Jimmy Garoppolo is human after all. His NFL unbeaten record came to a crashing halt Sunday in Minnesota, as the Vikings handed Jimmy his first taste of professional defeat after seven consecutive wins.
Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins played the kind of game he was known for in Washington. Close to brilliant for three quarters, putting up 24 points, then a fourth quarter disappearing act that allowed the Niners chance after chance to pull off an upset. Cousins was 7-11 on third down conversions through three quarters and 0-6, with zero points, in the fourth.
But Garoppolo was not up to the task, either. His three interceptions punctuated the game, but three trips to the Red Zone, with two goal-to-goal situations, produced only two Robbie Gould field goals and a lost fumble at the one yard line by RB Alfred Morris. The Niners’ only TD was a 22 yard pass to Dante Pettis.
On the bright side, DeForest Buckner had 2.5 sacks, the second round rookie Pettis caught two long passes, one for the 49ers’ only TD, and TE George Kittle led all receivers with five catches for 90 yards.
Marquise Goodwin missed most of the game with some sort of quad injury and both right guards went down with foot injuries, which forced right tackle Mike McGlinchey to move to guard with Gary Gilliam playing RT. It didn’t affect this game too much, but does not bode well for the future.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad showing for a west coast team playing an early game in the east against one of the premier teams in the league. The Vikings controlled the game for three quarters, but could not put the scrappy 49ers away.
Still, Garoppolo’s three interceptions, the last one an ugly, game ending effort into triple coverage, have to be a concern. And the continued ineptitude in the Red Zone. The Vikings had 3 TDs and 1 FG, while the Niners had the opposite — 3 FGs and 1 TD. The team can’t go far this year without cleaning up these two critical areas.