The first full week of the NFL Preseason continues on Friday night, as the Minnesota Vikings travel to the West Coast to take on the San Francisco 49ers. The game is scheduled for a 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) start time and it will be televised live locally. Currently the odds for the game have the the 49ers favored by 3 points for the game, while the total sits at 34.5.
Free Analysis: The Minnesota Viking are coming off of a dreadful 2011 season. Donovan McNabb was brought in to bolster an offense so they thought. Less than half-way through the 2011 season McNabb was benched for the future of the franchise in rookie Christian Ponder. Ponder didn’t do much better and the Viking finished the 2011 season with a 3-13 record, not to mention Adrian Peterson tore his ACL in December. Now heading into this season Minnesota will hope Peterson is able to make a speedy 9 month recovery and be ready for opening day of the regular season September 9 when Jacksonville comes to town. With that said, odds are Peterson doesn't try to overdue it and play much of anything in this first preseason game. Look for Toby Gerhart, second year back Jordan Todman, Lex Hilliard, and Derrick Coleman to split the carries in this opening preseason match-up. Friday's tilt will mark the debuts of a pair of heralded rookies taken in the first round of April's draft, Southern California left tackle Matt Kalil and Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith, with both having been installed as immediate starters. Two free-agent acquisitions, tight end John Carlson and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz won't be active for Minnesota in the opener, while the club lost first-year wide receiver Greg Childs for the entire season after the fourth-round pick tore the patella tendon in both knees this past Saturday. In 2011, the San Francisco 49ers didn't make many big name free agent moves, they just hired Jim Harbaugh and asked him to do something with a talented but underachieving roster. Upon hiring Harbaugh and starting the 2011 regular season the 49ers would go on to win 9 of their first ten games with one of the best defenses in the NFL. San Francisco would finish the 2011 regular season at 13-3 while advancing to the NFC Championship game only to lose to the New York Giants. Last year San Francisco was dead last in 3rd downs% and they threw for just 188 ypg and they hope the addition of Randy Moss will help. After sitting out the entire 2011 campaign, Moss resurfaced by signing a one- year contract with the 49ers in March and has put together an impressive offseason with his new team. He is expected to start tonight. Defensively in the off-season the only moves needed were the ones done, bringing back Dashon Goldson and the resigning of both LB Ahmad Brooks and CB Carlos Rodgers. this is a defense that will be very good once again. The Vikings and 49ers have split six previous preseason matchups, with San Francisco ending a string of three straight losses in the set with a 15-10 home victory in 2010. These teams will also square off in Minneapolis during Week 3 of this year's regular season.
Free Pick: I will look to the Under in this one. The Niners last year were 2nd in points allowed, 4th in total defense and ist in rushing defense and they made few changes to this unut this year, so I expect their stop unit to be just as good as last year. Minnesota's offense runs around Adrian Petersen, but he will not be in there for this one and that should slow this offense down a bit Last year the Vikes were 19th in scoring and 18th in total offense, but without Petersen in there and with very little talented depth I just don't see Minnesota being able to score much off this Niners defense. The Viking struggled on defense last year as they were 31st in points allowed, but the Niners don't really have an explosive enough offense to take much of an advantage of that. The Niners like to ground out games and use their defense to win games and that will most likely be their game plan here. Looks for less than 30 points in this one.
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