The week leading up to preseason game number two was all about Brett Favre. Between the three man rescue mission to Mississippi, the arrival of #4 to training camp, and the constant media attention given to Favre and his ankle, it could have been easy not to focus on the 49ers. After watching the game Sunday night, it appears that some of the Vikings did just that.
Last week the offensive line had some problems blocking during rushing plays. This week that same line just had problems blocking period. Minnesota’s top-two rushers were Joe Webb and Tarvaris Jackson. This just in folks, they are quarterbacks and they were not running by design, they were running for their lives. The number one QB, Brett Favre, was supposed to get ten plays or so to get the rust knocked off. On play number three, Patrick Willis knocked more than the rust off and Coach Childress quickly changed his strategy. Play number four was Favre’s last, but San Fran treating Minnesota QBs like pinatas had just begun. The last few years the O-line was a Viking strength. If they want to keep any QB in one piece they had better get to work.
The other concern last night was Alex Smith. The 49er QB evoked memories of Joe Montana as he carved up the Minnesota defense. The first string defense. San Francisco’s defense has been solid under Head Coach Mike Singletary. Their running game has also been good recently, but the biggest area of concern for them has been finding a legitimate QB to lead the passing game and on Sunday night Smith looked like the answer. The Vikes’ D could not really put pressure on him and he led the 49er offense right down the field on the first possession of the game for a touchdown. It is only the preseason, but long drives like that are never a good thing to see.
There were some positives to take away from the 15-10 loss. In his first action of the year, Adrian Peterson looked fresh and fast. While his time was limited, he got several touches including grabbing three receptions coming out of the backfield for twenty-five yards. If AP can contribute in the passing game it will be a huge plus for Minnesota, especially after losing RB Chester Taylor in the offseason. The other positive for the Vikes is that they did not turn the ball over during the entire game. That comes as a little bit of a surprise since the quarterbacks were under pressure all night.
Minnesota plays their first home game on Saturday against Seattle. The Seahawks should not pose a serious threat to the Vikings, so it will be important to see some significant progress in some of the problem areas like the offensive line. The regular season is now just around the corner, and teams as good or better than the 49ers are all over the schedule. In fact don’t be surprised to see San Francisco again, this time in January when it counts.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).