Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 11/11/14

The Minnesota Vikings came out swinging as they shocked the sporting world by defeating the top power ranked team in the San Francisco 49ers, 24-13 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Dome.  Christian Ponder passed 21-35 for 198 yards and three total touchdowns, including a 23 yard rushing touchdown.

The Vikings came out gunning as they drove down the field for a touchdown on their opening drive.  Ponder was quite efficient on this drive as he was 6-8 for 48 yards and a touchdown.  Head coach Leslie Frazier made a gutsy call to go for it on fourth and one on the one yard line and Ponder just straight up performed.  Ponder faked the hand off to Adrian Peterson, rolled out to the left, and in the midst of the pressure of the 9ers defense, he made a great touch throw off of his back foot to Kyle Rudolph in the corner of the end zone.  That was one of Rudolph's two receiving touchdowns on the day.  This gave the Vikings the lead quickly 7-0 and they did not look back.

While Ponder had a phenomenal game, the Vikings' defense cannot be forgotten as they shut down a very strong 9ers' rushing offense.  The Vikings held Frank Gore to only 63 yards and the entire team to a total of 89 yards.  This is a team that last year needed their running game to thrive if they wanted to win.  However, now as Alex Smith has matured into a better quarterback, he has been able to take over the game when needed.  Smith played well, but not well enough to bail out their running game.  Smith also threw his first pick of the season and his first in a franchise record 249 passing attempts.  Smith was 24/35 for 204 yards and a touchdown and an interception.

Another key point was the Vikings ability to run the ball against probably the most stout run defense in the league.  The Vikings became the first team to rush for over 100 yards against the 9ers this season as they ran for 146 yards against them.  Peterson may not have had the most incredible game, but he did pick up 86 yards on 25 attempts.

The only issue with this game was the fumbles that the Vikings had.  Toby Gerhart had three fumbles, two of which he lost and Peterson also fumbled one. Gerhart's two fumbles lost were on back to back drives when the Vikings were trying to close the game out.  That is absolutely unacceptable.  It is one thing if you do it once, but twice?  Gerhart was bailed out big time as Smith was picked off by rookie Josh Robinson after the first fumble, and then Smith fumbled after being sacked by Jared Allen after the second fumble.

Other than that, the Vikings finally played a complete game and beat a very strong 9er team.  Chad Greenway stepped up as Erin Henderson was out with a concussion.  Greenway led the team in tackles (10) and sacks (2).  Letroy Guion also blocked a David Akers field goal near the end of the second quarter.  This was easily the best defensive effort displayed by the Vikings this season.

Nobody can say that they thought the Vikings would pull this one off, but the Vikings simply showed up to play.  Next week, the Vikings will travel to Detroit to take on the 1-2 Detroit Lions.  The Vikings are 2-1 and have proven to the world that they are not the doormat of the NFL.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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