Determined Kirk Cousins has victorious Vikings debut vs. 49ers

Ross Houston
September 12, 2018

Vikings safety Harrison Smith didn't seem to agree. They'll start their regulatr season Sunday against the visiting San Francisco 49ers.

Cousins made his much-anticipated Vikings debut, throwing for a respectable 244 yards and two touchdowns, while showing off some unexpected nerve (more on that later).

Asked afterward about that head-first hustle, Cousins acknowledged the risk of such a play and said he might have been better served with a stutter-step or some kind of move to try to make Lee miss. Thielen caught six passes for 102 yards.

The 26-year-old could bounce back in short order when the 49ers travel to Detroit on Sunday for a Week 2 clash with the Lions, but only after Garoppolo rinses the taste of defeat out of his mouth and chalks up his lackluster Week 1 performance as a learning experience.

A lot went wrong for the 49ers on that play.

The Vikings used their star-stacked defense to finish 13-3 previous year and reach the NFC championship game, leading the National Football League in fewest yards and points allowed and third down conversions against.

What you need to know about the 49ers' offensive efficiency - or lack thereof: The only time the team scored a red zone touchdown on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, they were not even in the red zone.

"Just going out there, competing, playing my heart out, that's what he wanted", Cook said.

Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who found a groove with Garoppolo down the stretch to finish with a team-leading 962 yards, hurt his right quadriceps in the first quarter and didn't return.

-Tight end George Kittle would not have scored a touchdown had he not misjudged an over-the-shoulder throw from Garoppolo early in the third quarter, but the play would have gained approximately 40 yards.

DEFENSE DIGS IN: The 49ers gave Garoppolo an opportunity with three straight three-and-out possessions by the Vikings in the fourth quarter. Wide open after beating Anthony Barr up the seam, Kittle had what would've been a 30-yard completion fall off his fingers at midfield. The third-down interception by Hughes came on the next play to give the Vikings a 17-3 lead. He also had one quarterback hurry, one pass breakup and the forced fumble on Cook. "I think he did an admirable job".

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