The Minnesota Vikings walked away from Week 3 with a big win over a team that many had on the top of their power rankings, the San Francisco 49ers. They'll likely hit the film room and admire all of the things that wide receiver Percy Harvin and running back Adrian Peterson did right, but there's one glaring negative they'll need to address: Toby Gerhart.
Gerhart fumbled three times in the final four minutes of play, and two of them resulted in turnovers. Judd Zulgad of ESPN Twin Cities has a quote from Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier on the fumbles:
"He usually does a very good job with that," Frazier said, referring to Gerhart's ability to keep the football secure in his grasp. "We don't want him to go in the tank and get down. We need him to keep his head up and keep playing for us. But the balance of just encouraging him and letting him know we believe in him, we'll make corrections we have to make."
One of Gerhart's fumbles was a possible botched call by the officials, but coughing up the football three times is cause for concern no matter the circumstances. San Francisco is known for its hard-hitting, swarming defense, but even having two legitimate fumbles against any team in the league is a concern. Gerhart will need to re-focus his efforts on protecting the ball, as it's the first step to having a winning offense.
For the Vikings, they have to be happy that Gerhart is not the primary ball carrier. Not necessarily because of the fumbles, but because Peterson is healthier than advertised, and has carried the ball 58 times compared with Gerhart's 19. With those three fumbles, Gerhart matched his regular-season high.
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