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The Minnesota Vikings pulled off the unthinkable, upsetting the 2-0 San Francisco 49ers 24-13 at the Mall of America Field.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder continues to play well for Minnesota, completing 21 of 35 passes for 198 yards, and two touchdowns in their upset victory. Percy Harvin led the Vikings in receiving, catching nine passes for 89 yards. Harvin was also featured in the backfield, having one carry for nine yards. Minnesota had an effective day running the ball against one of the NFL’s best defenses. The Vikings ran for a total of 146 yards and scored once on the ground. This was the first time the 49ers gave up over 100 yards rushing this season.
Adrian Peterson led the running attack with 25 carries for 86 yards. Quarterback Christian Ponder scrambled seven times for 33 yards, including his 23 yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph caught five passes for 36 yards and two touchdowns. Rudolph has already matched last seasons’ three touchdown total just three games into the 2012 season, and seems to be a key target for Christian Ponder and the Minnesota offense. The Vikings’ offensive line contained the ferocious 49ers blitz and did not allow them to sack Ponder once.
Alex Smith completed 24 of 35 passes for 204 yards, one touchdown, one fumble and one interception in Sunday’s loss. Smith’s lone interception ended his franchise record 249-throw streak without an interception. Smith’s favorite receiver was Mario Manningham, who caught five passes for 56 yards. Tight end Vernon Davis also caught five passes for 53 yards. In addition, 49ers veteran wide receiver Randy Moss caught three passes for 27 yards against his old squad. Frank Gore led the 49ers in rushing with 12 carries for 63 yards, and caught one pass for nine yards along with one fumble loss.
Although not being able to stop Christian Ponder, the 49ers’ defense was well led by linebacker NaVorro Bowman. Bowman had a career-high 18 tackles. Patrick Willis also contributed, with 10 tackles. The 49ers will look to bounce back from this shocking upset next week against the New York Jets. The Vikings are looking to continue playing well, and will be on the road against division rival the Detroit Lions.
Image Courtesy of Minnesota Vikings