MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Christian Ponder threw two touchdown passes to tight end Kyle Rudolph and ran for another score to help the Vikings hand the 49ers their first defeat, 24-13 on Sunday.
After a dominant start to their NFC North tour by decisively beating playoff teams Green Bay and Detroit, the 49ers (2-1) were beaten in every way by the team least likely to do so.
The Vikings (2-1) began the game boldly with a fourth-and-goal touchdown pass by Ponder to his Rudolph. They finished strong by forcing three turnovers and two punts by the 49ers in the fourth quarter.
Playing against his former team in the regular season for the first time, Randy Moss had three catches for 27 yards. Alex Smith's franchise-record interception-free streak ended at 249 straight passes.
Ref says he incorrectly awarded 49ers challenges
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Replacement referee Ken Roan says he mistakenly awarded San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh two challenges after the coach had called his last timeout on Sunday against the Vikings.
The miscues late in the fourth quarter threw the game into mass confusion as the Vikings were closing out a 24-13 victory over the previously undefeated 49ers.
With the Vikings trying to run out the clock, Harbaugh called his last timeout after a run by Toby Gerhart on third down. He then decided to challenge the play, and replays showed that Gerhart fumbled the ball and the 49ers got their timeout back.
It happened again on Minnesota's next possession, when Harbaugh called timeout and later decided to challenge.
NFL rules require teams to have a timeout available to challenge a play.
Vikings S Raymond carted off with right leg injury
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Vikings safety Mistral Raymond was carted off the field with a right ankle injury.
Raymond was injured at the end of the first quarter on Sunday against San Francisco. He came up from his safety position to support on a running play to Frank Gore and his ankle appeared to get caught in the turf. He immediately grabbed it as he fell to the ground and appeared to be in considerable pain.
Athletic trainer Eric Sugarman placed Raymond's leg in an air cast and he was lifted onto a cart as teammates came by to give him well wishes.
Raymond is in his second season as a sixth-round pick out of South Florida.