The Minnesota Vikings will host the San Francisco 49ers in a week one NFC clash Sunday afternoon from U.S. Bank Stadium. The 49ers posted a 6-10 record last season. The Vikings won the NFC North with a 13-3 record, and they lost to the Eagles in the NFC Championship game. The 49ers defeated the Vikings 20-3 in the previous meeting back in the 2015 season.
Jimmy Garoppolo Primed for Big Season
The San Francisco 49ers enter the 2018 season with high hopes led by QB Jimmy Garoppolo. The 26-year old took over as the starting QB late last season and he proceeded to lead the 49ers to five consecutive wins to close the season. Garoppolo registered 1560 receiving yards with a 7:5 TD to INT ratio in six games. Watch for Marquise Goodwin as he quickly evolved into Garoppolo’s favourite target last season. The 27-year old receiver finished 2017 with 962 receiving yards, and he should surpass the 1000 yard clip this year. The 49ers also feature veteran Pierre Garcon and second-year receiver Trent Taylor who could be in for a breakout year. Unfortunately, offseason free-agent addition Jerick McKinnon was injured last week, and he is out for the season with a torn ACL. Veteran Alfred Morris will see a good portion of the action along with second-year running back Matt Breida. Morris tallied 547 rushing yards in 13 games with the Cowboys last season. San Francisco averaged 20.7 points last season, ranking them 20th overall.
The San Francisco defense is a work in progress after allowing an average of 23.9 points last season, ranking them 25th in the NFL. They wasted no time signing former Seahawk Richard Sherman to a three-year deal. The 30-year old cornerback made two interceptions in nine games last season, and he will bolster the 49ers pass defense. Linebacker Reuben Foster will not suit up as he is serving a two-game suspension.
Vikings Enter Season as Superbowl Contenders
The Minnesota Vikings head into the season with Superbowl aspirations after reaching the NFC Championship last season. Vikings G.M.Rick Spielman made a big splash by signing Kirk Cousins do one of the biggest contracts in NFL history. Cousins has accumulated over 4000 passing yards in three consecutive seasons, and he is an upgrade over last year’s starting QB Case Keenum. Cousins will have plenty of talented targets to work with which includes Adam Thielen, Stefan Diggs, and Kyle Rudolph. Thielen had a career-year in 2017, bringing in 1276 receiving yards. He is dealing with an ankle injury and he should be good to go in this one. The Minnesota running game is no slouch either. They feature promising young running back Dalvin Cook along with Latavius Murray. Cook tallied 354 rushing yards before going down with a season-ending ACL injury last season. Cook could be slowly eased back into action, and Murray is more than capable of carrying the load early. The Vikings averaged 23.9 points last season, ranking them 10th in the NFL.
The vaunted Vikings’ defense is poised to dominate again this season after posting the NFL’s #1 defense in 2017. They feature several playmakers including a stifling secondary highlighted by cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Harrison Smith. Rhodes made two interceptions to go with 10 deflected passes last season. Minnesota limited opponents to an average of 15.8 points last season, and their rush and pass defense ranked 2nd in the NFL.
The Minnesota Vikings are:
- 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games in September.
- 42-19 ATS in their last 61 games overall.
- the home team is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings between the Vikings and 49ers.
The San Francisco 49ers are:
- No Key Trend