San Franciscans can’t be thrilled today. After marching over the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions, their 49er’s face-planted against the Vikings this afternoon with a sloppy display of talent and fundamental mistakes. Fumbles, a blocked field goal, a dropped interception and confused play calling all contributed to the mess.
The Vikings had their fair share of follies (fumblitis, Toby Gerhart?). But a win is a win. Minnesotans are happy. Christian Ponder had two tosses to Kyle Rudolph and a big run for a touchdown to stun the 49er’s in a 24-13 victory.
49er’s coach Jim Harbaugh threw a couple challenge flags during the last quarter that seemed to confuse the entire stadium, not just the replacement referees, albeit, they seemed like they’d make a call if someone on the sideline would put enough pressure on them. Which seemed the case. Twice Harbaugh challenged a Minnesota fumble by throwing a flag with no timeouts. Even the guys in the booth were confused.
Update (Monday, 9/24/12): The replacement officials now admit they were wrong in granting Harbaugh the timeouts. Here’s the latest from the Associated Press:
Replacement officials admitted making two mistakes in Minnesota’s victory over San Francisco, while a few other games included questionable calls that could have affected the outcomes.
Referee Ken Roan said he twice granted 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh video challenges after Harbaugh called timeout in the fourth quarter. Neither challenge should have been allowed once Harbaugh asked for time.
“What I told him was, ‘Well you challenged it not knowing what the result of the play was going to be,'” Roan said. “So I granted him the challenge and we went and looked at it. That was wrong. I should not have.”
Regardless, ‘Harbaugh’ was trending in Minneapolis immediately on Twitter and his challenges and gift of extra timeouts made for some pretty good Tweets. Skol!
Congratulations to Jim Harbaugh on setting an NFL record for most timeouts and challenges in a single game!
— SportsPickle (@sportspickle) September 23, 2012
Respect the game. Respect the process. You’re a douche Harbaugh.
— Justin Gaard (@jgkfan) September 23, 2012
Two challenges, no time outs. Next I expect Jim Harbaugh to pull a bunny rabbit from under his hat for his 3rd magic trick of the day.
— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) September 23, 2012
Wow, 49’ers were given 4 or 5 timeouts in 2nd half. Nice work replacement refs. Sheesh! Lost my respect for Harbaugh for playing the refs.
— Mark Smith (@ProgramWarrior1) September 23, 2012
Breaking News:Jim Harbaugh has just challenged the ruling that the vikings won.The refs will allow it.
— Jacob Smith (@Jackob26) September 23, 2012
BREAKING: Jim Harbaugh just challenged next weeks coin toss! #fb
— Guadalupe Villarreal (@jaggerz222) September 23, 2012
And one more. Hey, it’s the poor guy’s birthday:
Happy Birthday Coach Harbaugh
— royal. (@KahriTheGreat) September 23, 2012