As opposed to contrary belief, the preseason is critical for all 32 teams. It gives them an opportunity to evaluate talent, identify strengths and weaknesses, and experiment with new tactics.
In Sunday's match-up between the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings, there is a lot of hype
For the San Francisco 49ers, a team with playoff aspirations, the 2010 NFL preseason will be especially important as there are several different areas they need to sort out and improve on.
More importantly, their match-up against the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday is full of hype as it is also the return of Brett Favre.
Therefore, here are the five most important things to keep an eye out for.
Note: I've stuck to only the offensive side of the ball in this slideshow.
Be sure to check out my Live Blog, giving my personal commentary and in-depth analysis on the game.
According to reports, the San Francisco 49ers are interested in giving quarterback Nate Davis a chance to prove himself in today's game.
Davis was taken with the 171st overall selection in the 2009 NFL draft. When the team did so, I was enticed by his potential. Now that I've seen flashes of what he can do, I firmly believe he should overtake David Carr as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart.
So far, in limited preseason action, Davis has thrown for 398 yards and 2 touchdowns and has completed nearly 62 percent of his pass attempts.
The last time the Vikings faced off against the 49ers, Brett Favre threw a last-second game winning miracle pass to Greg Lewis. Had that been prevented, the 49ers would have been in the playoffs.
Sure, this may just be a 'meaningless' preseason game. However, it is also a chance for the 49ers to get revenge at home.
With the news of Glen Coffee's surprise retirement, the 49ers backfield became a very puzzling situation.
Luckily, Anthony Dixon eased the concern as he rushed for 100 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown last week in a win against the Indianapolis Colts.
Was that performance a fluke for the sixth-round rookie, or will he answer the call again? Obviously, I hope its the latter.
Aside from that, though, the 49ers also signed Brian Westbrook to a one-year deal earlier this week and it'll be interesting to see how he blends in to the system.
If he displays promise, could that signify the end to Michael Robinson's tenure in San Francisco?
All that and more should be answered in today's game.
During a practice last Thursday, Vikings receiver Percy Harvin collapsed on the field due to migraine headaches. The incident was so serious that he was hospitalized overnight.
Harvin's entire career has been plagued by migraines, and his future in the NFL is a major question mark.
Even though he will not be playing today, it's sure to be a riveting topic to discuss. Will he be able to overcome this issue and still be a reliable playmaker? We'll just have to wait and see.
Nonetheless, as always, I wish him the best of luck moving forward.
Earlier this week, quarterback Brett Favre officially announced that he will return to the Minnesota Vikings for a 20th NFL season.
Later, he stated that he plans to play in this today's game against the 49ers.
Since Favre is one of the biggest names in football (after Tim Tebow, of course), everyone will definitely be tuning in to see how he plays after missing team activity the entire summer.