Final

Vikings 3

(4-4, 2-2 away)

49ers 9

(3-5, 3-2 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:05 PM ET, November 5, 2006

Monster Park, San Francisco, CA 

1 2 3 4 T
MIN 3 0 0 03
SF 0 6 0 39

Top Performers

Passing: B. Johnson (MIN) - 136 YDS, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Taylor (MIN) - 26 CAR, 96 YDS

Receiving: C. Taylor (MIN) - 8 REC, 45 YDS

Triumphant 49ers shut down Vikings in final 3 quarters

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- At the two-minute warning, coach Mike Nolan gathered the San Francisco 49ers' defensive players and let them have it.

"It's up to you right now to win this game," Nolan said. "It's on you right now. I'm not calling any timeouts, not saving any time. Guys, it'll go down to the very last play. It's on you."

Scouts Inc.'s take ...
Both teams played an ugly game, but the 49ers did enough to get the victory. The 49ers were able to create pressure on Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson (right) and force three turnovers en route to victory. LB Brandon Moore stepped up and played well, finishing with 14 tackles and one sack. The Vikings gave the 49ers very good field position and a short field to work with and constant mistakes by the Vikings helped to seal the victory for the 49ers. The Vikings' offense stalled and sputtered throughout the day. Minnesota wide receiver Troy Williamson continued to struggle and dropped a crucial third-down pass that could have helped in setting up a potential game-tying touchdown.

To the surprise of everybody who wasn't wearing the 49ers' throwback uniforms Sunday, a much-maligned defense proved capable of lifting that burden.

Joe Nedney kicked his third field goal with 7:15 to play, and San Francisco shut out the Minnesota Vikings in the final three quarters of a 9-3 victory.

Thanks to Nedney's strong leg -- and his lobbying efforts, which helped San Francisco to get a second shot at its final field goal -- the 49ers (3-5) had just enough offense to back a shocking performance by their defense, which had allowed 150 points in its last four games.

San Francisco managed just 133 total yards with its own miserable offense, but got cohesive play from the same unit that gave up 41 points by halftime last week at Chicago. The Niners simplified their game plan and hung on, stopping Minnesota's final drive with 1:04 left.

"Statistics are important, but they don't say everything about you," linebacker Brandon Moore said. "Nobody is going to come out of the stands and help us win a game. It's going to have to come from us."

Alex Smith passed for just 105 yards and Frank Gore rushed for only 41 as San Francisco hung on for its eighth straight home victory since 1988 over the Vikings (4-4), who'll be shaking their heads all the way back to the Twin Cities after failing to mount any significant offensive attack.

Brad Johnson passed for 136 yards but made three turnovers for the Vikings, whose final drive ended when Troy Williamson dropped an on-target pass on third down before Mark Roman and Shawntae Spencer prevented Bethel Johnson from catching a desperate pass at the goal line.

With just 238 total yards and a host of dropped passes and mistakes, Minnesota showed every negative effect of its injury problems and a short week of preparation after Monday night's loss to New England.

But count Johnson among those shocked by the 49ers' sudden defensive acumen.

"They've been thrashed in different areas, and they changed it up, played vanilla, played to their strengths," Johnson said. "If we don't convert on third downs or are not effective on first downs, it's going to cost us and that's what happened."

Nedney hit field goals from 25 and 30 yards before nailing a 51-yarder -- but only after he wheedled another try.

Flags flew during his first attempt, and referee Ed Hochuli initially called a delay-of-game penalty that would have taken San Francisco out of field-goal range. But Hochuli picked up his flag after Nedney vocally explained that the play clock had been reset erroneously, arguing loudly enough to be picked up on Hochuli's microphone.

Nedney then made the kick, and San Francisco's defense did the rest. While the 49ers felt Hochuli got the call right, the Vikings wondered why the play clock was reset.

"I was told that there's an NFL guy up there that runs the clock, but it feels like home cooking to me," Minnesota coach Brad Childress said.

Minnesota's offense was hesitant and muddled. Chester Taylor rushed for 96 yards but couldn't break any big plays, while Johnson followed up his three-interception benching last week with two fumbles while being sacked and another interception on a tipped pass.

After the clubs traded field goals in the first 17 minutes, San Francisco got a break when Marques Douglas bulled through the line and forced Johnson's fumble. Spencer returned it to the 21, but the Niners settled for Nedney's second field goal.

The Vikings finally got a big play when Taylor turned a short pass into a 65-yard touchdown rumble late in the scoreless third quarter -- but Travis Taylor blocked Moore in the back, negating it.

That drive ended in San Francisco territory with Johnson's second fumble, and the Niners drove for Nedney's third score.

Game notes


Smith met Joe Montana for the first time before the game on Alumni Day. Montana, who usually shuns such events, even jokingly re-enacted his famous "The Catch" pass to Dwight Clark at halftime. ... Vikings FB Tony Richardson injured his hand, getting X-rays after halftime. ... Ryan Longwell hit a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter for Minnesota's only points.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MIN
SF
1st Downs178
Passing 1st downs
64
Rushing 1st downs
83
1st downs from penalties
31
3rd down efficiency
5-143-13
4th down efficiency
0-10-0
Total Plays6750
Total Yards238133
Yards per play3.62.7
Total Drives1012
Passing10391
Comp-Att
21-3113-21
Yards per pass
3.03.8
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-333-14
Rushing13542
Rushing Attempts
3326
Yards per rush
4.11.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-10-2
Penalties6-655-56
Turnovers31
Fumbles lost
20
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession34:4525:15

Passing Leaders

MINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Johnson21/311364.4013-33
SFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Smith13/211055.0013-14

Rushing Leaders

MINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Taylor26963.7011
Pinner3299.7016
SFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Gore19412.2011
Smith341.308

Receiving Leaders

MINRECYDSAVGTDLG
Taylor8455.6013
Richardson33311.0014
SFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gore5367.2012
Bryant22412.0022

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMINSF
minFG3:59Ryan Longwell 21 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 16 plays, 69 yds, 9:00
30
SECOND QUARTERMINSF
sfFG13:26Joe Nedney 25 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 13 plays, 54 yds, 5:29
33
sfFG8:21Joe Nedney 30 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 9 yds, 2:29
36
THIRD QUARTERMINSF
minTD0:50Chester Taylor, 11 yd pass from Brad Johnson
Drive info: 10 plays, 47 yds, 4:53
36
FOURTH QUARTERMINSF
sfFG7:20Joe Nedney 51 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 36 yds, 4:54
39