The Jacksonville Jaguars won the coin toss.
So far, so good.
They deferred. Everybody in the NFL defers. Even a two-win team with the seventh-worst scoring defense in the league.
The 49ers fielded the kickoff and ran play after play after play after …
Twenty-three snaps later, the 49ers led 3-0. Jacksonville's offense had yet to step on the field.
"I didn't realize how long we were out there until I looked at the clock and there was like a minute, 50 left in the first quarter," 49ers tight end George Kittle said. "That's wild."
The final tally was 13 minutes, 5 seconds — the NFL's longest drive, time-wise, since Nov. 27, 1997, when the then-Tennessee Oilers had one that lasted 13:27 against Dallas.
"I needed a little break," Kittle said. "I think I got two plays off there in the middle, so shout out to [49ers tight ends coach Jon Embree] for taking me out for two.
"If I'm tired, I know the defense is tired. I feel like I'm in good shape, so if I'm winded I know everybody across from me is winded. We're a physical team."
The surging Vikings (5-5) will get a closer look at the equally surging 49ers (5-5) Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif. With an interesting mixture of runners, Kyle Shanahan's physical, ball-control attack has helped the up-and-down 49ers win three of their past four games, including Sunday's 30-10 rout at Jacksonville.
Time of possession isn't one of football's more vital statistics. The Packers, for example, needed only nine seconds to go 75 yards in one play to tie the Vikings in the closing minutes of Sunday's loss at U.S. Bank Stadium.
But time of possession isn't totally devoid of all importance. The top five teams in average time of possession — Baltimore (33:46), Tennessee (32:02), Arizona (32:00), Green Bay (31:49) and Cleveland (31:48) – have winning records. The bottom seven — Seattle (24:42), Jacksonville (26:48), Houston (28:00), Atlanta (28:27), the Jets (28:37), Detroit (28:42) and Philadelphia (28:45) — have losing records.
San Francisco jumped to 15th after Week 11, thanks in large part to an opening drive that went on and on. And on.
Officially, the drive covered 20 plays and 87 yards with two defensive penalties. There were seven first downs, including two by penalties on third down.
Jimmy Garoppolo completed 4 of 5 passes for 37 yards and was sacked three times, one of which was negated by defensive holding. Three running backs combined on 13 carries for 45 yards.
With leading rusher Elijah Mitchell out because of a finger injury, receiver Deebo Samuel showed some versatility that no doubt has caught the attention of Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.
Samuel has 994 receiving yards, second most in the NFL. Sunday, he caught only one pass for 15 yards, but led the 49ers in rushing with 79 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.
"He's an electric player," Vikings defensive end D.J. Wonnum said. "He's a receiver in a kind of a running back's body, so he's strong. He's physical. He can move. Just going into the week, we're going to prepare for it and we're going to get ready for it, but he's definitely a great player."
Through eight games, Samuel had just six carries for 22 yards and a touchdown. The 6-foot, 215-pounder has had 13 carries for 115 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers' back-to-back wins over the Rams (31-10) and Jaguars.
In just 10 games, Samuel already has become the first 49er to post at least five receiving touchdowns (5) and at least three rushing touchdowns (3) since running back Ricky Watters had six rushing and five receiving in 1994.
Samuel carried the ball three times for 23 yards on the Sunday's first drive alone.
"I wish we would have scored a touchdown, but just getting points after a 22-play drive, that's awesome," Kittle said. "And when you're a defense and you're on the field for 22 plays, that's tough. But that's what we're built for — those long drives and the fact that we can stay on the field for those long drives. It tells you a lot about this team."
It also tells you a lot about Jacksonville with how the Jaguars responded to the NFL's longest drive in 24 years.
They went three-and-out in 1 minute, 35 seconds.