San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings: Week Three Preview

Andy RAnalyst ISeptember 24, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 06:  Antoine Winfield #26 and Charles Gordon #41 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrate after breaking up a touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints on October 6, 2008 at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Here the Vikings sit at an undefeated 2-0.  Minnesota has started the season in the best possible way record-wise, but the team still has a long way to go.

Their first two wins have come against what looks to be two of the worst teams in the NFL, the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions.

Week Three seems to be a little more difficult, as football legend Mike Singletary brings his physical 49ers team to face off against the Minnesota Vikings.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Shaun Hill has done everything the team has asked of him, keeping turnovers to a minimum and completing passes to keep the drives alive.

Through two weeks, Hill has 353 yards passing, one touchdown, and zero interceptions.

Frank Gore has also proved to be rather impressive thus far, rushing for 237 yards and three touchdowns.

San Francisco has proved to be one of the surprise teams early on this season, as they've beat the defending NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks.

What's even more impressive is the way they are winning games.  It's not through a high-flying offense, but rather a stifling defense that ranks seventh overall at this point.

The 49ers secondary is a strong, veteran group that will likely not fall for the play action.  They play a tough zone and make it hard for opposing quarterbacks to get the ball off to the receivers.

The hard-hitting 49ers will have some stiff competition themselves, as they go up against the No. 1 rusher in the NFL, Adrian Peterson.

Peterson managed 180 yards rushing in Week One and added another 92 in Week Two. The problem here lies in the 49ers rushing defense that has only given up 106 yards rushing total.

Also, the last time Peterson faced the 49ers, he was held to just three yards on 14 carries.  But the 49ers forgot that Minnesota has two backs capable of having 1,000 yard seasons and allowed backup Chester Taylor to rush for over 100 yards instead.

Quarterback Brett Favre may be in a little trouble this week as Patrick Willis looks to put a pounding on the offense.

Favre has been sacked seven times already this season due to an ineffective offensive line in pass-protection.

The hasn't stopped Favre from posting a 77.1 completion percentage and three touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings look stronger than ever.  Antoine Winfield has played well so far this season.  Teams haven't thrown his way hardly at all this season, and are instead targeting Cedric Griffin, a strategy that has proved to be costly more than once already this season.

The defensive line is getting solid pressure and has seven sacks in their first two games.

As far as injuries go, both teams a little dinged up, but nothing major.

Running back Frank Gore injured his ankle last week, but he will likely start anyway.  Backup running back Glen Coffee and guard David Baas should be ready as well.  Justin Smith was also on the injury report, but it's been reported numerous times that it's not injury related and he will play.

Running back Adrian Peterson, linebacker E.J Henderson, safety Madieu Williams, and tight end Jim Kleinsasser have all been limited in practice this past week, but all players should be ready for Sunday.

This looks to be a great game between a couple of 2-0 teams.  With the best two players from the 2007 draft going head-to-head (literally), this is going to be a battle of strength and endurance.  I'm not quite sure if the 49ers are for real yet, but they look to be heading in the right direction.

Key Matchups

Adrian Peterson vs. Patrick Willis: Peterson got lit up in the first meeting, but has the tide turned since then?

Frank Gore vs. Vikings defense: Can Frank Gore get the first 100-yard game against the Vikings since 2007?

Brett Favre vs. 49ers blitz: We know they're going to blitz, but can youngsters John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt hold their own?

Shaun Hill vs. Vikings Front Seven: Can the 49ers hold the aggressive Vikings back?

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings 27, San Francisco 49ers 13


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