Carlos Hyde, RB Photo credit: Getty Images
49ers vs Vikings – What We Learned In Week One
Minnesota 3 San Francisco 20
By Jennifer Chan @jenniferleechan
The San Francisco 49ers opened up the 2015 season with a decisive 20 – 3 win over the Minnesota Vikings on the second of a Monday Night Football double header. Second year RBÂ Carlos Hyde had a breakout performance as he stepped up to fill the vacancy left by long time 49er RB Frank Gore. It was a good performance but this is still only week one and there’s still a lot left to be worked on. Here’s what we learned:
Jarryd Hayne is human.Â
The star rugby league player who has lit the NFL world on fire by being such a quick study on punt coverage fumbled his first regular game return. After being nearly perfect in the preseason and training camp, the bright lights, and maybe the jinxing of Trent Dilfer and Chris Berman in the booth, got the best of him. It was a return by committee game especially after Reggie Bush left the game with a calf strain.
The offensive line isn’t so bad after all.
Carlos Hyde ran for 168 yards on 26 carries, something that cannot be done without a great effort by the offensive line. The offense used quite a few two tight end sets and some three TE sets to help support the line and open up holes for Hyde. QB Colin Kaepernick was only sacked once, hit three times and forced to scramble five times.
The defense is still solid.
One of the best things about this defense is seeing Navorro Bowman out on the field again. Bowman was only second in defensive stats to SÂ Antoine Bethea. The defense sacked Teddy Bridgewater five times, held Adrian Peterson to 31 yards and the entire Vikings team to 71 yards on the ground.
Kaepernick to Torrey Smith is still developing.Â
The addition of deep threat Torrey Smith to the 49ers has had fans waiting with bated breath since free agency to see what the combo can do on the field. Out of the three times Smith was targeted, he caught one pass for 11 yards. Fans will have to wait at least another week.
There’s still a long way to go.
The 49ers had some great offensive drives but on several occasions shot themselves in the foot with penalties. A total of 8 penalties for 57 yards could be a game changer. The 49ers were lucky it wasn’t an issue, this time.
The 49ers have a short week after playing in the late Monday night game. They travel to Pittsburgh on Friday after practice for an early 10 am PT Sunday game against the Steelers.