What a fun game to watch. It's been quite a while since I've seen a real butt-kicking, but that happened Sunday as the Minnesota Vikings took the opening drive and went 72 yards in only nine plays. The significance: It had been 14 games since the 49ers allowed their opposition to score on its opening possession. In the first half alone, Gus Frerotte had a 155.2 quarterback rating to Jeff Garcia's 15.1 — end of story. Then Frerotte ended the day with a 157.2 rating, which is a team record.
Now with the offense rolling behind Frerotte and Randy Moss having a three-touchdown, 172-yard day (on the five-play, 68-yard third-quarter touchdown drive, Moss had 79 yards receiving — unique), the biggest cheers from the 12th man on the field, the great Vikings fans, were for the defense. With 9:28 to go in the third quarter and the 49ers trailing 28-0, San Francisco had the ball with first-and-goal on the Minnesota 6-yard line. The crowd went nuts. The end result? The Vikings took over on the 4-yard line. And even later in that quarter with 2:33 to go on fourth-and-1, the 12th man once again inspired the Vikings defense to come up with a great play, dropping running back Kevan Barlow for a 1-yard loss.
On offense, a new number 44 caught my eye. It looks like the Vikings have definitely found a very good blocking fullback. The unique thing about Charles Stackhouse is he blocks very square to the line of scrimmage while maintaining his explosiveness. You'll see some fullbacks in this league approach the block without their shoulders squared, thereby losing leverage and initial impact. Stackhouse is a player to watch.
Back to defense, I don't know how the Vikings coaches are going to keep Nick Rogers off the field in pass-rushing situations. He has tremendous speed and instincts for that position, so now there will be no need for me to coach him. It was also fun to see first-round draft choice Kevin Williams get the first sack of his career, and then turn that into back-to-back sacks on the next play.
What a great day — big offensive production and the crowd cheering for the defense. It doesn't get any better.
Lurtsema's Reaction: Fun When It Clicks
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