deal done by training camp

Nick Bosa spoke to the media for the first time this offseason, optimistic that his new deal will materialize by the end of the summer.

3 days ago

49ers Come Away with Second Preseason Win in Minnesota Despite Offensive Line Woes