Minnesota Vikings: What went wrong in Divisional Round loss to 49ers?

The Minnesota Vikings fell to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round on Saturday. Here’s what went wrong for the Vikings in the defeat.

The Minnesota Vikings saw their season come to an abrupt halt on Saturday afternoon at San Francisco in the NFC Divisional Round of the 2020 NFL Playoffs. The No. 6-seeded Vikings, which opened up the postseason with an upset win in New Orleans, faced off against the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers on Saturday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

In the showdown between the Vikings and 49ers, Minnesota’s run in the postseason came to a rough ending while falling to a clearly superior San Francisco team on the road by a score of 27-10.

With the win, San Francisco advanced to take on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game next weekend with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. In the loss, Minnesota’s run at a Super Bowl appearance came to a close.

The Vikings were able to bounce back and reach the postseason after failing to do so in the 2018 season. Minnesota put together a regular-season record of 10-6, finishing in second place in the NFC North behind only Green Bay. while grabbing the second Wild Card spot in the conference.

Before the Vikings officially shift their focus to the offseason, one that will be plenty busy especially now with Minnesota having to look for a few new coaches while addressing a bulk of personnel decisions as far as players go, let’s quickly look at what went wrong against the 49ers.

In the loss to San Francisco, not much ended up actually going right for Minnesota in a game it was hoping would end with a much different outcome. The Vikings looked awful on the offensive side of the ball really throughout the entirety of the game while squaring up against a top-notch 49ers defense.

With the exception of a 41-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Stefon Diggs in the first quarter, Minnesota failed to get into the end zone much in the game while the offense was limited both in the passing attack and in the running game.

Through the air, the Vikings finished with just 172 yards with one touchdown, being led by Diggs with two catches for 57 yards and Adam Thielen with five catches for 50 yards. On the ground, Minnesota took a huge step back in an aspect of its offense that has been strong all year long, finishing the contest with just 21 yards rushing on 10 total carries. Dalvin Cook managed to rush for just 18 yards on nine attempts in the loss.

Defensively, an area Minnesota has been strong in for the last few years at least, wasn’t outstanding but wasn’t as ugly as things were offensively in the defeat.

The Vikings were able to record two turnovers in the contest. However, one glaring issue was the fact that Minnesota allowed San Francisco to rush for a total of 186 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in the victory, tallying 47 rushing attempts.

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There was plenty that went wrong for the Vikings in the game, but it just appeared throughout the contest that the 49ers were a far more superior squad and that was put on display during a majority of the game, resulting in San Francisco moving on in the playoffs and Minnesota watching the rest of the postseason from home.

It was a disappointing way to end the year for the Vikings, to say the least, but now the focus will shift away from the 2019 campaign while Minnesota prepares itself to try and return to the playoffs in the 2020 season.

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