Christian Ponder looks calm, and self-assured for the Vikings this season. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Vikings host the San Francisco 49ers this week in a game featuring two teams on different ends of the spectrum.
The Minnesota Vikings host the San Francisco 49ers this week in a game between a team performing better than expected and another that has been as dominant as people predicted, now looking like one of the best teams in the NFL.
Entering the season, there were questions about whether or not Christian Ponder would be the long-term answer for Minnesota at QB. Thus far ,he's silenced critics by displaying excellent accuracy and decision making far beyond his years. Developing an early rapport with Percy Harvin has worked wonders for Minnesota thus far, and when paired with Adrian Peterson, who is off to a surprisingly quick start following his 2011 surgery, they've formed an offense that can't be overlooked.
For San Francisco, it begins with Frank Gore, and the offense moves from there –- but the real threat is their outstanding defense. While they haven't looked quite as sharp as last year, this is still a unit that brings pressure from multiple angles out of its 3-4 defense, and having a linebacker like Patrick Willis doesn't help the Vikings' ability to run the ball.
On the injury front, Vikings' linebacker Erin Henderson has missed practice this week with a concussion he sustained in Week 2. Given the league's policy on head injuries, it's unlikely he'll suit up this weekend. The 49ers have no major concerns; RB Brandon Jacobs could miss Sunday's game with a knee injury (though it's said he's close to returning to practice), but with Gore on the roster. it's not a huge concern.
Where: Mall Of America Field– Minneapolis, MN
When: 1:00 PM ET