grading the 49ers
Here is how the 49ers graded out in Sunday's 24-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings:
Alex Smith's nearsighted vision (no downfield passes) was compounded by his first turnovers since Thanksgiving (interception, sack-fumble). Defensive backs weren't challenged enough. Vernon Davis caught his fourth TD. Randy Moss had a quiet return to Minnesota, though Smith did overthrow him on a potential TD.
Frank Gore was an afterthought in the subpar game plan, and coach Jim Harbaugh had no answer why Gore didn't run more, especially in a six-carry first half. Kendall Hunter wasn't much of a complement, finishing with no yards on four carries.
No sacks, no interceptions and no success stopping the Vikings' intermediate passes, which thrived behind speedy receiver Percy Harvin and tight end Kyle Rudolph (two touchdowns).
Patrick Willis & Co. allowed their most yards (146) since November 2010. NaVorro Bowman had a career-high 18 tackles (none for a loss or no gain). The Vikings found room up the middle, whether it was a 23-yard touchdown on a quarterback scramble or Adrian Peterson's second efforts.
Bright spots were Kyle Williams' second-half kickoff returns of 94 and 50 yards, along with Andy Lee's punts. The Vikings inexcusably got a great push to block a David Akers field-goal attempt.
All phases seemed out of sync, although Harbaugh did win battles with intimidated and ignorant officials. There clearly was a lack of energy and not enough punch on offense or defense. Did the extended trip serve as a distraction?
-- CAM INMAN