Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/24/12

The parody of the NFL presides more this year than ever before. A record number of teams split their first two games of the season.

Week three was no different, providing enough gasps, gulps and shock for everyone. In Minnesota, the Vikings joined the party by assigning the newly named Best Team in the NFL a dose of debacle.

The San Francisco 49ers game-planned to pressure Christian Ponder into mediocrity. Instead, the young quarterback showed his worth by making play after play, throwing 2 TDs and spectacularly running for another.

The former Florida State product raised a few eyebrows last season. He entered the third game of the season with no interceptions and a season QB-rating above 100. Ponder threw for only 198 yards. Though, it was how and when he made the plays converting third downs on the celebrated 49ers defense and controlling the clock. Ponder was certainly heroic Sunday. He will not play a better game this season.  

On the other hand, the 49ers team played their first “average” game in a long while. As Ponder led the Vikings’ offense on several time-consuming scoring drives, the 49ers offense maintained a tiny resemblance of rhythm. Frank Gore rushed only 12 times. Alex Smith missed an easy throw to Randy Moss for a touchdown. The Niners typically make the plays at the right time in all three phases of the game, but they were unable to cash in Sunday.

Known for their off-season moves prior to this season, the 49ers were expected to take advantage of red zone opportunities this season with the likes of Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs. After Kyle Williams returned the second-half kickoff 93 yards, San Francisco went conservative; only able to convert a field goal. Rather than punching one in and shifting the momentum, gaining a grasp of a close game; the Niners were unable to make a definitive move after scoring on their very next drive. In the fourth quarter, after the Vikings turned the ball over, the 49ers were two scores behind rather than one. Changing the way they called the game, inevitably changing the outcome 

Sure, it was a road game and the Niners did keep Adrian Peterson in check, but they were uncharacteristically sloppy on defense with missed opportunities and penalties. San Francisco will not perform this poorly often this season, but they were certainly the “zero” of this game.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery


Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Report: Junior Galette out for season with torn Achilles

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

A too early preview of UEFA World Cup 2018 qualifying

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker