The first game of the NFL season brings many questions and on Monday night the 49er Faithful received quite a few positive answers.
All-Pro NaVorro Bowman and fifth year quarterback and Turlock native Colin Kaepernick did not disappoint.
The outcome was great for the local native and Bowman, both of which were huge assets in Monday night's season home opening 17-point victory against the Minnesota Vikings.
“I thought we played well. We shot ourselves in the foot with some penalties but we were lucky we ran the ball well when we needed to,” said Kaepernick, who was an efficient 17-for-26, in the 20-3 victory.
Kaepernick had been scrutinized heading into the offseason after a very poor 2014 campaign. He decided to do something about it in the offseason. With the help of Super Bowl Champion and former NFL Most Valuable Player Kurt Warner, Kaepernick was able to work on his mechanics, changing his throwing motion, drop back, basically everything.
Monday was just a small example of what Kaepernick can truly be capable of when he is in the game.
When he needed to run, he did, when he needed to throw it away or connect, he did. He did what needed to be done to pick up the win.
“You watch the game and you see him [Kaepernick] make correct calls and killing the pass and going for the run and killing the run and going for the pass and I thought Kap played a wonderful game,” 49er head coach Jim Tomsula said about his quarterback.
Kaepernick also carried the ball seven times for 41 yards after the 49ers combined for 230 on the ground. The Vikings were held to 71.
“We ran aggressive and that's what we need in order to perform well,” Kaepernick said. “It’s amazing to play for coach Tomsula because he is a great coach. He trusts that the players can do their job and do great.”
The Vikings' former All-Pro Adrian Peterson was held to under 100 yards against the ferocious 49er defense for his fourth game against the local team since his rookie season in 2007.
Although the running game for the 49ers and running back Carlos Hyde were the headline of the game, the Vikings helped San Francisco with an unimpressive performance on both sides of the ball.
Hyde carried the load 26 times for 168 yards and scored two touchdowns.
“To outperform a guy like Adrian Peterson is crazy I mean I used to watch his highlights, to outrush him, it’s great. Feels good, but we gotta keep it going,” said Hyde. “We came together as a team and we believe in each other. When you get a group like that you can compete against anybody.”
The 49ers contained the running game of the Vikings, however, with the absence of Pro Bowl center John Sullivan for the visiting team, many wonder how much this affected their game plan.
Bowman was a huge factor, after finishing Monday's game second on the team in tackles (7) to go along with his lone sack out of the team's five.
The 49ers hope to continue their newfound rhythm as they travel to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.