NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 12 Game Recap: San Francisco 49ers 34, Minnesota Vikings 26

November 28, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) hands the football to running back Eli Mitchell (25) against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After going down 14-7 with 12:49 left in the second quarter, the San Francisco 49ers went on a 21-point run to get ahead by 14 early in the third quarter and never looked back.

Running back Elijah Mitchell led the way with 168 total yards and a touchdown on 33 touches, while the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook managed 103 scoreless yards before leaving the game with a shoulder injury. San Francisco took home the 34-26 win to improve to 6-5 on the season.

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San Francisco 49ers

Quarterback

The first-quarter interception from Jimmy Garoppolo to Harrison Smith was ugly, but the 49ers quarterback made few mistakes after that. He finished the game with two big-time throws and just the one turnover-worthy play. He completed 5-of-10 passes for 138 yards on throws 10-plus yards downfield and averaged 8.3 air yards per throw on the day.

Running Back

Elijah Mitchell led the 49ers' backfield with 49 offensive snaps, while backup Jeff Wilson Jr. logged just 10 total offensive snaps. Mitchell broke off four runs of 10-plus yards, forced two missed tackles and gained more than 60% of his yards after contact. He also caught 5-of-6 targets for 35 yards and one first down with zero drops.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Brandon Aiyuk led the team in receiving with 91 yards, and all three of his receptions went for more than 15 yards and first downs. Deebo Samuel had only one reception for 12 yards, but he was an impact player running the football. He took six carries for 66 yards and two touchdowns and broke three tackles along the way. Star tight end George Kittle played 65 offensive snaps but caught just one pass for 13 yards on two targets.

Offensive Line

Tackles Tom Compton and Trent Williams should both finish reviews with 80.0-plus overall grades and 80.0-plus run-blocking grades. Williams allowed just three total pressures, while Compton allowed two. The other three starters along the offensive line all earned sub-60.0 PFF grades on first review of the broadcast film.

Defensive Line

Kevin Givens played only 13 defensive snaps but will likely finish reviews as the 49ers’ highest-graded defensive lineman. He made a big hit in the backfield that forced a Dalvin Cook fumble in the second half. D.J. Jones also graded well in run defense and made three total defensive stops.

Linebacker

Azeez Al-Shaair (48) and Fred Warner (33) led the 49ers’ linebacker room in defensive snaps, but neither player earned PFF grades above 60.0 on first review. Al-Shaair logged five defensive stops and two missed tackles, while Warner had zero defensive stops and one missed tackle. Shaair also allowed a team-high 96 yards in coverage.

Secondary

Josh Norman forced a fumble that Minnesota ultimately recovered, but his day outside of that was rough. He allowed catches on 3-of-4 targets for 63 yards and two first downs in coverage. Emmanuel Moseley will finish reviews as the team’s highest-graded defensive back after giving up two receptions on three targets for 22 yards and one first down.

Minnesota Vikings

Quarterback

This will likely be Kirk Cousins’ lowest-graded game this season. He made just one big-time throw and one turnover-worthy play while passing for just 237 total yards on 33 dropbacks. On passes of 10-plus yards, he completed only 6-of-13 passes for 119 yards and his two touchdowns.

Running Back

Dalvin Cook averaged just 3.6 yards per carry on his 10 carries and moved the chains twice on the ground. The fumble will drag down his grade significantly, but he was impressive in the passing game. He caught 6-of-7 targets for 64 yards and three first downs with zero drops. He broke four total tackles on the day.

Backup Alexander Mattison also couldn’t get anything going on the ground with his opportunities. He rushed for just 21 yards and a score on seven carries and broke one tackle on the day.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Justin Jefferson led the team in receiving yards (83) and targets (8) but never found the end zone. All four of his receptions went for first downs, as well, and he didn’t drop any of his catchable targets. Veteran Adam Thielen caught 5-of-7 targets for 62 yards, one first down and two touchdowns.

Offensive Line

Christian Darrisaw played 38 offensive snaps before exiting the game with an injury. He allowed just one pressure on his 23 pass-blocking snaps. The rest of the Vikings’ offensive line allowed zero total pressures combined. Minnesota's woes were definitely not in pass protection.

Defensive Line

Defensive tackle Armon Watts played 54 defensive snaps and should finish PFF’s review process with an 85.0-plus PFF pass-rushing grade. He led the team with five total pressures on the day, while Sheldon Richardson (5), D.J. Wonnum (3) and Tashawn Bower (2) combined for 10.

Linebacker

It wasn’t a banner day for the Vikings’ linebackers. Nick Vigil will likely finish reviews as the only linebacker with a grade above 65.0 due in large part to his five defensive stops. Eric Kendricks led all Vikings players in yards allowed in coverage (87). Three of the four receptions he gave up moved the chains, as well.

Secondary

None of the Vikings' defensive backs allowed more than 40 yards in coverage, but Bashaud Breeland and Mackensie Alexander will still finish reviews with low grades. The duo allowed five combined receptions for four first downs and one touchdown with zero forced incompletions.

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