49ers vs. Vikings: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Spread, Radio, Game Time and More
Adrian Peterson looked healthy during the first two weeks of the season, and the Minnesota Vikings will need him at his very best to have a shot against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Vikings are at home, but the Niners proved their ability to perform on the road in Week 1. They dropped the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field to start the season, and they followed that up with a 27-19 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
The Niners are looking to go 3-0 to start the season, with all three wins coming against NFC North opponents.
The Vikings have played two close games against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1 and the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. They have come away with a split after Andrew Luck led his team to the 23-20 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Vikings' first two games saw them face teams that aren't likely to qualify for the postseason. The Niners are not only virtual playoff locks, they have to be considered one of the favorites in the NFC.
Here's how you can catch the action and some deeper analysis into this matchup:
When: Sunday, September 23, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, MN
Live Stream: Directv Sunday Ticket (Pay Service)
Radio: NFL Audio Pass ($29.99 for the season), KFAN-FM 100.3 in Twin Cities and KGO/107.7 The Bone in San Francisco
Odds: San Francisco Favored (-7) per Oddsshark.com
Injury Report: Minnesota Vikings
Injury Report: San Francisco 49ers
Ted Ginn listed as questionable (ankle) - per ESPN
What's At Stake?
It is only the third game of the season, but the Niners would love to build a lead in the NFC West. Right now they are dead even with the surprising Arizona Cardinals.
With predictably tough games still left on the schedule against the New York Giants, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears and two against the Cardinals, the Niners don't want to drop a game like this.
The Vikings don't have much to lose, as most expect them to fall. They would love nothing more than to pull the upset over a top-notch team like the Niners.
What They're Saying
It is a hard loss to take, largely because of how close the Vikings came to winning the game despite a generally unproductive and undisciplined effort for much of the day.
As frustrating as fans might be with the Vikings performance through the first three quarters, they should also appreciate the team’s resiliency and fight in the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately, that’s not enough to win in the NFL. You have to be good in the first three quarters, too. Ultimately, a slow start for the offense in the first half, too many penalties and the inability to slow the Colts down through the air was the recipe for a close loss on the road.
Vikings fans should definitely be pleased with the team's effort through two weeks. This is not an extremely talented bunch from top to bottom. However, it is clear they haven't quit on Leslie Frazier and that Christian Ponder still has a chance to lead this team to better days.
Taylor Price of 49ers.com quoted Jim Harbaugh after the Niners' win over the Lions on Sunday. Harbaugh was asked if Randy Moss' role would change this season, as he had one catch for 14 yards against the Lions.
“Nobody gets caught up in ‘the guy’ terminology. He [Moss] knows football. He knows the team that plays best is going to win the game. He’s been about that.”
Harbaugh is likely to have the same effect with Moss in San Francisco.
Niners Player To Watch: Randy Moss
It isn't that Moss has squandered opportunities. He's had only five targets through both games. Though Harbaugh said Moss is fine with his role, I'm sure he knows he needs to find a way to get the ball to the future Hall of Famer more.
The Vikings are also soft in the secondary, so this could be a big game for Moss.
Vikings Player To Watch: Percy Harvin
Against the Niners, Harvin will be the key to the Vikings offense. Even Peterson can't wreak havoc against the Niners front seven.
The Vikings will try to use Harvin in several ways. If he makes plays, the Vikings offense will have an element of unpredictability.
Key Matchup: Vikings Offensive Line vs. Niners Front Seven
However, that is far easier said than done.
Last season, the Niners held teams to a league-low 77.25 yards per game on the ground. Through two games this season, teams have rushed for only 63.5 yards per game. Harvin is a wild card out of the backfield, and he could create some issues with his explosiveness.
Peterson seems healthy, and he is still the game's best pure running back. Still, this will come down to which line gets the consistent push.
How many catches will Randy Moss have in this game?
The Vikings have proven they will play hard and that they have resiliency, but the Niners are too solid. Minnesota's secondary will have issues covering Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Moss.
Though Ponder has made some strides, he isn't ready to lead a team with limited weapons in the passing game by a defense of this caliber.
The Niners will win 24-10.
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