The Vikings have involved themselves in two very close games through the first two weeks of the season, beating Jacksonville 26-23 in overtime in Week 1 and losing 23-20 to Indianapolis last weekend.
We have to say we’d be a tad surprised if Week 3’s matchup ends up being that close. After all, Minnesota will be playing arguably the best team in the league in the San Francisco 49ers.
If the Vikings are to have any chance of winning, it’ll be because of their three key players: Christian Ponder, Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin.
Ponder, albeit against weak competition, has looked much better in the early stages of his sophomore year. He hasn’t thrown an interception yet and has completed 75.8 percent of his passes in total. Obviously the competition level takes a massive jump upwards now with the 49ers in town.
The quarterback is always pivotal in deciding the winning team and losing team, but Adrian Peterson’s play may make the passing game irrelevant.
If AP can have one of his signature monster outings, who knows what could end up happening. Maybe Ponder won’t need to do too much and the Vikings will be able to control the clock and put together some long drives behind their workhorse back.
When Ponder does throw, he’s going to be looking for Percy Harvin most of the time.
Harvin already has 18 catches for 188 yards and is coming off a 12-catch, 104-yard performance against the Colts. Minnesota is doing anything they can to get the ball in Harvin’s hands whenever possible, as evident by his seven total rushes as well through two games.
NFL picks are tricky as we’ve come to learn that anything can happen in this league, but one thing we do know is the Vikings are going to have to be tremendous on both sides of the ball if they want to beat the 49ers.