Cousins connected with Stefon Diggs and Mason Rudolph for touchdowns on the day, as he was helped out by his defense, which forced four turnovers to keep the Jimmy Garoppolo-led Niners offense off-balanced. It was enough to hand the former Tom Brady backup in New England his first loss in eight starts in the NFL. Both Garappolo and Cousins signed major contracts over the summer, so it was only fitting that they matched up to open the year, and it was the Vikings QB who shined on this day.
Garappolo had one interception returned 26 yards for a touchdown by Mike Hughes in the third quarter, just one play after a wide open receiver dropped the ball deep down the field. Harrison Smith added another interception with 1:35 left in the game, sealing the season-opening win for Minnesota.
The 49ers, who recently lost Jerick McKinnon to a season-ending injury, had Alfred Morris running the ball, but that costed them in a late red zone drive. The veteran Morris fumbled the ball at the two-yard line, which was recovered by the Vikings' defense. Garappolo threw for 261 yards and a touchdown pass to rookie Dante Pettis in the loss.
This game also marked the return of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook from a torn ACL, as he caught six passes for 55 yards in his return. Minnesota will hit the road for a division matchup against the Green Bay Packers next week, while the 49ers will head in to their home opener against the Detroit Lions, who opens their season on Monday night.