Reviewing Friday's action at Candlestick Park:
Preseason record: 0-1
Of interest: Quarterback Christian Ponder had a solid preseason debut, completing a 52-yard deep post to receiver Stephen Burton -- who started for an inactive Percy Harvin -- and moving the team in position for two field goals. Ponder completed 4-of-9 passes overall, but two clearly qualified as drops by Burton and receiver Jerome Simpson. His chemistry with tight end Kyle Rudolph was clear. … The defense played without defensive end Jared Allen, defensive tackle Kevin Williams and cornerback Antoine Winfield, all of whom were healthy scratches, and was gashed in the running game, giving up nearly 200 yards in the first half alone. Brandon Jacobs hit them for a 23-yard gain, Rock Cartwright had a 19-yarder and backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick ran 78 yards for a touchdown. Safety Mistral Raymond took a poor angle on Jacobs' run, and cornerback Chris Cook couldn't tackle Kaepernick near the end of his run. … Rookie placekicker Blair Walsh drilled attempts from 39 and 26 yards and also had two touchbacks. … Nose tackle Letroy Guion suffered a knee injury that likely will sideline him for a few weeks. … The scattered performance of backup quarterback Joe Webb was concerning. The Vikings have limited him to quarterback this summer, electing against using him at other positions, but thus far he appears to have taken a step back if anything.
Local coverage: The Vikings need to elevate rookie safety Harrison Smith to the first team, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. … Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "The Vikings left Webb in for nearly half the game, likely hoping he'd end on a high note. But his last two possessions ended in incompletions on third down." … Ponder, via Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune: "I thought it was a pretty good start. Obviously we’d rather come out with touchdowns rather than two field goals. But I thought we moved the ball pretty well against a good defense. A lot of positives. It also gives us a lot of film to look at come Sunday." … It's possible that tailback Adrian Peterson could be activated to the roster as early as Sunday, notes Pelissero.
Up next: Friday, Aug. 17 against the Buffalo Bills