Minnesota (0-0) at San Francisco (0-0)
When: Monday, September 14th 2015
Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Time: 10:20 ET
TV: ESPN Radio: XM 226, 225, 88
The Minnesota Vikings come into this season with some high expectations. Some ‘experts’ believe that this is a playoff team. After all, Teddy Bridgewater is looking like he might be a pretty good quarterback, and they have their franchise back. I’m talking about Adrian Peterson. He missed nearly the entire season last year after child abuse charges. There’s no doubt that he’s the best running back in the game. He has at least 10 touchdowns in each of his first 8 seasons and has rushed for over 1,200 yards six times. Bridgewater has proven himself with a nice run in the last 5 games in 2014. In those games he completed 72.1% of his passes and had 8 touchdowns to only 5 interceptions. He now has a great threat at wide-receiver with the acquisition of Mike Wallace from Miami. Wallace caught 10 TD’s last year for the Dolphins. The Minnesota defense showed signs of improvement in the 2nd half of last season holding 6 of their last 11 opponents to 17 points or less.
The San Francisco 49ers are in complete rebuild mode. They lost their coach Jim Harbaugh to Michigan and will be replaced by Jim Tomsula. Star pass rusher Aldon Smith is gone as is four other defensive players due to retirement. Patrick Willis and Chris Borland will be sorely missed at the linebacker position. The offense should be able to score some points if their offensive line improves. Colin Kaepernick threw for a career high 3,369 yards passing and 639 yards rushing. He will have Carlos Hyde taking over for Frank Gore at running back. Torrey Smith comes over from Baltimore to help the receiving corps. The 49ers still have Anquan Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis.
This line opened up at 49ers -4.5 before the preseason started and went all the way to Minnesota favored by 2.5. It now sits at Vikings -1.5. Minnesota had a very nice preseason, but I think the high expectations, coupled with a Monday Night road game might be too much for them right now. San Francisco will probably win less than 5 games this year, but I think this could be one they win tonight.
Pick: 49ers +1.5