The position group that has received the most attention in terms of draft capital in the past few years, the defensive line is what San Francisco is banking their future on. The game against the Vikings showed why they are, with the 49ers only giving up 50 total rushing yards.
The presumed No. 1 and No. 2 running backs in Minnesota, Lataivus Murray and Dalvin Cook, could not do anything against the San Francisco starters. The pair combined for 23 yards on 7 carries, an average of 3.2 yards a carry. As a team, the Vikings averaged 3.1 yards a carry.
The 49ers also were able to get pressure on the quarterback as well, with defensive linemen Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Elvis Dumervil all registering a sack each. That’s exactly the showing one hopes to get out of their defensive line.
Since training camp opened, rookie linebacker Reuben Foster slowly has been working his way up and showing he very much so deserves to be on this team. Through his play, Foster is letting it be known that he’s already one of the better players this defense has.
Foster showed versus the Vikings just that, notching eight tackles just in the first half. The Alabama product was playing like his college days, being everywhere at once and leveling opponents:
Fellow starter NaVorro Bowman played well too, recording four tackles.
It was an uneven performance for the 49ers secondary against the Vikings. Safety Eric Reid, who’s entering the final year of his contract, has been one of the top players for the team this preseason.
Reid is by far the best player San Francisco has in the secondary, and Sunday’s game was reminiscent of that (via Niner Nabs):
Besides Reid though, it was a struggle for the 49ers defensive backs. Vikings starting quarterback Sam Bradford had an efficient day passing the ball, going 17-21 (80.9%) and 134 yards. That completion percentage is not something that can be allowed during the regular season.