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49ers Vs. Vikings: A Prospector's Guide

Because this image never gets old.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Because this image never gets old. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The San Francisco 49ers travel to Minnesota this weekend to face a 1-1 Vikings squad that was a late Luck drive/Vinatieri field goal away from being 2-0. While it might not have been the strongest 2-0 start, it would have been 2-0 nonetheless. And it is always fun taking someone's zero. Hopefully the 49ers have a lot of teams taking aim at their zero this year.

The 49ers enter the game 2-0. The last time they were 2-0 was in 2009. They also happened to be facing the Vikings on the road in Week 3 and proceeded to lose thanks to a Brett Favre hail mary. While I don't think that 49ers squad was the strongest of 2-0 teams, things turned not too long after. The 49ers destroyed the Rams in Week 4 and then went on a four-game losing streak that left them playing catch up the rest of the way.

The 49ers are currently a touchdown favorite over the Vikings in many sports books, with the odds actually up to 7 1/2 at Bovada and 8 at 5dimes. I think this is a big step for the 49ers journey to the top of the NFL. The first step is getting touchdown spreads at home against decent teams. The next step is getting sizable spreads on the road. Respect is there and now it is time for the 49ers to show why they deserve that respect.

The San Francisco 49ers travel to Minnesota to square off against the Vikings on the first of back-to-back road games. The 49ers hold the edge in the all-time series 22-21-1.

Last week, the 49ers improved to 2-0 for the just the 18th time in franchise history with a 27-19 win over the Detroit Lions. QB Alex Smith connected with TE Vernon Davis on two touchdown passes, and RB Frank Gore added 89 rushing yards and a touchdown.

The 49ers defense held the Lions offense in check, holding them to just 296 yards from scrimmage. S Dashon Goldson notched his first interception of the season and notched 9 tackles, while LB NaVorro Bowman led the team with 14 tackles.

Coaching Connections

  • 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was a teammate of Vikings special assistant to the head coach/linebackers coach Mike Singletary with the Chicago Bears from 1987-92.
  • 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was on the same staff with Vikings linebackers coach Fred Pagac with the Oakland Raiders from
  • 49ers assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Brad Seely served with Vikings offensive line coach Jeff Davidson on the New England Patriots staff from 1999-2004.
  • 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave were both on the Carolina Panthers offensive staff in 1999.
  • 49ers running backs coach Tom Rathman and Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave were teammates from 1991-93, with the 49ers. On that 49ers coaching staff, 49ers offensive line coach Mike Solari was the tight ends/assistant offensive line coach and worked with Musgrave from 1992-94.
  • Vikings-Nor Cal Connections
  • Vikings special assistant to the head coach/linebackers coach Mike Singletary was the 49ers head coach from 2009-10 and prior to that, served as the 49ers assistant head coach/linebackers coach from 2005-08.
  • Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave played QB for the 49ers from 1991-94.
  • Vikings wide receivers coach george Stewart was the 49ers special teams coordinator from 1996-99, and returned as the wide receiv- ers coach from 2000-02.
  • Vikings DE Jared Allen is a native of Los Gatos, CA.
  • Vikings S Eric Frampton is from San Jose, CA.
  • Vikings RB Toby gGrhart played for 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh at Stanford.

49ers-Minnesota Connections

  • 49ers WR randy Moss played for the Vikings from 1998-2004, 2010 and ranks 2nd in Vikings history in recepts. (587), rec. yds. (9,316) and rec. TDs (92).

Collegiate Connections

  • Rebel Yell - 49ers LB Patrick Willis and Vikings S Jamarca Sanford played together at Ole Miss from 2004-06.
  • War Eagle - 49ers CB Carlos Rogers and Vikings WR Devin Aromashadu were teammates at Auburn from 2002-04.
  • Terp Time - 49ers TE vernon Davis and Vikings LB Erin Henderson were teammates at the University of Maryland from 2004-05.
  • Gator Chomp - 49ers DT Ray McDonald and Vikings WR Percy Harvin were teammates at the University of Florida in 2006.
  • Buckeye Brothers - 49ers S Donte Whitner played at Ohio State with Vikings WR Michael Jenkins in 2003.
  • Hook 'Em Horns - 49ers CB Tarell Brown teamed with Vikings DE Brian Robison on the Longhorns defense at the University of Texas from 2003-06.
  • Dawg Pound - 49ers TE/DT Demarcus Dobbs and Vikings K Blair Walsh were teammates at the University of Georgia from 2008-10.
  • Gamecocks - 49ers CB Chris Culliver and Vikings LB Jasper Brinkley were played together at the University of South Carolina from 2007-08.
  • Fighting Irish - 49ers NT Ian Williams played at Notre Dame with Vikings S Harrison Smith from 2007-10, and Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph from 2008-10.

Series Highlights
Matchups: 44
Series record: 49ers lead series 22-21-1
49ers away record vs. Vikings: Vikings lead series 13-9
First Meeting: 11/26/61, 49ers win 38-28, at Min.
Last Meeting: 9/27/09, Vikings win 27-24, at Min.
Current Streak: Lost 2
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 4 - 2 times (10/15/61 - 12/2/62, 10/30/88 - 12/30/90)
Longest Vikings Win Streak: 5 (9/15/63-10/24/65)
Most 49ers Points: 51 (12/8/84): 51-7, at SF
Most Vikings Points: 45 (9/29/63): 45-14, at Min.
49ers Shutouts: None
Vikings Shutouts: None

2012 Statistics

49ERS (rank) VIKINGS (rank)
2-0 (t-1st NFCW) Record 1-1 (t-1st NFCN)
28.5 (t-9th) Points per game 23.0 (t-17th)
363.0 (13th) Total Offense 358.0 (16th)
167.0 (3rd) Rushing Offense 109.0 (14th)
196.0 (25th) Passing Offense 249.0 (13th)
31:17 (t-11th) Possession Avg 27:36 (21st)
20.5 (t-9th) Points allowed/gm 23.0 (t-16th)
310.0 (11th) Total Defense 316.5 (12th)
63.5 (6th) Rushing Defense 98.5 (12th)
246.5 (19th) Passing Defense 218.0 (t-10th)
5 (t-11th) Sacks 4 (t-24th)
45.6 (19th) Punting Avg (Gross) 48.2 (10th)
+1 (t-10th) Turnover Differential -1 (t-17th)