Dr. Bob Previews VIKINGS (-6.5) Vs. 49ERS
The Vikings' wins over the winless Browns and Lions don't really tell us much given how bad Cleveland and Detroit are, but it's pretty clear that Brett Favre is content with throwing short passes rather than trying to get the ball down the field in typical Favre fashion.
Favre has completed 77% of his passes but is averaging just 5.5 yards per attempt and 4.1 yards per pass play when the 7 sacks are included. Star RB Adrian Peterson has been doing most of the work for the Vikings' offense, totaling 272 rushing yards at 6.8 ypr.
Favre will likely have to do more today against a good 49ers' defense that has yielded just 2.7 ypr and only 4.6 yards per play to Arizona and Seattle. The San Francisco defense has made up for a pedestrian offense that has averaged only 4.9 yppl despite having runs of 79 yards and 80 yards from Frank Gore last week (they're averaging just 3.6 yppl without those two big runs).
Gore cannot be counted on to bust big runs every game, let alone two, and Minnesota has had one of the best run defenses in the league with Pat Williams and Kevin Williams manning the defensive tackle positions. Shaun Hill will have to start playing better for the Niners to win this game, but San Francisco is 9-3 with Hill as their starting quarterback and he tends to play well when he needs to.
My ratings favor Minnesota by just 4 points in this game, so I'll lean with San Francisco plus the points.
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