The San Francisco 49ers returned to the Midwest for a "Monday Night Football" matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. For the first time since Week 8 of the 2022 season, the red and gold looked to bounce back from a regular season loss after falling 19-17 to the Cleveland Browns. In the end, San Francisco fell just short of victory, dropping the Week 7 contest 22-17.
Here are four takeaways from Monday night's game:
CB Charvarius Ward Secures His Second Interception of the Season
The sixth-year pro made the first big defensive play of the game, intercepting Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins on the third play of the game. Ward came away with a pass intended for Minnesota wideout Jordan Addison to set up the 49ers on Minnesota's 48 yard line. The pick is Ward's second of the season and the seventh of his career.
RB Christian McCaffrey Extends His Touchdown Streak
The 49ers running back continued his scoring streak in Minnesota. McCaffrey ran in a three-yard touchdown to get the 49ers on the board and extend his scoring streak of one-or-more touchdowns to 16-straight games (including the playoffs). He was previously tied for second with Hall of Fame running backs O.J. Simpson and John Riggins, and with his touchdown in Minnesota, now owns the No. 2 spot. He is one score shy of tying another Hall of Famer, Lenny Moore, for the NFL record of 17-consecutive games with a touchdown.
McCaffrey scored again in the third quarter on a 35-yard catch-and-run made possible by key blocks from wide receivers Jauan Jennings and Brandon Aiyuk to get the 49ers within five points with 5:54 left in the third quarter. He closed out the game with 15 carries for 45 yards and one touchdown on the ground in addition to his three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown through the air.
49ers Defense Comes Up With Two Critical Goal Line Stands
San Francisco's defense stood tall at the goal line on two of the Vikings trips to the red zone. As a result, the Vikings offense was forced to settle for field goals in the second and third quarters. Minnesota drove down to the two yard line on their third offensive series and was halted following a tackle-for-loss by defensive lineman Kevin Givens. Givens' tackle was good for a loss of one yard and was followed by a pass breakup from linebacker Fred Warner and an incompletion by Cousins. As a result, Minnesota opted for the 21-yard field goal.
In Minnesota's first drive of the second half, they once again made their way to first-and-goal on San Francisco's one yard line. This time, it was a leaping tackle of Cousins by Warner that jumpstarted the defensive unit once again. Following Warner's jump over the pile, Cousins attempted two more passes before swapping out with the field goal unit to net three more points. At this point, Minnesota extended their lead to 19-7.
Rookie Kicker Jake Moody Drills It from Long Range
After missing two field goal attempts in Week 6, Moody flexed his kicking abilities in the second half of Sunday's contest. The rookie drilled in a 55-yarder at the start of the fourth quarter to get the team within five points. Moody's 55-yard kick is the second longest of his career following his 57-yard made field goal in Week 3 versus the Los Angeles Rams. He was 1-2 on field goal attempts and two-for-two on PATs on the night.