Christian Ponder threw two touchdown passes to tight end Kyle Rudolph and ran for another score to help the Vikings hand the 49ers their first defeat, 24-13 on Sunday.
After a dominant start to their NFC North tour by decisively beating playoff teams Green Bay and Detroit, the 49ers (2-1) were beaten in every way by the team least likely to do so.
The Vikings (2-1) began the game boldly with a fourth-and-goal touchdown pass by Ponder to his Rudolph. They finished strong by forcing three turnovers and two punts by the 49ers in the fourth quarter.
Playing against his former team in the regular season for the first time, Randy Moss had three catches for 27 yards. Alex Smith's franchise-record interception-free streak ended at 249 straight passes.