|SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2-0)||GAME #3||MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-0)|
|Date:||27 September 2009 ||Location:||Minneapolis, MN |
|Time:||12:00 P.M. CST||Stadium:||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome |
DirecTV Ch. 709
|Know Thy Enemy:||Niners Nation|
|Gonzo's Prediction:||Vikings 27, Niners 24|
|Final Score:||Vikings 27, Niners 24|
For the first time since 7 January, the Minnesota Vikings will take the field at the Metrodome in a game that actually means something. As we've mentioned more than once over the course of this week, this is the only Week 3 matchup that features teams that are 2-0, which is a bit of a surprise. Only one team will come out of this one unscathed. . .what do the Vikings need to do to make sure that it's them?
1) Get back to being the Vikings' run defense - Over the course of the first two weeks, the Browns and Lions weren't afraid to run right at the heart of the Vikings' vaunted rush defense, and they had success in doing so. The Vikings have become accustomed to being the measuring stick in the NFL for rush defense, yet "only" rank 15th in the league through the first two games of the 2009 season. With Frank Gore leading the Niners into town this afternoon, the Vikings have to get back to where they're used to being. Pat Williams and E.J. Henderson will be huge today for the Beloved Purple. (Yes, I know, Pat Williams is huge anyway. You know what I mean.)
2) Feed off the home crowd - The Vikings are one of the few teams playing their home opener in Week 3. This is also, obviously, Brett Favre's first regular season game as a member of the good guys. Playing on the road in the NFL puts a team at a distinct disadvantage, regardless of the strength of the opponent. If the Vikings can get a few early stops on defense and a couple of big plays on offense early on, the Metrodome will be rocking, and Frank Gore will become a smaller part of the Niners' gameplan, which can only mean good things for Minnesota.
3) Play a complete game - The Vikings have gotten by in their first two games against teams they should have blown out after struggling in the first half and turning on the afterburners in the second. That strategy isn't going to work against San Francisco, who is easily the best team the Vikings have faced thus far. The Vikings can't afford to get off to a slow start against this team, and hopefully they know that.
It's been a pretty good week with the interaction between us and the good folks over at Niners Nation. Here's hoping that the game will be of equally high quality, and nobody significant has any sort of major injuries. Speaking of which, here are today's inactives for both teams:
QB Nate Davis (#3 QB)
LB Marques Harris
WR Jason Hill
CB Marcus Hudson
DT Ricky Jean-Francois
WR Brandon Jones
S Curtis Taylor
C Cody Wallace
S Husain Abdullah
CB Asher Allen
LB Erin Henderson
WR Jaymar Johnson
DT Jimmy Kennedy
OL Kory Lichtensteiger
DE Jayme Mitchell
QB Sage Rosenfels (#3 QB)
E.J. Henderson and Percy Harvin WILL play for Minnesota, which should make everybody happy.
Kickoff is about an hour away. . .let's get to it!