Before Sunday’s matchup, Alex Smith hadn’t thrown an interception in 216 consecutive pass attempts.
Statistically speaking, Smith wasn’t terrible. The former number one overall selection completed nearly 70 percent of his passes and even threw a touchdown to Pro Bowl tight end, Vernon Davis.
However, if you watched the game, Smith looked far from the quarterback fans saw these past two weeks.
Smith missed several throws, and looked hesitant at times when the Vikings blitzed.
The 49ers gave up 3 sacks on the day, but I wouldn’t necessarily pin the entire blame on the offensive line.
At times, Smith looked confused and disoriented when scrambling away from pressure.
Defensively speaking, the Vikings deserve major props. The secondary, even without starting weakside linebacker Erin Henderson, who was ruled out of Sunday’s matchup with concussion symptoms, was sound.
They swarmed to the ball, and held the 49ers to 280 total yards.
The 49ers reluctance to run the ball, especially early on, was perplexing.
It wasn’t as if the 49ers were struggling to run the ball. Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter produced solid outings on the ground, but lacked the touches.
It seemed Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers coaching staff came in with a game plan to attack the Vikings sub par secondary.
The Vikings secondary picked a great day to show up, and their performance proved key in today’s game.
Their defense proved instrumental, but it was the Vikings offense that shined.
Christian Ponder is developing into the player the Vikings envisioned when they selected the Florida State product 12th overall in the 2011 NFL draft.
He showed poise and maturity, despite the presence of the most intimidating defense in the league.
Ponder was accurate, completing 60 percent of his passes, but was even more impressive as a runner.
The young quarterback had 33-rushing yards and his mobility proved confusing for this 49ers defense.
Ponder’s mobility was even more important, especially early on.
The Vikings struggled to run the ball early into the game, before Adrian Peterson loosened up the 49ers defense in the 4th quarter with a few good runs.
Despite the terrible play by the 49ers, they were still in this game, though some believe it was not in good faith.
An officiating mistake will again be a highlight, as it seems the 49ers were able to challenge a fumble ruling with 2:14 remaining in the game, despite not having a timeout. Luckily for the NFL, the replacement referees mistake did not cost the Vikings this game.