Bay area: NFL playoff game watch party off to a great start — with 49ers win over Vikings.
Fruits of four years' effort to team building through the draft, trade, and installing right front office are finally showed up for the only NFL franchise in the Bay Area.
The divisional game, 49ers, were on the first slot to host Vikings.
Historical context —
Apart from predicting this game outcome based on the current season performance, looking at their playoff history — both teams can draw enough optimism and caution at the same time.
In the past, as a first-seeded playoff team, 49ers had memorable records and, most importantly, under then the head coach, who had blood relationships with the current one, Shanahan senior.
For an exactly opposite effect, and remind 49ers of bitter memories, what this division rival had inflicted wound, notably when the similarities with the current team record — performed well and seeded better than Vikings during the regular season.
All these may or may not cloud team performance in the arena — however, 49ers are the excellent team on paper and exhibited talent at both ends throughout the regular season games.
49ers road to this stage of the playoff has seen the defense picking up first, while their offense slow to join them to propel to record year. That said, apart from the expected individual performance from star player on the offense side, 49ers defense will be very much on the focus here.
Despite being the wildcard team on the road, Vikings had shown what they are made of —handing the thumping defeat to one of this year's favorite championship team, Saints, last week. In that game, Vikings defense showed up in a big way and stopped what considered an unstoppable force in the NFL until then. They should expect them to carry that momentum as they progress into the next stop at San Francisco.
The heavyweight battle today must feature some creative schemes worked out by their respective pedigree coaches while taking advantage of team full strengths and opponents' some perceived weakness.
What is matter —
All these could very well be talking points for pundit off-the-field; But, what counted here is what each team does on-the-field after the first snap.
Here is the short rundown of how did they fare in the game.
Main features of 49ers offense were in full display, had it not been the interception in the second quarter, they would have had three scores instead of settling for two TD. No answer to their running game and motion heavy play call from Vikings, and had third-down conversion at will.
Jimmy G, first-ever carrier postseason game, was off to convincing start and proved again why he ought to taken seriously and deserve all the credit.
And, 49ers defense was living up to their hype, and not allowed Vikings offensive game to settle down, Kirk C play action and scrambling out of pocket for passing game were stopped, and running game ineffective from the start.
The fact that the Vikings team on the road, played last week was evident in all aspects of the game. They were completely shut down by a fresh, rested, and talented team on the field.
Interception throw and a fumble by the special team did not help their cause of catching up with 49ers in the second half.
All in all, it's a convincing win for the Bay Area team and should start preparing for the next showdown against the eventual winner of tomorrow's game between Packers and Seahawks.