For all intents and purposes the Minnesota Vikings picked up the 2018 season right where they left off year ago, that is if you ignore the egg they laid in Philadelphia.
With expectations high going into the season the Vikings showcased some of their shiny new toys and walked away from U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday with a 24-16 win over Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers.
Things got off to a pretty good start for the Vikings in the first half as the defense started causing fits for Jimmy G and the 49ers offense holding them to only a field goal in the first half.
On offense, Kirk Cousins got off to a hot start passing 7-for-13 in the first half with 72 yards and a beautiful touchdown toss to Stefon Diggs, Cousins' 100th career passing touchdown. Right off the bat, Kirk's favorite target was another comeback story in Dalvin Cook. Cook caught 5 passes in the first half for 47 yards and ran 6 times for another 22 yards.
"We trusted Stefon Diggs to win on a go-ball there," Kirk Cousins told KFAN after the game. "It's so great to have a guy who can win like that when he gets one-on-one matchups."
At the half, it was the Minnesota Vikings 10, the San Francisco 49ers 3.
After exchanging a few blows to kickoff the third quarter the Minnesota Vikings punted back to the 49ers who took over possession at their own 18-yard line. A two yard Alfred Morris scamper and an incomplete pass later and the Vikings defense splashed with a tide shifting play.
An ill-advised pass from Garoppolo got away from him and his rookie cornerback Mike Hughes as if he were the intended receiver. From there, Hughes did the rest returning the interception for a pick-six 28 yards later.
"I took advantage of every opportunity I had today," Hughes told KFAN after the game. "I took advantage of a bad ball that Garoppolo threw and I just found the end zone."
After a 49ers field goal, the Vikings would strike again, this time Cousins to Kyle Rudolph up and over the top of the defense to find pay dirt. This pass and the Diggs TD were perfect passes thrown to a small window in which only the Vikings wide receivers could come down with it.
Then things went dormant for the Vikings for a bit.
Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle connected to the tune of 90 yards on 5 passes and moved the ball up and down the field at will. After one of the Kittle big plays, Garoppolo hit Dante Pettis over the top for a 49ers touchdown to get SF back in the game at 24-13.
Another 4th quarter FG from Robbie Gould and the Niners had made it a one possession game again. With one final chance to drive the field and tie the game, Garoppolo and the 49ers took over possession at their own 11 yard line. One incompletion and Garoppolo tried to stretch the field, only Vikings safety Harrison Smith was waiting in the wings to pick it off and seal the game for the home team.
Vikings defeat the 49ers, 24-16.