The Minnesota Vikings announced on Saturday August 24, that wide receiver Jarius Wright did not travel with the team to San Francisco. That makes room for rookie Cordarelle Paterson to have a breakout game in his third preseason contest. Wright is dealing with a concussion, so it’s wise to hold him out until they need him week 1.
The Vikings and the 49ers possess two of the most explosive players in the NFL. Adrian Peterson was a couple carries away from breaking the all time single season rushing record. He’s been held out of the first two preseason games, but Leslie Frazier expects Peterson to play two quarters possibly.
Colin Kaepernick hasn’t had a tremendous amount of work so far in the preseason games, but expect him to be unleashed on Sunday nights game in the first half. While, he will get some solid work in, the 49ers will play newcomer Seneca Wallace plenty of snaps. Still, it will be of great interest to see how Kaepernick fares against the Minnesota pass rush.
1. The Quarterbacks- As difficult as it may seem, Colin Kaepernick has not started a full season worth of games yet. In fact, Christian Ponder has more starts and both quarterbacks led their teams to the NFC playoffs last season. Unfortunately for Ponder, he wasn’t able to participate in the loss to the Packers. It was apparent, if Ponder is only a game manager, he manages the game as well as any other quarterbacks.
Colin Kaepernick has become an icon already. Imagine if he would have finished off the final drive in the Super Bowl. His preseason focus has been sensational and he’s chomping at the bit to get the regular season started. Every time Kaepernick takes the field, he is a much watch.
2. Running game vs. the defense- In other words, it’s should be a great match up between the San Francisco front seven and the Minnesota running game. Adrian Peterson will be getting first half carries, but it is uncertain how long he’ll play. Surely, it will be enough to get him prepared for NFL contact.
3. Red Zone efficiency- The 49ers basically lost a Super Bowl because they couldn’t punch the ball into the end zone. With the power running attack, they should have no problems scoring in goal line situations. We’ll know early if they’ve learned from their mishaps. NFL teams that have to settle for field goals, find themselves on the losing end more often than not.
The game starts at 8:00 p.m. Sunday night, on NBC.
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