The San Francisco 49ers defense was looking like the best in the NFL by leaps-and-bounds, but they looked human against the Minnesota Vikings of all teams.
It was remarkable since Jim Harbaugh always struggled in the Metrodome, and history clearly repeated itself as they were stunned on the road 24-13.
Alex Smith looked like the bust he once was considered, but Frank Gore and the running game was limited by an underrated Vikings defense.
Smith needs to lean and rely more on Gore, but the passing game was not effective by any means and they should take advantage of a depleted Jets secondary without Darrelle Revis.
Revis is gone and Kyle Wilson will need to step up against the likes of Mario Manningham, Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree.
The Niners have others weapons, including Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis and do not forget about Delanie Walker, who has been a respectable backup tight end that has seen his fair share of looks as well.
Brandon Jacobs (knee) was once considered one of the elite power backs in the league, and he is just returning to the field now. Keeping him healthy for the later stages of the season is vital, but Kendall Hunter is a solid bell cow runner as well.
It is so vital to have a power back because without one, the offense often becomes one-dimensional, not that the Niners passing offense has ever been legit (save last year).
San Francisco is far too talented to fall apart, but the defense looked a bit exhausted from their Sunday night victory over the Lions. Defeating both the Packers and Lions can take a lot out of you and we will need to keep a close eye on just how effective the defense is against Mark Sanchez.
Sanchez continues to struggle at times with accuracy issues, but it has been the lack of a running game that has held this team up.
The Jets are likely nothing more than a 9-7 team thanks to a questionable offense, but the defense is in some trouble with Revis at corner. He was the best in the game and arguably a top-five overall player on that side of the ball.
Now the Niners defense will put the clamps down and less of an onus will be stacked on a struggling offense. Scoring 13 points against the Vikings is inexcusable and I would look for a few more plays to be made in this defensive slugfest.
Network: 706 (FOX)
Time: 1 p.m. Eastern
Experts Pick: Niners by 4
Danny V’s Pick: Niners 23, Jets 16