49ers vs. Vikings: 4 plays that broke Minnesota’s back in Week 12

Elijah Mitchell #25 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Elijah Mitchell #25 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Azeez Al-Shaair, Dalvin Cook, San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings
San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (51) recovers the fumble by Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

26. 60. 34. 42. Final

The 49ers didn’t do it easily in the Week 12 win over the Vikings, but these four plays ensured head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. came away with the win.

The San Francisco 49ers probably made things a bit more difficult on themselves than they should have.

But the Niners still managed to hold in check one of the NFL’s most potent offenses in the Minnesota Vikings, pulling off a 34-26 victory and moving to 6-5 on the season after a nerve-wracking Week 12 win at Levi’s Stadium.

At the same time, though, San Francisco likely would have pulled off a one-sided victory if it weren’t for some special teams gaffes, yet head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad still managed to deliver some knockout-quality blows against Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and Co.

Particularly in the second half, which turned into a back-and-forth affair after both teams made it to 14-14 at halftime.

These four plays in particular, though, helped set the stage for the 49ers’ key win over Minnesota.

No. 4: 49ers force a fumble when Dalvin Cook suffers injury

It’s never good to hope for any player suffering a serious injury, and the only hope is running back Dalvin Cook’s shoulder injury suffered late in the third quarter isn’t of the long-term variety.

Nevertheless, it was a notable turning point in the game.

The injury arguably deflated Minnesota’s offense, and Cook had to be carted off the field. But what was more important, as the Vikings were looking to respond on their own 20-yard line and trailing 31-26 with a recent swing of momentum back in their favor, was defensive tackle Kevin Givens knocking the ball loose for a fumble recovered by linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair.

You can catch the play here.

The Niners were subsequently able to turn that turnover, one of two in the game, into three points and into the final score.