NFL Week 3: San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings Preview and Predictions

Aaron Nagler@Aaron_NaglerNFL National Lead WriterSeptember 17, 2012

This game could get late real early for Christian Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings

Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers look to be not only the most physical team in the league, but probably the best overall as well. 

From Frank Gore and the running game to Alex Smith and the streamlined passing game, the Niners can and will march up and down the field against a Vikings defense that features a pair of pass rushers in Jared Allen and Brian Robison that are at their best when they can pin their ears back on obvious passing downs. 

The problem is the Niners hardly ever find themselves in "obvious passing downs" due to Harbaugh's excellent game plans and the team's execution on early downs. Whether motioning guys across the formation to create a favorable matchup or just pounding it down the defense's throat, the Niners are a beast that will devour the Vikings defense. 

And when it comes to the Niners' defense going up against the Vikings' offense - this will be like watching grown men playing against a Pop Warner team. 

Justin Smith and Aldon Smith will undoubtedly live in the backfield and get to know Christian Ponder quite well before the game is over. 

Obviously, the Vikings will want to run Adrian Peterson and try to work the ball to Percy Harvin off play action - but as Mike Tyson famously said "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth."