Vikings are blunderful by the bay in loss to San Francisco

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 26, 2013 - 12:45 PM

Things were supposed to be better with AP playing. But he was in only for two plays. And they weren’t.

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– Uh-oh.

Things were supposed to get better with Adrian Peterson back in the Vikings’ lineup, right? Rhythm was supposed to be achieved, miscues corrected, protection improved, frowns turned upside down, etc., etc. Right?

Right!?

Well, scratch that. And scratch Peterson actually touching the ball in a preseason game that was billed as the most thorough and final dress rehearsal for the regular season.

Final at Candlestick Park: 49ers 34, Vikings 14. And if you think that’s an ugly line, it could get even worse depending on the results of a magnetic resonance imaging exam that’s due to be performed on Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams’ injured knee on Monday.

Peterson did suit up and play two snaps in his preseason debut but was pulled on third-and-10. Coach Leslie Frazier said afterward that the plan was to play Peterson only three plays and not have him carry the ball. The Vikings threw twice with Peterson in the game, using him as a play-action fake on an opening deep-ball incompletion to Greg Jennings.

“We got out of him what we wanted,” Frazier said of Peterson.

In seven possessions with Ponder at quarterback, the Vikings went fumble, punt, punt, punt, a 1-yard touchdown pass to rookie free-agent fullback Zach Line on a 28-yard field set up by Chad Greenway’s interception, interception and a 3-yard touchdown pass to Joe Webb, who outjumped a defender on third-and-goal late in the third quarter. That capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive and ended Ponder’s night. He completed 17 of 23 passes for 116 yards, two touchdowns and two turnovers.

Afterward, as the Vikings assessed their 0-3 preseason record and the fact that the starters won’t play in the preseason finale Thursday night against the Titans, Ponder, Frazier and others inside the losing locker room clung to that 12-play drive that opened the second half, hoping it’s some sort of positive sign.

“We didn’t do as well as we would have liked, but we ended on a positive note,” Ponder said. “There are some things we still need to get a lot better at, but I have no worries about the leadership on this team and the maturity on this team that we’ll fix it.”

Frazier said he came away from that drive encouraged about the direction in which the team was heading.

Hey, what else is he going to say?

“There were some things solidified in my mind finishing that drive in the third quarter as we get ready for the regular season,” Frazier said. “I do have some resolve about some things I saw.”

Defensively, the Vikings gave up 10 first-quarter points with 49ers starter Colin Kaepernick on the field. Special teams-wise, the Vikings gave up a 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Lavelle Hawkins. That came late in the first half and squashed any momentum the Vikings mustered by closing the deficit to three points, 10-7, on Line’s second touchdown catch of the preseason.

The Vikings seemed to be putting something together on their third possession when they gained 4 yards on an end-around to Cordarrelle Patterson and a 5-yard pass to Patterson. Then, lined up in their power-I formation with Rhett Ellison at fullback, the Vikings … showed no power whatsoever. Defensive end Justin Smith tossed aside tackle Matt Kalil en route to mauling Gerhart for a 4-yard loss on third-and-1.

Punt … again. And it wouldn’t be Kalil’s first gaffe of the night. Two unnecessary-roughness penalties in a span of six plays helped sink yet another first-half possession. A holding call on right tackle Phil Loadholt one play after that didn’t help either.

The 49ers started to click offensively after Smith’s mauling of Gerhart. Backup running back Kendall Hunter went 15 yards through a huge hole created in part because of middle linebacker Erin Henderson’s poor angle. Then Kaepernick completed consecutive passes of 19 yards on third-and-11 to Quinton Patton, 10 and 11 yards to tight end Vernon Davis and 19 yards to Marlon Moore. Kaepernick capped the 11-play, 84-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown on third-and-goal to Moore, who beat cornerback Josh Robinson on a crossing pattern in the back of the end zone.

The 49ers led 10-0 with 2 minutes, 39 seconds left in the first quarter. And that was it for Kaepernick, his night finished after completing seven of 13 passes for 72 yards, no sacks, no turnovers and a 95.7 passer rating.

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San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 0 1st Prd 6:45
Buffalo 2
Carolina 0 1st Prd 7:09
Columbus 1
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Montreal 7:30 PM
Chicago
Arizona 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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