Top 5 takeaways from 49ers' Week 1 win over Vikings
Plenty to smile about
One of the more tumultuous offseasons in 49ers history came to an end Monday night. An organization that many believed was in disarray showed no signs of turmoil. The new-look 49ers got off to a strong start with a 20-3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the regular-season opener at Levi's Stadium. The formula for success was about the only thing that looked familiar. The 49ers relied on their running game and a strong defense...
5) O-line looks O-right
The 49ers’ offensive line looked to be an area of concern throughout the exhibition season. Against the Vikings, the line proved to be a strength. The 49ers rushed for 230 yards (5.9-yard average) and Colin Kaepernick was sacked just once for zero yards. The 49ers were generally a left-handed running team behind Joe Staley and Alex Boone. But the other three members of the line – center Marcus Martin, right guard Jordan Devey and right tackle Erik Pears -- stepped up and did a fine job executing the team’s zone-blocking scheme, too.
4) Mangini's defense well-prepared
Defensive coordinator Eric Mangini devised a strong game plan to help hold Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to just 31 yards on 10 rushing attempts. NaVorro Bowman was a key in the middle of the 49ers' defense, and the 49ers used a lot of players along the defensive line and in the secondary. Rookie safety Jaquiski Tartt played 20 snaps, and he came up with four tackles and a sack. The 49ers recorded five sacks from five different players, as Mangini picked the right times to bring the pressure.
3) Kaepernick takes care of business
The 49ers do not need quarterback Colin Kaepernick to post MVP-type numbers. On this night, his 165 yards passing and 41 rushing yards were just fine. Kaepernick did a good job of not forcing the action. He got rid of the ball, avoided bad sacks and chose wisely when it came to throwing or running. Kaepernick played a major role in the 49ers’ 42-percent conversion rate on third downs. He utilized the tight ends, as Vernon Davis’ 47 receiving yards topped any of his efforts from last season.
2) Running and Hyde-ing
The 49ers selected Carlos Hyde in the second round of the 2014 draft for a reason. They envisioned a quick transition from Frank Gore, the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. With Gore now with the Indianapolis Colts, Hyde blasted onto the scene as a starter with 168 yards and two touchdowns. It was the 49ers’ top game from a running back since Week 2 of 2009, when Gore gained 209 yards against Seattle. “There a pretty good chance there’s going to be a hole there," Hyde said of the 49ers' new scheme. "You’ve just got to hit it.”
1) Tomsula gets high marks
After the final kneel-down to run out the clock, Kaepernick delivered the game ball to coach Jim Tomsula in the locker room. No offseason move generated as much second-guessing as management’s decision to replace Jim Harbaugh with Tomsula. On Monday, the 49ers had solid plans on both sides of the ball, and Tomsula pushed all the right buttons. “You can see whatever he says to us in the locker room, his emotion, his personality, that’s our team,” 49ers veteran safety Antoine Bethea said. “We carry that over to the field. . . We’re just doing it for (Tomsula). He’s our leader.”