Vikings – 49ers – Game 3 – September 23 2012
Posted by LOTGK on September 23, 2012
The San Francisco 49ers came into town to establish dominance and set the tone for the rest of the season that they are the team to beat this year, they are the Super Bowl front-runners. The Minnesota Vikings were simply a road game for the Niners to steam roll over.
Instead, the Vikings flexed their muscles and took control of the game from the very first snap and methodically moved the ball down field chiseling off more than minutes and 82 yards culminating with a Ponder to Rudolph touchdown pass. The Vikings ended up with 344 net yards, (280 Niners) 25 first downs, (19 Niners) over 33 minutes in time of possession, (26 plus Niners) and 24 points. (13 Niners)
Not even the prodigal son, Randy Moss could help the 49ers score enough points. Moss was held to just 3 catches for 27 yards with no touchdowns and one drop.
The Vikings are now 2-1, (2-0 at home) and one more win away from their entire 2011 total. However, today’s victory was put into jeopardy, not by the 49ers, but by the replacement officials. With just over three minutes left the Vikings had control of the ball and handed off to Gerhart for no gain. Vikings got into huddle for the next play when head coach Harbaugh of the 49ers called his third and final time out to stop the clock.
A moment later Harbaugh tossed the challenge flag. He told the referee that he thinks Gerhart fumbled. Standard procedure should have been for the official to inform Harbaugh that he has no more time outs left, hence, he cannot challenge the play, and hence, since the clock wasn’t inside two minutes, the referee’s could not stop and review the play.
But, the replacement referee granted Harbaugh the challenge and proceeded to review the play. After reviewing the play, the whistle had clearly been blown before Gerhart dropped the ball on the ground. That should have been the end of the review, the whistle blew, end of play. Move on. That didn’t happen. The replacement refs over ruled the play, totally breaking protocol that a whistle blown ended the play, and reversed the call giving the 49ers a first down. Thankfully, rookie Josh Robinson picked off Smith ending that horrible sequence of plays.
Staying on the topic of Gerhart, first of all, what was he doing on the field at the end of the game when the Vikings were trying to kill the clock? Adrian Peterson had 88 yards rushing today, why wasn’t he in to close the game out? Why did they keep Gerhart in after his second fumble? And his third fumble? Three fumbles in a row. I know Peterson is still a step back, but he ran hard today, and he did have 88 yards. if he is the “Guy” then damn it, give it to the guy. The team needs to know if he can carry the load.
It is now time to award the MVP for game three. Who was worthy today? Jared Allen with sack and forced fumble at the end of the game? Percy Harvin and his 9 catch, 89 yard effort? Chad Greenway’s two sack and 13 tackles for the day? Blair Walsh and his perfect kicking season so far, nailing a 52 yard field goal and all three extra points and sending all four kickoffs into the end zone?
All good performances indeed, but today, the MVP is none other than Christian Ponder and his 198 passing yards on 21-35 for two touchdowns and no interceptions, and his 33 rushing yards including a 23 yard scamper for a score. (Run Forest Run) Although these numbers do not seem worthy of MVP status, the 49ers are a formidable team with a top 5 defense and Ponder controlled the game moving the chains time and time again. Congratulations Christian!
The Vikings travel to division rival Detroit next Sunday and the Lions will still be stinging from today’s loss to the Titans. Stafford was hurt and will have an MRI tomorrow but is more likely to suit up and play.
Is it just me or do the Lions start off slow and then score like wild-fire late in the game, every game? Take not of this tidbit of knowledge Viking coaches, for the Megatron and company are just waiting to line up against the Viking secondary.
To add one more tidbit for next week’s game, Viking receiver Jerome Simpson will make his debut. The Vikings desperately need the deep threat receiver as Jenkins and the rest are not getting down field. With the added vertical threat of Simpson, the Vikings offense will only improve. And playing the Lions, in Detroit, after they came off a tough loss, the Vikings will need all the help they can get.
LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL