Maiocco's Instant Replay: Vikings 24, 49ers 13

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Maiocco's Instant Replay: Vikings 24, 49ers 13

MINNEAPOLIS -- The 49ers opened the season with strong showings against teams expected to be atop the NFC North.But their romp through the division came to an end Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings thoroughly out-performed the 49ers in a 24-13 victory in their home dome.Vikings second-year quarterback Christian Ponder made the 49ers' defense look ordinary, and the 49ers' offense could not string anything together against Minnesota.The 49ers (2-1) opened the season with outstanding performances against the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions before falling to a team expected to again finish last in the NFC North. The Vikings were the only team in the division to finish with a losing record last season at 3-13.This was the kind of game in which no area of the 49ers won their battles . . . from coaching to offense, defense and special teams.Costly penalties: The Vikings took a 24-13 lead early in the fourth quarter with a lot of help from the 49ers' defense. The 49ers committed two unnecessary-roughness penalties, including a half-the-distance penalty on safety Dashon Goldson on an uncatchable pass with a shoulder-to-shoulder hit on tight end Kyle Rudolph. Two plays later, Carlos Rogers was called for defensive holding in the end zone. The Vikings scored on Christian Ponder's 2-yard pass to Rudolph.Offensive turnovers: Down 11 points in the fourth quarter, 49ers running back Frank Gore fumbled and gave the Vikings the ball at midfield. The 49ers went 30 regular-season quarters without a turnover on offense, dating back to the second quarter of their Thanksgiving Day game last season against the Baltimore Ravens. The turnovers weren't over yet. Alex Smith, who set a franchise record with 249 straight passes without an interception, saw his streak come to an end as well, as his pass intended for a wide-open Michael Crabtree sailed high and into the hands of Vikings defensive back Josh Robinson. Plays later, after the 49ers recovered a Toby Gerhart fumble, Alex Smith was stripped of the ball on a sack by Jared Allen and the ball was recovered by the Vikings. Three turnovers in all...
Something to Ponder: Ponder made a fantastic 1-yard touchdown throw to Rudolph on a bootleg under pressure from Dashon Goldson in the first quarter on a fourth-down play. Then, Ponder scrambled 23 yards up the middle for a touchdown midway through the second quarter as the Vikings led 17-3 at halftime. Ponder made the vaunted 49ers' defense look ordinary. Ponder completed 15 of 23 passes for 143 yards in the first half.Moss connection: Quarterback Alex Smith tried to get the ball to Randy Moss in the first half, but overshot him high three times on incomplete passes. Moss was making his first appearance in Minnesota as a visiting player. He received a loud reaction -- mostly cheers -- when he was introduced as part of the 49ers' starting lineup. Moss got his first starting assignment with the 49ers on Sunday. Moss had two catches for 15 yards in the first half, but he could've had a lot more.Notes: Kyle Williams gave the 49ers a little life at the opening of the second half with a 94-yard kickoff return to the Vikings' 14-yard line. But the 49ers settled for David Akers' second 29-yard field-goal of the game. He had a 50-yard return at the start of the fourth quarter. . . The 49ers inactive players were QB Scott Tolzien, WRs A.J. Jenkins and Ted Ginn (right ankle), RBs Brandon Jacobs (left knee) and LaMichael James, OL Joe Looney and NT Ian Williams. . . Rookie TE Garrett Celek suited up for the first time, as did OLB Eric Bakhtiari.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

Shaun Draughn is now a member of the New York Giants, but he won't ever forget his brief stint with the 49ers. The running back posted a long thank you to the organization and its fans on Thursday:

"I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community," Draughn posted on Instagram. "You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever.

"Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!!"

Draughn, 29, averaged 3.1 yards per carry over two seasons with the 49ers, totaling 459 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community. You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever. Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!! To the @nygiants I want to say thank you for allowing me to be apart of such a first class organization!! I am excited to go to work in the quest for #5 and to the Fans I can assure you, you will get my ABSOLUTE best and nothing less, put a stamp on it‼️‼️ thank you God for ALWAYS making a way!! #Proverbs3:5-6 #BigBlue #GMen

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