SANTA CLARA, CA— Sooner or later you meet your match, somebody you just can’t beat. For the Twins, it’s the Yankees; for Michigan, it’s Ohio State; for Buffalo, it’s the Super Bowl. For the Vikings, it’s the 49ers in the playoffs.
Overcoming a legacy of playoff failures is like a right of passage. The NFL playoffs deliver a painful reminder of postseason Vikings failures.
The road is a terrible place to lose your run game and ability to play defense. At Levi’s Stadium, the 49ers humbled Minnesota again—San Francisco 27-Vikings 10.
The 49ers have owned the Vikings in the playoffs. It’s now 5-1 in favor of the 49ers, who advanced to next Sunday’s NFC Championship game vs. the Green Bay Packers.
The 49ers have won five Super Bowls. If they can beat Green Bay next week, they would get to play either Kansas City or Tennessee with a chance to tie Pittsburgh and New England in Super Bowl LIV with six Super Bowl victories.
The Vikings did absolutely nothing with 147 total net yards and just 21 yards rushing. Are you kidding me? In a playoff game? Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook gained just 18 yards on nine carries.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense were overpowered. Cousins could not escape—he was in the fetal position and sacked six times. The Vikings had just seven first downs and turned the ball over twice. It was an ugly offensive day.
Defensively, the Vikings could not stop the 49ers. They wore down in the second half. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was sharp early and the better QB. The Vikings got beat upfront as the 49ers gained over 308 yards and ran at will for 186 yards.
The 49ers punished the Vikings. They had 21 first downs and kept the ball and clock moving for almost 39 minutes. Running back Tevin Coleman ran hard for 105 yards and two touchdowns. His running back coach, Robert Turner, Jr., was my coach 42 years ago at Indiana State. He has been one of the best coaches in the NFL for years.
The Vikings finish 11-7, and this being the 100th NFL season, that’s all folks. Still no championship for Minnesota.
Vikings Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski has been hired as the new Cleveland Browns head coach. Defensive Coordinator George Edwards is leaving for Tampa Bay. Will they do what other ex-Vikings assistant coaches have done, like Tony Dungy (Indianapolis), Brian Billick (Baltimore), Pete Carroll (Seattle), and Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh), and win Super Bowls?
After six seasons, Mike Zimmer is 57-38-1 and 2-3 in the playoffs.