In a pivotal NFC Wild Card matchup, the Minnesota Vikings were quelled by the San Francisco 49ers, 34-26, at Levi’s Stadium. The Vikings fell to 5-6 with the road loss, while the 49ers advanced to a 6-5 record.
Robbie Gould had a chance to put the game away for the 49ers with two minutes to go but he missed a 42-yard field. The Vikings could not sustain a drive and the game ended when the 49ers took over on a failed fourth-down attempt for the Vikings.
.@HarriSmith22 nabs his 29th career INT!
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) November 28, 2021
Vikings safety Harrison Smith picked off Jimmy Garoppolo on the 49ers’ first possession of the game. That was Smith’s 29th career interception. The Vikings’ offense followed that interception up with a flea flicker to Adam Thielen that set up a touchdown by Thielen for the Vikings a few plays later. With 8:27 left in the first quarter, the Vikings were on top of the 49ers, 7-0.
Deebo Samuel tied the game at 7 with a 20-yard rush at the 5:31 mark in the first quarter. Thielen gave the Vikings a 14-7 lead with 12:42 left in the second quarter when he secured a diving touchdown in the end zone. That was his second receiving touchdown of the day.
Adam Thielen’s SECOND TD of the game ✌️
He’s a touchdown MACHINE ⚙️#SKOL
— TWSN (@TWSN___) November 28, 2021
Garoppolo found his wide receiver, Jauan Jennings, for a three-yard touchdown with 18 seconds left in the first half. That touchdown tied the game, 14-14, heading into halftime.
Samuel put the 49ers ahead by seven points, 21-14, with 11:31 remaining in the third quarter. He scored his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon against the Vikings on that drive.
Azeez Al-Shaair picked off Kirk Cousins at the 11:24 waypoint in the third quarter and was brought down at the Vikings’ two-yard line. The 49ers turned this interception into an Elijah Mitchell rushing touchdown up the middle, and the 49ers took a 28-14 advantage.
Deebo Samuel’s SECOND rushing touchdown on the day❗️#FTTB
— TWSN (@TWSN___) November 28, 2021
Alexander Mattison responded with a six-yard touchdown run which put the Vikings within one touchdown. Unfortunately, Greg Joseph failed to make the extra point and the Vikings trailed 28-20 with 8:28 to go in the third quarter.
Kene Nwangwu scored a 99-yard kick return touchdown with 4:46 left in the third quarter and he pulled the Vikings within five points, 31-26. The Vikings failed on a two-point conversion that would have made it a field goal deficit. Nwangwu scored his second kick return touchdown of the season.
With 1:30 on the clock in the third, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook fumbled and suffered an injury. Cook was carted off the field and did not return to the game with a shoulder injury. The 49ers capitalized on Cook’s turnover with a Gould field goal from 22 yards out, and they led the Vikings, 34-26.
The Vikings trailed by eight points with 9:09 left in the game and they failed to convert on a fourth-and-goal in the back of the end zone. The deficit remained 34-26. Gould’s missed field goal at the two-minute mark kept the Vikings in the game, but they failed to take advantage of that miss. Cousins could not connect with Justin Jefferson on a fourth-down attempt.
The two-game win streak for the Vikings came to a close with the loss to the 49ers. In week 13, the Vikings will be on the road against the Detroit Lions in the final matchup of the season against the Lions.
Michael Daly is TWSN’s Beat Writer for the Minnesota Vikings and can be followed on Twitter @michaelbraydaly.