San Francisco 49ers: Three Keys Against the Minnesota Vikings

It is 2019 and the San Francisco 49ers are back in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. This time they take on the Minnesota Vikings. It is the first time since 2013 that the Niners have made the playoffs. That year they lost in the NFC Championship Game. This was originally looking like a bounce-back season. Not many expected the 49ers to be as good as they were. In saying that, let us look at the three keys for the 49ers to beat the Vikings.

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Jimmy Garoppolo

This will be the biggest game in the career of Jimmy G. He finished 12th in the league in passing with slightly under 4,000 yards. He had 27 TDs against 13 INTs. It will be interesting to see how well he handles the nerves in his first playoff game.

He should be able to find some openings against the Vikings defense. While their defense was a top 10 pass defense it has been facing some injuries at the wrong time. They average 220 PYpg along with 26 TDs to the opposition. Look for the 49ers to have a well-built game plan to exploit this defense.

Kyle Shanahan

Speaking of game plan that is going to fall on the brain trust of Kyle Shanahan. Can he exploit the defense of the Minnesota Vikings?

He most certainly has the weaponry at his disposal. TE George Kittle is one of the best offensive weapons in the game today. The three-headed monster that the San Francisco 49ers deploy in the run game is also crazy good. Then there are the players on the outside. Mid-season acquisition, Emmanuel Sanders is still one of the best in the league at his position. He pairs well with Dante Pettis – when healthy.

Shanahan will have to make use of all of these weapons in order to exploit the 14th ranked defense in the NFL.

Pass Rush

The San Francisco 49ers have the number two overall defense in the NFL. However, their pass rush in one of the best in the NFL. The Niners finished in a tie for fifth with the opponent with 48 sacks. The front seven that includes players like Nick Bosa (R), Arik Armstead (5th Yr.), and DeForest Buckner (4th Yr.). Those are just the starters. There are also former first-round players coming off the bench including Solomon Thomas and Dee Ford (when healthy)

It will be up to these players to get in the face of Kirk Cousins. If they can and rattle Cousins there should be no issues with their defense against the offense of the Minnesota Vikings.

This game will kick off the divisional weekend. This is the game that I feel will be the blowout if there are any. Look for the San Francisco 49ers to take control of this game early and never look back.

What do you feel are keys for the San Francisco 49ers to beat the Minnesota Vikings? Leave a comment below.

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Sean Naylor

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