Minnesota Vikings starters no match for San Francisco 49ers backups
- Updated: August 28, 2013
The Minnesota Vikings fell to 0-3 on the preseason as they were roundly defeated by the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers, 34-14, at Candlestick Park. The 49ers improved to 2-1 in preseason action.
Letting them play
The game was a study in coaching philosophy contrasts. San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh only played his starters for a few series, while his Minnesota counterpart, Leslie Frazier, kept his starters onto the field well into the third quarter.
It was a risky gambit on Frazier’s part. Although third-year starting quarterback Christian Ponder unquestionably needed the playing time, the decision cost incumbent defensive tackle Kevin Williams a third-quarter knee injury when a reserve offensive lineman decided to take a cheap shot at him. Fortunately, the injury proved not to be serious.
One of the things that stood out in this game is that second-year left tackle Matt Kalil has apparently developed a more aggressive playing style. This is good, as he is already a dominant player at his position, and a little aggression can only benefit him. The problem is that it opened him up to some foolish personal fouls that took place well after the play. Penalties like these simply shouldn’t happen; just ask 49ers wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, who was flagged for three personal fouls in one game — two of which were called on the same play!
On the other side of the ball, the defense looked soft.
In particular, linebackers Erin Henderson and Desmond Bishop seemed lost in coverage. That might have been because they’re still working out a few bugs. Both players are working in new positions, and Bishop, who played in a 3-4 defense with the Green Bay Packers, is still getting accustomed to Minnesota’s 4-3 scheme. Whatever the reason, something just didn’t look right with them.
Frazier did the right thing by keeping them in longer than other defensive starters. Preseason is all about evaluating individual players, after all.
Everyone wants to win, and it’s never fun to take a loss — especially not a thorough drubbing like this one — but when it comes to the preseason, the final score isn’t the point anyway.
It’s important to watch these games for what they are. Sure, everyone wants to see how well the starters work together, yet for passionate football fans, it’s in the third and fourth quarters that preseason comes to life. There’s something compelling about watching unheralded players on the bubble battle for their football lives. And Week 4 will be the best of all, as these battles rise to a fever pitch.
I really can't decide on how much I like Chris Johnson, CJ Spiller, and Trent Richardson type RBs... they are all on bad teams that if they get behind the RBs won't get many carries... I just.. don't know what to do with them.
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Id watch the video
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