Vikings’ Danielle Hunter: Jimmy Garoppolo was getting scared of us

Lynette Rowe
September 11, 2018

The 49ers quarterback struggled against the Vikings' elite defense Sunday in San Francisco's season-opening loss to Minnesota.

With two touchdown passes by Kirk Cousins in his debut and three interceptions of Garoppolo in the second half, the Vikings had enough to hold on for a 24-16 victory over the 49ers in the season opener on Sunday to stick Garoppolo with his first loss in eight games as an National Football League starter.

Cousins completed 20 of 36 passes for 244 yards without a turnover.

In what was a game largely built on the quarterback battle between Kirk Cousins in his first official start with the Viking against Garoppolo, it was Minnesota's defense that made all the difference in the contest.

22 yard touchdown reception by Dante Pettis for his first career reception and first career touchdown.

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Highlighted by tight end George Kittle's five catches for 90 yards, there was enough production by the 49ers to take some positives into their home opener against Detroit next week. "You see that he's starting to get scared", defensive end Danielle Hunter said. This was all capped off by Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith taking advantage of a wobbly thrown pass in traffic that he picked off to seal the game. The last player to emerge from the tunnel during pregame introductions, Cousins said the honor was undeserved and should have been reserved for Diggs, wide receiver Adam Thielen, left tackle Riley Reiff or running back Dalvin Cook. "Just a bad play".

"We want to see them accomplish something that we weren't able to do", Smith told the crowd, "and we want them to do it for you".

In the third quarter, when Kendrick Bourne lost his footing on a sideline route, Garoppolo's pass sailed straight to Vikings rookie Mike Hughes for a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown and a 17-3 lead. His replacement Joshua Garnett was hurt in the third quarter, both with left foot injuries. Wide open after beating Anthony Barr up the same, Kittle had what would've been a 30-yard completion fall off his fingers at midfield.

Vikings: Play at Green Bay next Sunday.

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