January 12, 2020 / 12:45 AM / 17 days ago

49ers shut down Vikings, reach conference title game

EditorsNote: Adds quotes

Jan 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dee Ford (55) reacts after recording a sack against the Minnesota Vikings in the second quarter in a NFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Tevin Coleman rushed for 105 yards and two short touchdowns Saturday afternoon as the San Francisco 49ers used a dominating defense and running game to crush the Minnesota Vikings 27-10 in the NFC divisional playoffs in Santa Clara, Calif.

The top-seeded 49ers (14-3) earned the right to host next Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against either Seattle or Green Bay. The Seahawks and Packers play Sunday at Green Bay.

In the first playoff game in the history of Levi’s Stadium, the 49ers outgained the sixth-seeded Vikings (11-7) 308-147, held a 21-7 advantage in first downs and took advantage of two turnovers in the one-sided win.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Coleman said on the NBC broadcast afterward. “I’m glad to be here. Just feeling the energy and everything, it’s an amazing feeling to be here.”

Coleman’s touchdowns came from 1 yard in the second quarter — to break a 7-all tie — and from 2 yards in the third quarter, to extend a seven-point lead to 24-10.

Jimmy Garoppolo opened the San Francisco scoring with a 3-yard pass to Kendrick Bourne on the team’s first offensive possession of the game, and Robbie Gould completed the 49ers’ scoring with 35- and 21-yard field goals.

Coleman’s second touchdown came eight plays after cornerback Richard Sherman intercepted a Kirk Cousins pass at the Minnesota 42-yard line.

Cousins, who was relentlessly pressured and sacked six times, finished 21-for-29 for 172 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

“They did a good job on the bootleg and stopped the run,” Cousins told reporters afterward. “And we didn’t convert on third down. That was really the thing. We just needed to hit a few more third downs to extend the field.”

Cousins’ TD pass came in response to the 49ers’ first score and capped Minnesota’s best drive of the game, a seven-play, 79-yarder. Stefon Diggs hauled in the scoring toss for a 41-yard touchdown, tying the game at 7 with 5:23 left in the first quarter.

Nick Bosa had two of the 49ers’ six sacks, while Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Dee Ford and Solomon Thomas collected one apiece.

Garoppolo threw just 19 times, completing 11 for 131 yards and the one touchdown. He also had one interception, by Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks.

Coleman’s 105 rushing yards came on 22 carries, none of which gained more than 11 yards. With Raheem Mostert adding another 58 yards on 12 carries, the 49ers finished with 186 rushing yards.

“Those guys (on the offensive front) did very well,” Coleman said. “They moved the (defensive) guys back so I could have clear holes to run through.”

Slideshow (181 Images)

Dalvin Cook was Minnesota’s leading rusher with 18 yards on nine carries. The Vikings totaled 21 rushing yards on 10 carries.

Each team also lost a fumble.

—Field Level Media

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