On Sunday in Santa Clara, two 5-5 groups do battle, looking for extra advantageous playoff positioning.
The Minnesota Vikings are presently the sixth seed within the NFC, set for a date on the Tampa Bay Buccanneers or Dallas Cowboys if the playoffs began this week. On the San Francisco 49ers, they’re teetering on the perimeter of the seventh-seed, locked in battle with New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, and Carolina Panthers.
The winner in Week 12 of Vikings at 49ers will hand one staff a quick lane to the wildcard spherical of the playoffs. And in case you acknowledge nationwide opinion as a barometer for future occurring, most analysts consider the 49ers shall be victorious.
According to NFLPickWatch.com, a web site that hosts weekly straight-up picks of all NFL video games for pundits, 59% of pundits predict the 49ers will outduel the Vikings.
Too, San Francisco is favored by three factors, which is the usual playing allotment for a staff with homefield benefit. Both groups are comparable, experiencing ups and downs in 2021. The Vikings barely beat the Detroit Lions and have choked away sure victories. The 49ers misplaced eight straight dwelling video games relationship again to 2020 earlier than getting off the schneid versus the Los Angeles Rams a few weeks in the past.
Plus, San Francisco does effectively what Minnesota struggles towards — working the soccer. The 49ers are the league’s eighth-best dashing assault, and this week they’ll tackle the NFL’s sixth-worst rush protection per yards allowed. Adding insult to harm (or harm to harm), the Vikings shall be with out their complete beginning defensive position. Injuries, COVID, and different points have sidelined Minnesota’s beginning foursome up entrance defensively this weekend.
The Vikings haven’t received on the 49ers in 14 years. The final time they received, Tarvaris Jackson was quarterback, and Trent Dilfer was enjoying his closing skilled sport. After that, the 49ers stifled the Vikings within the season opener of the 2015 season, because of a dull Vikings effort. And, extra infamously, San Francisco ended Minnesota’s season in 2019 — the sport after Kirk Cousins and Kyle Rudolph walked off the New Orleans Saints. As a rule of thumb, the Vikings don’t carry out effectively within the 49ers home, evidenced by an 8-15-1 (.354) all-time report on the highway towards the 49ers.
Minnesota is tasked with stopping huge receiver Deebo Samuel, whose breakout season is one thing to behold. In some ways, Samuel is a modern-day Percy Harvin in a style utilized by the 49ers offense. Then, San Francisco, beneath Kyle Shanahan, all the time appears to have three or 4 working backs who slice and cube the opposition.
Somehow, someway — the Vikings should be inventive on protection, bettering on sins of failing to cease the run within the season’s first 10 video games. Injury reviews be damned.
Notable personalities predicting the Vikings to win? Maurice Jones-Drew, Domonique Foxworth, Kevin Seifert, Mike Clay, Jason La Canfora, and Adam Rank.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs each Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates again to 1996. Listed responsible pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).