Jarryd Hayne didn’t make as many appearances as we would have liked, but the San Francisco 49ers soundly got the win.
Running back Carlos Hyde trucked them to victory with 168 yards on the ground (the second most rushing yards by a 49ers player in a season opener) while the defence played tough and aggressive all day.
Hayne finished with four carries for 13 yards, his longest run of the night being nine yards. He caught one pass for seven yards, but it was his play in the return game that got our attention – for all the wrong reasons.
After failing to catch the first punt he sought to return, he fumbled the recovery and the Minnesota Vikings recovered the ball. On his second opportunity, things were better, as he returned it for 11 yards, but the play didn’t count due to penalties.
The 49ers will be happy with the win, and if Reggie Bush is out for an extended period of time, we may see the Hayne Plane feature more in the next few weeks.
49ers – 20
Vikings – 3
It took a while, but we finally got a score in the final minute of the game with a Carlos Hyde touchdown.
With two missed field goals early, it looked like we were in for a snoozer, but San Francisco turned it around and managed to put some points on the board.
Jarryd Hayne muffed his first punt return, as he fumbled the ball and the Vikings recovered.
He had another opportunity in the second quarter which he returned for 11 yards, but it didn’t count due to a penalty.
With Reggie Bush injured, expect Hayne to get a lot of touches in the running game in the second half as a backup – he’s already had two carries for four yards, as well as a 7-yard catch in the passing game.
If Hayne gets some more action in the last two quarters, do you think he’ll have the breakout game we’re waiting for?
49ers – 7
Vikings – 0
The San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings close out the first week of the 2015 NFL season with a late-night clash in which we’re expecting Jarryd Hayne to make his competitive debut! Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 12:15pm (AEST).
The Vikings will look to get the easy win against a talent-strapped 49ers team, and San Francisco’s only saving grace may come if Hayne takes the field.
With Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback and Adrian Peterson at running back, the Vikings will dominate on offence. Bridgewater proved himself to be one of the up-and-coming players to watch at quarterback in his rookie year, and will look to break out in his sophomore season.
If he falters however, he can just hand it off to the security blanket of Peterson. With Cordarelle Patterson, Mike Wallace and Kyle Rudolph as Bridgewater’s main targets, expect big gains in the receiving game and a 250-300 yard performance from the quarterback.
There are a number of rookie Vikings defenders to look out for in this game. Trae Waynes out of Michigan State, Danielle Hunter out of LSU and Eric Kendricks out of UCLA will all attempt to lock down whatever woeful attempts the 49ers can produce offensively.
The Vikings have four players injured right now, but all were reported as ‘probable’ for the game with full participation in practice. The injured players consist of running back Zach Line (knee), defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (knee) and tight ends Chase Ford (shoulder) and MyCole Pruitt (ankle).
The 49ers will try their best not to suffer a blowout, and the fact that they have some shred of talent on the defence will help, as their offence has little to work with. Colin Kaepernick will get the start, but if he self-destructs, Blaine Gabbert may get some snaps.
The running back situation is what we all have our eyes on, however we won’t know until 90 minutes before the game whether Hayne will be playing. Provided he does play, he’ll be splitting reps with Reggie Bush, Carlos Hyde and Mike Davis. You can be sure to see him feature in the return game, and he may even make a few sneaky moves on special teams too.
Rookies Arik Armstead, Eli Harold and Trenton Brown will team up with NaVorro Bowman, Ahmad Brooks and Antoine Bethea on defence to try and stem the attack. They will either shut down one aspect of the Vikings’ offence, or none of it at all.
The Vikings aren’t a great club, but the return of Peterson is all this team needs to steamroll the weak group of players known as the San Francisco 49ers. Expect a big day out of Bridgewater, and hopefully, a big day out for Hayne – if he takes the field.
If Hayne plays, will he score his first touchdown?
Join The Roar this afternoon at 12:15pm (AEST) for score updates and debate in our live blog.