Story by Sam Tolosa and Photos by R. Mascardo
SANTA CLARA, Calif.– Behind a strong defensive effort and an effective rushing attack, the 49ers cruised past the vikings 27-10 on Saturday to advance to the NFC Championship game.
The 49ers’ return to playoff action following a five-year drought, they allowed just 147 total yards, the fewest in a playoff game in the Super Bowl era.
Though the Vikings hung around in the early going with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Stefon Diggs and a second-quarter field goal, Minnesota was unable to find any answer over the final 30 minutes.
San Francisco’s defense allowed Vikings star running back Dalvin Cook to log just 18 rushing yards. It also forced six punts and tallied six sacks and an interception. The special team, meanwhile recorded a momentum-shifting fumble recovery off Marcus Sherels muffed punt.
As for the 49ers offense, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo set the tone early with a handful of catch-and-run completion.
Once San Francisco began to silence the vikings offense, the 49ers rolled out their best three running backs, Tevin Coleman,Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida, who combine for 180 rushing yards.
The 49ers are simply another class of fighters, and it showed on Saturday against a good Minnesota team.
NEXT: The NFC Championship game is now set. The San Francisco 49ers will take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, January 19 at Levi’s Stadium.