Minnesota Vikings Execute the Perfect Game Plan vs. 49ers and NFC North Notes

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 23: Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball during the second quarter of the game against the San Francisco 49ers on September 23, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

I look forward to breaking this game down fully on my own, but Chip Scoggins does a good first early look at the Vikings' victory over the still very good San Francisco 49ers.

One thing Scoggins saw was a lot of high-percentage passes to both Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph, and he thinks that while Jerome Simpson's return will be a great thing for this offense, that doesn't mean they should abandon what has worked.

It isn't that the team shouldn't go deep—it isn't even that they were effective in the short game. To me, it was the game-planning that worked. 

The short game won't always work (which the 49ers can attest to) just like going with long ball didn't for Detroit against the Niners in Week 2.

It was a well-planned, well-executed game. More than anything else, that's what the Vikings can take away from it.

Currently, I have actually picked the Vikings to beat the Lions, and while you can argue that's an overreaction to the win against San Fran, I'd counter by saying that the win tells you this Vikings team can play with anyone if they do what they need to.

The powers in the division are not without flaws, as we saw again this week with the Lions (special teams, lack of defensive pass rush) and the Bears (offensive disaster).

We'll see how the Packers fare against the Seahawks, but regardless, this is the sort of momentum-builder a team like the Vikings can build on.

And it all starts with the right game-planning for the right team with solid execution.

Let's see who else might be getting executed in the rest of the NFC North.


Chicago Bears

ESPN Chicago's Michael Wright talks about the Bears' pass rush stepping up to the challenges they meet.

Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune says this win was more about the will to win than the skill to win.

Also in the Tribune, David Haugh says the Bears simply need a lot more from Jay Cutler.


Detroit Lions

Kevin Seifert at the ESPN NFC North blog says to forget the botched communications and miscues—the Lions should have just gone for the first down to begin with.

Justin Rogers gives his grades for the win over at MLive.com, and for the most part they aren't pretty.

Bleacher Report Lions columnist Chris Madden gives you the five biggest reasons the Lions lost to the Titans.


Green Bay Packers

Max Ginsberg at CheeseheadTV says the way to beat the Seahawks is easy—stop the run. Question is, can they?

The Journal-Sentinel's Tom Silverstein looks at why the offense is struggling.

Pete Dougherty talks about three keys to success against the tough Seattle Seahawks over at the Press-Gazette.


Minnesota Vikings

ESPN 1500's Tom Pelissero says the VIkings took exception to the idea they couldn't be physical as the staff and veterans reminded them constantly of what the perception was around the media. 

B/R Vikings columnist Arif Hasan gives you the biggest winners and losers from Sundays victory.

Chris Gates at the Daily Norseman shares your frustration with the refs handing out free timeouts to intimidating coaches on Sunday.

Check out the B/R NFC North Facebook page—like us and keep up with everything NFC North on Bleacher Report.com.

Follow me on Twitter at @andrew_garda.