Week 3: San Francisco 49ers Vs. Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
Jacksonville Jaguars v Minnesota Vikings
Winner The 49ers may turn out to be the best team in football this season, and much of that belongs to Alex Smith. He has improved dramatically over the last two seasons. He has become an accurate passer who makes great decisions and that leads to victories.
The Vikings may have something with Christian Ponder calling signals. He has rallied the Vikings in the fourth quarter of the first two games, and the Vikings appear somewhat competitive. Ponder has arm strength, accuracy and executes down the stretch.
Winner The Jim Harbaugh era is all about playing physical football on offense and letting the punishing offensive line dominate. The running game is dependable with Frank Gore overpowering defenders. Tight end Vernon Davis and wide receiver Michael Crabtree excel at making clutch plays.
The Vikings should be able to compete offensively with the Niners. They have the best running back in football in Adrian Peterson. Wide receiver Percy Harvin caught 12 passes against the Colts and he has the quickness to get open. Michael Jenkins is a decent complementary receiver.
Winner The 49ers appear to have the best defense in football in the early going. They frustrated the Packers in the road opener and kept the explosive Lions from scoring a touchdown until garbage time. Justin Smith and Aldon Smith are both smart and aggressive players who team with middle linebacker Patrick Willis to dominate.
If the Vikings are going to have any chance in this game, Jared Allen must be on his game and find a way to get to Alex Smith. He did not have a sack in the loss to the Colts. Linebacker Erin Henderson had 12 stops against the Colts and is an outstanding tackler.
Special Teams
The 49ers have rarely been known for their kicking game, but that has changed with the explosive David Akers handling field goal duties. Punter Andy Lee does not have a strong leg, but he knows how to drop the ball inside the 20.
Winner The Vikings should have the opportunity to pop a couple of big plays in the return game this season with Harvin handling kickoff returns. Placekicker Blair Walsh has a strong leg and connected on a 51-yarder against the Colts.

The Winner Is

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
Winner 49ers
3 out of 4

The 49ers are off to an excellent start and they should have a chance to assert themselves in the NFC and possibly represent the conference in the Super Bowl. However, they are not going to win every game and a hard-running Viking team could push them hard if Minnesota gets off to a good start.


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

    The Seahawks face their NFC West foe on the road as the Cardinals look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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