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San Francisco 49ers vs Minnesota Vikings: A Preseason Prospector's Guide

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And we're back for another week of preseason action. This week the 49ers host the Minnesota Vikings in the Sunday Night NBC game of the week. The good news is that the 49ers will get some national coverage. The bad news is we're going to be absolutely inundated with crap about Brett Favre. I'm actually leaning towards watching the television with the sound on mute and turning on the radio for the game. Or, if I do have the NBC crew on, I had an idea: we need a contest for the amount of separate times Brett Favre is mentioned. So, not necessarily each time his name comes up, but rather, the number of separate discussions during the game revolving around Favre. At the very least it'll make for one heck of a drinking game!

This game marks the first time since 2004 the 49ers and Vikings will face each other in the preseason and will be the sixth time overall. The Niners will look to even the overall preseason series at three games apiece and improve Coach Singletary's preseason record to 5-1.

This will be the first preseason matchup between the two teams in San Francisco,with the first four games all played at neutral sites (Portland - 1961 & 1963; Seattle- 1962; Salt Lake City - 1964). Since 1960 the Niners are 7-5 against teams from the NFC North during pre-season play and have not faced their Northern rivals since the 2008 preseason matchup against the Packers, when San Francisco won 34-6.

The 49ers are coming off a 37-17 victory against Indianapolis to remain 3-0all-time vs. the Colts in preseason play. Rookie RB Anthony Dixon rushed for 100 yards in the contest to become just the third 49ers running back (Glen Coffee 2009, Jamal Robertson 2002) to accomplish the feat in a preseason game, dating back to 2002. Coffee and Robertson's performances show you how valuable preseason rushing totals can be. Let's hope for a change with Anthony Dixon.

49ers-Vikings Connections

49ers head coach Mike Singletary and pass rush specialist coach Al Harris were teammates with Vikings defensive coordinator LeslieFrazier on the Chicago Bears, including their Super Bowl XX Cham-pionship team.
• 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and Vikings tight endscoach Jimmie Johnson were teammates with the Washington Red-skins and Kansas City Chiefs. Manusky was Vikings LB Ben Leber'sposition coach with the San Diego Chargers.
• 49ers strength and conditioning coach Duane Carlisle was a speed development coach during Brad Childress' tenure as offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2000-2004.
• Pete Hoener and Karl Dunbar coached together on the Chicago Bears staff in 2004.
• Vance Joseph coached at Colorado with Vikings running backs coach Eric Bieniemy. 

FORMER 49ERS - K Ryan Longwell entered the NFL in 1997 as an un-drafted free agent with the 49ers...Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart coached in San Francisco for seven seasons (1996-2002) and was part of five playoff teams...Vikings offensive line coach Pat Morris spent seven seasons (1997-2003) on the 49ers coaching staff and was part of four playoff teams.

FORMER VIKINGS - Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky played linebacker for the Vikings from 1991-1993...CB Karl Paymah came to the 49ers this season via free agency from the Vikings, where he played in 12 games during the 2009 season.

VIKINGS NOR CAL CONNECTIONS - Vikings rookie RB Toby Gerhart finished runner-up in the Heisman Trophy as a senior in 2009 at Stanford University...K Ryan Longwell played at the University of California Berkeley from 1993-1996...S Eric Frampton was a standout at Oak Grove High in San Jose, CA...Rookie free agent center Tommy Hernandez played at UC Davis, where he was team captain his senior year.

CARDINAL COMRADS - 49ers rookie T Matt Kopa helped open holes for Vikings RB Toby Gerhart at Stanford University in 2008 and the start of 2009 before being injured in the opening game.

MIDWEST CONNECTION - 49ers FB Britt Miller and DT Derek Walkerplayed with Vikings LB J Leman at the University of Illinois during their collegiate career spanning from 2006-2008.

BUCKEYE! - 49ERS CB Nate Clements and Vikings CB Antonio Winfield were teammates for a season at Ohio State. The two went on to play together with the Buffalo Bills from 2001-2003.

TERP TANDEMS - 49ers TE Vernon Davis was a teammate of Vikings FS Madieu Williams from 2003-04 at Maryland.

TEXAS TWO-STEP - 49ers CB Tarell Brown patrolled the defensive secondary alongside Vikings CB Cedric Griffin at Texas from 2003-05.

E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES! Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress was theoffensive coordinator for Niners RB Brian Westbrook from 2002-05. Vikings CB Lito Sheppard was teammates with Westbrook from 2002-08. WR Greg Lewis shared the offensive production with Westbrook from 2003-08 and RB Ryan Moats served under the tutelage of Westbrook from 2005-07.

Preseason Series Highlights
Preseason Matchups: 5
Preseason Series: Vikings lead series 3-2
First Preseason Meeting: 1961, 49ers win, 14-10, in Portland
Last Preseason Meeting: 2004, Vikings win, 23-10, at Minnesota
Current Streak: Lost 3
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 2 (1961-1962)
Longest Vikings Win Streak: 3 (1963-2004)
Most 49ers Points: 30 (1962) - 30-24 at Seattle
Most Vikings Points: 43 (1963) - 43-28 at Portland
49ers Shutouts: None
Vikings Shutouts: None

2009 Statistics

49ERS (rank) VIKINGS (rank)
8-8 (2nd NFCW) Record 12-4 (1st NFCN)
20.6 (18th) Points per game 29.4 (2nd)
290.8 (27th) Total Offense 379.6 (5th)
100.0 (25th) Rushing Offense 119.9 (13th)
190.8 (22nd) Passing Offense 259.8 (8th)
29:46 (18th) Possession Avg 32:40 (3rd)
17.6 (4th) Points allowed/gm 19.5 (10th)
326.4 (15th) Total Defense 305.5 (6th)
97.0 (6th) Rushing Defense 87.1 (2nd)
229.4 (21st) Passing Defense 218.4 (19th)
44 Sacks 48 (1st)
47.6 (2nd) Punting Avg (Gross) 43.9 (12th)
+9 (5th) Turnover Differential +6 (t-8th)