When the NFL released its 2009 schedule back in April, the Week 3 Vikings-49ers matchup was looked upon by many as a final tune-up for the Vikings before their big Week 4 showdown with the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.
Thoughts of a pair of 3-0 NFC North division rivals meeting on MNF crept into the collective football fan’s mind.
Now, however, in what illustrates the unpredictable nature of the NFL, this Week 3 matchup has gone from a final tune-up to perhaps the game of the week. And next week’s game between the Vikings and Packers – something the Vikings can’t afford to look forward to with the 49ers coming to town – won’t feature a pair of undefeated teams because Green Bay has already lost.
Vikings vs. 49ers presents a pair of teams with identical records and similar numbers in several significant statistical categories. It is also the NFL’s only Week 3 game between 2 undefeated teams.
The Vikings have more 1st down this season, but San Francisco is average more total offense. The 49ers have been better against the run, but the Vikings are better against the pass. The Vikings have Adrian Peterson, but San Francisco can counter with Frank Gore.
While the casual NFL fan may have overlooked this San Francisco 49ers team a few months ago, you can be sure that the Vikings aren’t overlooking them now. San Francisco took down the defending NFC champs Arizona on the road in Week 1 and then took care of Seattle last week at home.
San Francisco’s main threat through 2 games has been Gore. He is the NFL’s 3rd leading rusher, behind Peterson and Tennessee’s Chris Johnson. While the Vikings have continued their impressive string of not allowing a 100-yard rusher, the Lions found a way last week to net 129 yards rushing as a team against the Vikings. With Gore and the 49ers coming to town this weekend, the Vikings realize they need to make corrections on defense and be prepared for a physical team.
“Against a good runner, against a team that emphasizes what they emphasize and their level of physical toughness, you better be about your business that way,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said. “Because I tell you they are not going to come in here like some people do and say ‘geez we’re not going to be able to run the football.’ They are going to try and exert their will physically on you running the football. They are going to do that.”
Tags: Adrian Peterson
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