Maybe it’s time to deaden the hype a bit on the 49ers, who still managed to hang around in what was otherwise a sloppy and turnover-happy performance against the defensively stout Minnesota Vikings in Week 1.
San Francisco 49ers
On a positive note, this might arguably be the Niners’ toughest challenge of the season. And credit to head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad for not falling out of the picture early.
That said, things went poorly for Jimmy Garoppolo, who tossed three interceptions (one wasn’t exactly his fault, as wide receiver Kendrick Bourne ran the wrong route) and was plagued by a number of key drops from his targets — two of which would have been touchdowns.
Running back Alfred Morris also fumbled on the Vikings’ 1-yard line, which cost San Francisco a much-needed scoring chance. And there were a slew of missed tackles and poor assignments from the 49ers’ vantage point.
Good teams find out ways to win those games, and perhaps the Niners aren’t there quite yet. But the pieces are coming into place. Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner nearly equaled his 2017 sack total (three) with 2.5 sacks on Kirk Cousins, while rookie wide receiver Dante Pettis caught a nifty touchdown pass from Garoppolo.
Week 1 was a good teaching point for San Francisco up against one of the NFL’s best teams in 2018. For now, though, the 49ers take a bit of a fall in our NFL power rankings.