Found September 20, 2012 on 60 Max Power O:
Rams_vs_vikings_586a

This Sunday the San Francisco 49ers travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings at Mall of America Field. A dome in which the atmosphere is notoriously noisy, as fans make it very challenging for opposing offenses to operate at their highest efficiency. To make matters worse, the Vikings welcome back their forgotten son Randy Moss, who although a fan favorite in Minnesota, will more than likely not be treated as the deity he once was.

The 49ers had better be prepared come Sunday, the Vikings are hungry, and welcome the challenge of the undefeated San Francisco squad. After coming off of two huge victories against two of the top ranked teams in the league, the 49ers have no room to get complacent. Just because their not facing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers or Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions does not mean that the 49ers defense gets a night off.

As a matter of fact, the 49ers may have to prepare that much more, as the Vikings bring a completely different offensive scheme to the table. The Vikings are a run dominant team, unlike the Packers or Lions, which put much more emphasis on their passing game. And the man at the helm of the attack for the Vikings is none other than a healthy Adrian Peterson. His leadership and hard running opens up so much in the Vikings passing game.

After returning from a potential career ending knee injury, Peterson has not played as well as he had hoped thus far in 2012. In two games he has a combined total yardage of just 144, and just two touchdowns. It is far off his normal production rate. However, the low production is probably attributed to him just getting back into game form. Fact of the matter is, Peterson is due to explode for a big game, even if it is against arguably the toughest run defense in the league. The 49ers have not had to face a runner with his capabilities yet this year, so this contest is in no way a walk in the park.

As for the Vikings quarterback position, that is led by a very efficient Christian Ponder. Ponder operates in the offense much the same way that Alex Smith does for the 49ers. He is very protective of the ball, very rarely puts himself in the position to fail, and has a high completion percentage. He does not throw for a lot of yards, but when he does throw the ball it is typically not a difficult pass or catch. As evident by his zero interceptions thrown thus far. The 49ers defensive front will have to maintain pressure on the young quarterback to get him off kilter as much as they can.

The Vikings receiving unit has been guided by Percy Harvin over the last three years, and he is about as talented as any other receiver in the league not named Calvin Johnson. He has exceptional hands, cheetah like speed, and demonstrates precision route running, it makes him a deep threat and a game breaker through out every contest. The only thing hindering the passing game is the lack of depth at the position. As talented as Harvin is, the Vikings rely on him almost solely. Most likely, the 49ers will exploit that lack of depth and force Harvin to beat them alone. And the pass happy Lions couldn’t even make that scenario work with Megatron at the ready.

Defensively, the Vikings are desperately trying to unleash Jared Allen on opposing quarterbacks. Thus far he has yet to record one sack. Unfortunately, that does not vote well for 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, as Allen is frothing at mouth with anticipation. The 49ers have had to deal with Clay Matthews of Green Bay and Ndahmukong Suh of Detroit so far, so they are tested, hopefully not too worn out.

There’s no question that the 49ers have a huge target on their back as the team to beat thus far. And there is no doubt that the Vikings think they are the ones to do it. If the 49ers again stick to their game plan, they should again win. But to reiterate, the 49ers can certainly not relax at any point. 

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Vikings know they must be cautious of Moss

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. No team in the NFL understands how motivated receiver Randy Moss gets for big games better than the Minnesota Vikings, his club for the first seven seasons of his career and one ill-fated month in 2010.Minnesota has been the beneficiary of many of those big moments, such as when he scored two touchdowns in his first regular-season game and when he made his "...

Protecting against sacks key for 49ers this week

Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers understand the value of taking a sack. Smith was sacked more than any other NFL quarterback last season and is on a pace to be dropped even more times this year. But that hasn't stopped the San Francisco offense from thriving during the team's 2-0 start. While Smith already has been sacked seven times, San Francisco's offense has...

All eyes will be on Moss in return vs. Vikings

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The Minnesota Vikings are tied atop the NFC North after splitting the first two games of the season, but a sense of urgency crept into Winter Park this week with the team preparing for Sunday's game against the 2-0 San Francisco 49ers. Losing a close, perhaps winnable game, at Indianapolis last week caused some of Minnesota's veterans to speak up this...

49ers’ Alex Smith Warned To Not Wear San Francisco Giants…

49ers’ Alex Smith Warned To Not Wear San Francisco Giants Hat - San Francisco 49ers QB was threatened with a $15,000 fine from the NFL if he continues to wear a San Francisco Giants cap to postgame interviews as he did often last season. The league considers non-NFL items to be non-sponsored gear, and players can’t appear wearing those items 90 minutes before or after games....

Moss eager for return to Metrodome

Randy Moss appreciates the start he got with the Vikings, but he anticipates a mix of cheers and boos. Either way, he said, it means he’s doing something right.
SOLIDARITY IN SAN FRAN

Bochy wears hat to support 49ers QB

After the NFL threatened to fine 49ers QB Alex Smith for wearing a Giants cap, Giants skipper Bruce Bochy wore a 49ers hat in a gesture of support.

Randy returns

Randy Moss returns to the Metrodome for the first time in the regular season as a visitor. Will he be the Moss of old or just an old Moss?

Giants manager Bruce Bochy supports 49ers QB Smith

Bruce Bochy made his own statement in support of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. The Giants manager wore a red 49ers cap in the dugout before the series finale against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, a day after Smith said he'd been fined $15,000 last season by the NFL for sporting a Giants hat after games - though the fine was later dropped. ''That'...

Bruce Bochy Dons 49ers Cap During News Conference to Show Support for Quarterback Alex Smith

Alex Smith is a staunch supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Since the middle of last season, the 49ers quarterback has sported the team's cap during postgame news conferences as a good luck charm. But the National Football League put the kibosh on Smith's superstition moving forward. Fortunately for the quarterback -- whose team is currently 2-0 -- Giants manager Bruce...

Know Your Enemy - San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings

49ERS vs. VIKINGS (Sun Sept 23 1 PM ET) The 49ers are off to a 2-0 start and many are saying they have the best team in the league. Alex Smith is playing well with his new weapons and San Francisco ha the league’s 3rd best rushing offense. On top of that they pass defense has been decent and their run defense is stellar just like last season. The Vikings lost to the...

49ers Vernon Davis goes with celebratory jump shot

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By JANIE McCAULEY AP Sports Writer Vernon Davis might get fewer style points these days for his touchdown celebrations - and he's perfectly fine with that. The emotional San Francisco tight end learned from his blunder with the crossbar after scoring in a Week 1 win against the Packers at Lambeau Field. So, each time he scored...

Bruce Bochy Is Alright With Me

In support of Alex Smith’s lucky hat, Giants Manager Bruce Bochy wore a 49ers hat to his interviews today. And I think that’s just alright. Here is what Bochy had to say about it: “Alex supported us, so I’m going to support him,” Bochy said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “They’re a great club and I’m honored to wear it.”  This one’s for you, Bruce.
49ers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.