49ers’ RB Carlos Hyde Too Much For Vikings Defense, En Route To 20-3 Win


Tough. Aggressive. Fast. Those are three words that I would use to describe the San Francisco 49ers, as they defeated the Minnesota Vikings tonight 20-3.

A game that started off sluggish and ugly as both teams were unable to generate points while having plenty of miscues on special-teams, it was the 49ers who eventually won out, as they imposed their will down in the trenches.



A testament to 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula, as the team went back to their smash-mouth ways, it was the play of his second-year RB Carlos Hyde who stole the show, as he set career-highs with 26 carries for 168 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

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The successor to the 49ers all-time leading rusher RB Frank Gore — Hyde didn’t disappoint in his NFL debut as the full-time starter. Whether hitting the A-gaps with sheer power or making a back-side cut, Hyde proved his worth in more ways than one, as he displayed quickness, strength, and elusiveness.

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With the 49ers on the 10 yard-line, Hyde took matters into his own hands, as he played a little Hyde-And-Seek while making Vikings DE Everson Griffen look foolish in the process. A play that saw Hyde spin-away from Griffen ala RB Barry Sanders-esque, he then turned on the jets en route to a 10-yard touchdown run.

The Forever Faithful went nuts. And the momentum quickly swung in the 49ers favor.

But it all starts up front and you have to say kudos to the 49ers offensive line for being physical up front.



While the offense did their part, it was the 49ers defense who did theirs, as they harassed Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater by racking up five sacks and one interception.

A stingy defense that confused the Vikings offensive line, as they were unable to diagnose pre-snap blitzes, kudos to 49ers’ DC Eric Mangini for dialing up a complex game-plan that made life difficult for the Vikings offense.



I spoke with 49ers rookie second-round (No. 46) SS Jaquiski Tartt after the game and he shed some light after recording his first career NFL sack. “Actually it was Bow (ILB NaVorro Bowman) who was supposed to be blitzing,” Tartt said. “But the center pointed him out, so the assignment changed where I became the man blitzing instead.”

A defense that is opportunistic, it appears the hybrid 33 stack and 3-3-5 nickel defense worked, as adding an extra safety on the back-end created more speed. A scheme I alluded to in my featured article with Covers.com, as I singled out Tartt as one of the players to watch, he did not disappoint as he was used often in nickel packages.



Speaking of speed, did you see second-year OLB Aaron Lynch shoot the flat while bringing down the running back for a two-yard loss? Speed kills in the NFL and Lynch proved it on that play. Wow.

Lynch, whose family recently moved to Sacramento from Florida so they can attend all of his games, says it’s a great morale booster for him. “It’s great to have my family here,” Lynch said. “They can come to all my games now.” The USF product finished the game with three tackles (two for loss), one sack and one pass break-up.

Aside from Lynch’s stellar performance, it was the play of the entire 49ers front seven that deserves a game ball, as they suffocated Vikings RB Adrian Peterson while making him a non-factor.

On 10 carries, Peterson only racked up 31 rushing yards. Was it surprising? Nope. Because I said in my preview that Peterson would be contained, and he was.

So how did my Week 1 preview play out? See for yourself as I predicted a 49ers victory while taking the under.

Week 1 Prediction: 49ers 20 Vikings 16

With the 49ers in a three-way tie for first-place, they will need to shift their focus on the road as they face a very frustrated, angry, and hungry team in the Pittsburgh Steelers.


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Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.