The Niners had it all going their way on Saturday in their home NFC Divisional playoff affair against the Minnesota Vikings at home.
The team was able to hold down Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, a star back who has shown that he can take over a game in a matter of an instant.
They also had their pass rush in full effect, as even when they were not sacking Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, they were knocking him down and pressuring him enough to force early throws.
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If not for an early gaffe in which top Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs was able to pull in a long pass for a touchdown to tie the game at seven, the game itself would have been a complete route.
As it was, the Niners of the four winners to advance to the AFC and NFC Title games this weekend look like the most dominant team of the four.
That fact didn’t go unnoticed by the national media, as NFL.com upped the Niners to the top spot in their weekly rankings with the Conference Championship games upon us this Sunday.
Here is what NFL.Com wrote on Tuesday about the Niners and their very solid outing against the Vikings as they now get get for the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Title game.
What a dominant display by the 49ers on Saturday. The Vikings went into Levi’s Stadium riding a wave of momentum after knocking off the mighty Saints the week prior, but it took less than a half to understand Minnesota was completely out of its depth against this conference superpower.
The Niners allowed just 147 yards of total offense and piled up 186 yards on the ground. They tripled the Vikings in first downs (21 to 7) and held the ball for more than 38 minutes of game time. In other words, it was the perfect playoff performance, the combination of game plan and execution that has won Super Bowls for decades.
Can the Niners replicate the formula against the Packers? If you’re Kyle Shanahan, I imagine you’re feeling pretty confident, based on the last time these two teams played. The Packers deserve respect, but the Niners are a smart pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
The big question now is will the Niners be able to carry that dominating effort against the Vikings over against the Packers, a team that with a veteran quarterback knows what it is all about to play in key games.
The early momentum is going to go a long way in determining how Sunday goes, but if the Niners can gain that momentum, they have a great shot to be playing in the Super Bowl looking for another title for the franchise.
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