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Golden Nuggets: 49ers at Vikings; Joe Staley, Patrick Willis Face Tests

Good morning, everyone. Another Sunday morning edition of the Golden Nuggets. Wasn't too long ago that that was a boring thing. Sundays in the land of the Nuggets was sifting through the injury updates and national media trying to find even the smallest morsel of info. Now it's overwhelming, as it should be and...Shhh! The game's about to start!

We get our first 'easy' game of the season this morning with our 49ers visiting the Minnesota Vikings. Everyone remembers what happened the last time we were there. Brett Favre threw a touchdown in the last seconds to put a damper on our season, spring-boarding them to a NFC Championship Game appearance. Oh, how the times have changed. We're a consensus best team in football and they're starting a sophomore QB with Adrian Peterson coming off of an ACL / MCL injury. Should be an easy one for us and I want to see how well we play against a team we're supposed to beat. We didn't finish either of our first two games until the last drive, and this one shouldn't be that close.

One of the key matchups in this morning's game will be Joe Staley vs Jared Allen. Neither have looked exceptionally well in the first two games, with Allen still sitting on zero sacks and Staley getting manhandled by Clay Matthews. Staley went on to look good enough against the Detroit Lions. Let's see if Staley can keep it up against one of the premier DEs in the League. | Joe Staley must deal with Jared Allen. (Branch)

The other big matchup of the day will be the 49ers run defense against Adrian Peterson. He looks to be back in top form after the first couple of games. He hasn't gone up against a brutal defense like the one the 49ers have. We'll get our first chance to see what he looks like when every yard is a fight. | Run defense gets first real running test in Adrian Peterson. (Inman)

What ifs...What ifs are what 31 teams count every offseason. How many of you wanted us to get Peyton Manning? How many of you that wanted him still think we would be better off with him at QB? I know there are some of you out there. I was never sold on the Manning idea, not because I thought Alex Smith needed immediate replacing, but because there were better ways to spend $20 million a year, or whatever salary he ended up with. BASG has a comparison for you of the two QBs after two games and will continue to examine this throughout the year. | Alex Smith vs Peyton Manning - a weekly comparison. (BASG)

Game within game: Will Peterson have a ten-yard gain against 49ers? (Branch)

49ers key matchup No. 2: David Akers vs Percy Harvin. (Maiocco)

49ers key matchup No. 1: Joe Staley vs Jared Allen. (Maiocco)

49ers x-factor became painfully obvious. (SFGate)

49ers set off on rare 10-day roadie. (Inman)

Niners ready for another Ohio 'minicamp'. (Press Democrat)

Chris Culliver's brush with death. (Branch)

49ers chasing Raiders mark. (Sando)

NFL Live OT: Are 49ers the team to beat? (ESPN Video)

Matt & Mindi: Randy 'freakin' Moss returns to Minnesota. (CSN Bay Area Video)

Oh...and congratulations to the 2012 San Francisco Giants. In case you live under a rock, or are an A's fan, or, most likely, both, the Giants wrapped up the NL West and can do all the fun things like, set your rotation and rest your stars. And we're built for the playoffs...

Being a Sheep

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