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Vikings Vs. 49ers: Minnesota Starters Could Be In For Short Night

The Minnesota Vikings are hoping to sport a much-improved offense in 2012. Their defense has been the long-time strong point of the team, but it's definitely an aging unit, with lacking performance on offense from everybody not named Adrian Peterson being the norm. That being said, second-year quarterback Christian Ponder will be looking to be much-improved, hoping to benefit from left tackle Matt Kalil.

If Ponder and the first-team offense (sans the injured Peterson) produce effectively on Friday against the San Francisco 49ers in the preseason opener, they may not see the field for long. According to the Pioneer Press, head coach Leslie Frazier hinted that it could be a short night for the starters if they put up some points:

"I have talked to them about if they score in that first drive what it would mean, but we do have a number," Frazier said. "We are going to talk to them about it, but some of it will be dictated by how we perform early on. We have an idea for the maximum of what we want for participation from an offensive and defensive standpoint."

Of course, even if they do produce, there's a chance that Frazier will want to try out some different things on the fly. The preseason is truly a time where coaches get a feel for everything and what does and does not work. If Ponder goes out there and throws an 80-yard touchdown pass, he might come out again to run some other plays just so to get some more work in him so he's not raw heading into the regular season.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.