One of the keys to the 49ers’ success on the pitch was wide receiver Deebo Samuel’s effectiveness as a runner. He carried six times for 66 yards and two touchdowns. As a team, San Francisco racked up 208 rushing yards and three scores in 39 carries. At his post-match press conference, Zimmer was asked about those runs by Samuel and instead of crediting his opponent, he blamed the referee.
“The others were the fact that these guys hold up all the time, so they grab us by the waist, grab our backs, and you know officials, they don’t want to call it every game. Until they start calling it to every room, they won’t stop doing it.
The 49ers and Vikings have both been reported five times. Minnesota drew 38 penalty yards versus San Francisco’s 57.
One player who objected to Zimmer’s post-game commentary was 49ers tight end George Kittle. Here is his response via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner:
“I think if you put your feet and hands in there, just because a guy turns and waves his arms around, it just doesn’t hold… If you’re going to sit on the sidelines and complain about holding on all the time , tell your guys to make better games.
It’s understandable that Zimmer is frustrated. In its last two games against the 49ers, both losses, Zimmer’s defense allowed 394 rushing yards and five touchdowns in 86 carries.
Whatever San Francisco does on the pitch, it has worked this season. They’ve made 42, 42 and 39 runs in each of their last three games and appear to have recovered as one of the NFL’s main ground attacks. Meanwhile, the Vikings’ defense was 27th in the Football Outsiders DVOA run defense on Sunday, and allowed 4.8 yards per carry – the second worst in the NFL.
If the 49ers got away with some outfit, it’s because officials gave a good racing team the benefit of the doubt against arguably the worst racing defense in the NFL.