Minnesota Vikings 10-27 San Francisco 49ers: 49ers dominate to move to NFC Championship game
By James Simpson - @JS_Football
Last Updated: 12/01/20 7:06am
The San Francisco 49ers dominated in a 27-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.
No 1 NFC seed San Francisco had 308 yards and 21 first downs to Minnesota's 147/7, and over 38 minutes of the possession as they discarded the No 6 Vikings on Saturday night.
Tevin Coleman had 105 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, Raheem Mostert added 58, and Jimmy Garoppolo completed 11 of 19 passes for 131 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Meanwhile, the 49ers' defense limited Dalvin Cook to just 18 rushing yards on nine carries, and sacked Kirk Cousins six times, stifling the Minnesota attack for the majority of the game.
The 49ers - fresh off their first-round bye - opened the game with a quickfire score, Garoppolo leading his team 61 yards in eight plays on their first drive and capping it with a three-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Bourne.
Minnesota, however, answered right back with a speedy scoring drive of their own. Stefon Diggs made a fantastic play deep down the left sideline to fight back to the ball, secure the catch, break a tackle and stroll in for a 41-yard touchdown.
The two defenses showed their quality in the ensuing drives, with the Vikings' Danielle Hunter and 49ers' Arik Armstead exchanging sacks, but San Francisco took advantage of a short field - starting from midfield after a Richie James punt return - to restore their lead.
Rookie receiver Deebo Samuel was crucial in the drive, first fighting for 14 yard on third and 12 before bringing the ball to the one-yard line on an 18-yard rumbling catch-and-run. From there, Coleman scored his first TD of the game with a one-yard plunge to make it 14-7.
Just before the half, Garoppolo was intercepted when linebacker Eric Kendrick read his eyes and stepped in front of a pass in the middle of the field, but a Dee Ford sack on Cousins forced the Vikings to settle for three points.
In the third quarter, the Niners fully took over.
Their first drive - highlighted by a leaping Bourne catch for 21 yards - ended with a Robbie Gould 35-yarder to extend their lead to seven again.
The Minnesota offense, which had sputtered all first half outside of Diggs' touchdown, started their rough period with a turnover. Cousins stared down Adam Thielen, and corner Richard Sherman played it perfectly, stepping in front to make the interception in Minnesota territory.
On the back of the pick, Kyle Shanahan opted to run eight straight times with Coleman and Raheem Mostert, and between them they gained 44 yards and allowed Coleman to add his second score from one yard out and give the Niners a 14-point cushion at 24-10.
A Marcus Sherels muffed punt deep in Minnesota territory led to another Gould field goal, and then San Francisco's defense racked up the sacks, with Nick Bosa and DeForest Buckner both taking down Cousins in the fourth quarter.
The 49ers will now host the winner of Seattle at Green Bay next Sunday at Levi's Stadium, with the winner representing the NFC at Super Bowl LIV in Miami.