Football returned to Candlestick Park on Friday night for the first time since the NFC Championship game, and aside from an unfortunate Aldon Smith hip injury (per Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee), there were plenty of positives to take in from the preseason opener.
While they weren't exactly perfect—no team is at this point—the San Francisco 49ers forced their hard-nosed style of play on the visiting Minnesota Vikings all evening and safely controlled the tempo for all 60 minutes of action.
The offense—contrary to last year's preseason action—looked to be running like a well-oiled machine, and completely ignored the passing game for chunks at a time. But when they did air it out, that looked good, too.
As for the defense, there was the occasional missed tackle or blown assignment in coverage. Otherwise, it was a near flawless performance. Not bad for the squad's first dose of live action less than two full weeks into training camp.
Without further ado, let's look at the 49ers' top performers from Friday night's preseason opener.