San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings
The San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings face off on Sunday in San Francisco is a week 3 NFL Preseason matchup between two playoff teams for last season. The 49ers are -5 point favorites over the Vikings with an over/under point total set at 41.
The San Francisco 49ers know why they didn’t win the Super Bowl last year and when you get as close as they did, they small bit to get over the hump is definitely the hardest part and requires sometimes a lot more than things that close huge gaps elsewhere. Colin Kaepernick isn’t part of any problem but his lack of experience didn’t help when they needed him most but he enters this year as the clear cut starter and the reps with the first unit should be a big plus. Frank Gore has just two carries in preseason with one of them going for 52 yards but the battle rages behind him with LaMichael James, Kendall Hunter, and Anthony Dixon. The 49ers still need answers at receiver where Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis have been the options and gone is A.J. Jenkins who was kicked around by Jim Harbaugh all camp long as an underachiever and with Mario Manningham on the PUP list the Niners are hoping someone emerges even if is Jonathan Baldwin who was on the other end of the Jenkins trade of first round draft choice bust WR’s. Defensively there aren’t any issues in San Franciso as the unit is loaded and plays with a chip on their shoulder and with Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, and others look for this unit to be tough as nails once again this season.
The Minnesota Vikings were a playoff team a season ago but by the time the ball was snapped in the playoffs they were missing key players and never really had much of a chance to advance. Christian Ponder didn’t play in the playoffs and last week in Buffalo he claimed to be confused by the defense the Bills threw at him. Regardless of what Ponder does or doesn’t do the Vikings are only going to go as far as Adrian Peterson can take them as he makes his first preseason appearance of the year this week following last year’s 2,000+ yard campaign. The Vikings have gone young at wide receiver with Coderelle Patterson and Jarius Wright and they brought in Greg Jennings from Green Bay while Kyle Rudolph has another year under his belt. The Vikings defense has been on the field a lot in the preseason but expect a lot of what we saw a year ago with Chad Greenway, Jared Allen, and Harrison Smith as some of the standouts.
The 49ers are the deeper team and while they haven’t seemed to care all that much in preseason it is almost contradictory to what we know of Jim Harbaugh who seems to care about just about everything. Look for the 49ers to be more focused here but this one looks like it will be low scoring.