4 things Vikings need to do to upset 49ers in Week 7
Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) is chased out of the pocket by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) in the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sport
The Minnesota Vikings play the San Francisco 49ers on Monday, and it’s going to take a monumental effort for the Vikings to pull off the upset. The 49ers have been one of the most dominant teams in the league not just this season, but for the past few seasons.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan has concocted an incredible offensive scheme, and general manager John Lynch has amassed a lineup filled with stars that has made one Super Bowl and three Conference Championship games the past four seasons.
On the surface, it would seem like a true David vs. Goliath scenario. One that would require a Herculean effort to pull off. While it may seem like the Vikings would need the help of the gods to pull off an upset of this magnitude, remember: This is the NFL, and it’s really hard to win games. It’s even harder to do it consistently.
The 49ers found that out the hard way last week, as they were upset by the Cleveland Browns. The law of averages would make you think it can’t happen again. There’s no way that the 49ers could be upset by lesser teams in back-to-back weeks, right?
Stranger things have happened, and there are ways Minnesota could pull off the seemingly impossible. It won’t be easy, but nothing ever is in the NFL.
It may not seem like it with all the publicity he’s gotten, but Brock Purdy is still a rookie in terms of games started in the NFL. Coming into Monday’s game, Purdy has made just 11 starts – 14 if you count the three games in the 2022 playoffs.
Purdy is still a young quarterback and young quarterbacks can be harassed, confused and forced into mistakes. Especially when they’re playing a defense like the one defensive coordinator Brian Flores likes to employ.
If the Vikings are going to pull an upset on Monday against the 49ers, one of the biggest things they’re going to have to do is throw the kitchen sink at Purdy. Not just with pressure – we’ll get to that in a moment – but by disguising what they’re doing.
By giving Purdy multiple looks and not showing their hand until the last moment, they can force an otherwise solid quarterback into looking like the rookie he still effectively is.
Purdy is not a quarterback who has shown to be prone to turnovers or poor decision-making. However, those were traits that were fairly prevalent in his tape from his days at Iowa State. If the Vikings defense can confuse Purdy and make that version of him show up on Monday, it will go a long way towards giving Minnesota the chances they need to come away with a win.