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Unlikely showdown coming Sunday

Through two weeks of the 2009 season, only nine teams are undefeated.  (That number could drop to eight tonight, when the 1-0 Colts face the 0-1 Dolphins.)  In Week Three, only two of those teams will play each other:  the 49ers and the Vikings.

It’s an unlikely early-season showdown.  Though the Vikings were expected to beat the Browns and the Lions, few non-49ers fans could have predicted that San Fran would topple both the Cardinals and the Seahawks to start the season.  (Then again, the PFT Picks had the Niners in both games.)

And Sunday’s game will have plenty of layers of intrigue, beyond the obvious “battle of unbeatens” story line.

It’s Brett Favre’s first regular-season visit to the Metrodome as a member of the home team.  But it’s also the first visit to the Metrodome for quarterback Shaun Hill, who spent four years at the bottom of the Vikings’ depth chart.  In a 2007 game against the Vikings in 2007, Hill showed in mop-up duty the potential that ultimately put him in the mix to compete for the starting job he now holds.

Also, 49ers coach Mike Singletary and Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier were teammates on the legendary ’85 Bears defense.  And the Niners defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky, spent three years as a player on the Vikings in the early 1990s.

Then there’s the fact that the NFC’s two leading rushers — Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore — will be featured in the game.

So while the casual fan might regard 49ers-Vikings as just another early-season middle-of-the-pack matchup, the reality is that it could be the best game of the weekend.

Except for Colts-Cardinals.  On NBC.

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36 Responses to “Unlikely showdown coming Sunday”
  1. Kodiakal Karnage says: Sep 21, 2009 11:29 AM

    Given their schedule, Minny’s pretty much had a six game pre-season up until now.
    Samurai Mike and SF will give ‘em hell, though…

  2. magsdad1 says: Sep 21, 2009 11:29 AM

    I am a Broncos fan, but I have to say I really like Mike Singletary as a coach. He’s doing a great job, even with a lot of holes still on that roster.
    Vikes-49er should be an old fashioned type game. Run, hit, run some more.

  3. purplescar says: Sep 21, 2009 11:39 AM

    Viking fan here living in the bay area … This is gonna be a monster game! Obviously most of my friends are Niner fans but there’s a few fans of the purple & gold around. Local brew pub serves up a good breakfast and pours the best beer on the west coast SKOL VIKINGS!!!

  4. danj0306 says: Sep 21, 2009 11:45 AM

    Nice NBC plug in the end there to keep your job.. hahahahahaaha

  5. Fan_Of_ Four says: Sep 21, 2009 11:46 AM

    Niners will be the Vikes first real test. They have made a believer out of me. Then again so did the Skins last year until the wheels fell off the Bus. Still it should be a great game.

  6. PACKinNM says: Sep 21, 2009 11:48 AM

    Way to pump up NBC at the end Florio. GO 49ers

  7. Darth_Bonham says: Sep 21, 2009 11:49 AM

    I am getting a vibe that takes me back to the Redskins vs Cowboys, in 2000, when Lavaar Arrington ended Troy Aikman’s career with a brutal hit.
    Bring us to next weekend, when Patrick Willis will end Brett Favre career with the same type of hit.

  8. leatherneck says: Sep 21, 2009 11:50 AM

    Vikings fan here.
    The 49ers are for real this year. Patrick Willis is a stud. The offense for the Niners is very good this year, too.
    It’s going to be a rough and tumble game.

  9. Great Smoky says: Sep 21, 2009 12:03 PM

    After PFT’s numerous knee-jerk criticisms of Favre and Singletary over the last year, it seems that those two actually know a little bit about what they’re doing, and kudos to PFT for not exactly eating crow, but at least allowing the raven to sit lonely on the placid bust, unmolested.
    Hmmm, if Schroeder in “Peanuts” had a bust of Beethoven on his piano, and if the poor wretch in”The Raven” had a bust of Pallas upon his chamber door, a bust of whom might Mr. Florio have upon his desk?
    I really hope it’s Howard Cosell.
    Or Brett Favre.

  10. ChicagoJo says: Sep 21, 2009 12:07 PM

    “(Then again, the PFT Picks had the Niners in both games.)”
    Translation: Rosenthal picked the Niners, and I’m trying to get credit for it because I’m a d-bag.
    I had the Niners in both games, and the dark horse to win the division. Several people I know had the same, and I’d say a large majority took them over the Seahawks Sunday. You have nothing to be proud of.
    You talked smack to anyone backing the defending NFC champs and one of the top passing threats in the NFL against a garbage Jacksonville team because it was an east coast home game. People like you are how people like me make s*loads of money. Go check your twitter account.

  11. Ron In Charlotte says: Sep 21, 2009 12:14 PM

    I bet Obama shows up to push HC reform during the second quarter.

  12. Wiscdave says: Sep 21, 2009 12:15 PM

    This is a rivalry that flares up periodically. In 1970, the 12-2 Vikings lost to the 10-3-1 49’ers in the first round of the playoffs. This game was played at the Met and the 49’ers wore pantyhose under their uniforms to help with the cold. After the 1987 season, the underdog Vikings beat the 49’ers in San Francisco in the second round, but the 49’ers beat the Vikings in the playoffs after each of the next two seasons and again after the 1997 season. But that was then and this is now.

  13. Flvikesfan says: Sep 21, 2009 12:21 PM

    Darth_Bonham is obviously heavy into his stash of medical marijuana, take a break for your pot clinic visit to realize that Bret will be fine. He is an animal no matter what team you cheer for you better take note that you don’t start 271+ games and not have the balls to stand up to a couple of hits. AP will make your D look like a pee wee squad has stumbled onto the field. Your papier-mâché back Frank Gore will, as always, be injured and not finish the game. It will be close up until the middle of the 3rd quarter where AP will run wild over your lethargic defense. Maybe Darth can get a couple of extra ounces to help with his depression after the 49ers end up 2-1.

  14. Great Smoky says: Sep 21, 2009 12:30 PM

    Then there’s this obvious mention:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8P1TzqWEgY

  15. UFL rules the NFL says: Sep 21, 2009 12:44 PM

    Ocaca will show up at halftime.

  16. bearsrule says: Sep 21, 2009 1:14 PM

    By kickoff, at least three ESPN talking nitwits will have proclaimed it as the ” greatest week 3 game ever.”

  17. Youngone says: Sep 21, 2009 1:21 PM

    You forgot to mention how Willis underlly dominated Peterson last time they met.

  18. hotchick says: Sep 21, 2009 1:28 PM

    Its an early season middle of the pack game.

  19. Dirte says: Sep 21, 2009 1:29 PM

    Hey Ron in Charlotte. Let it go, the Civil War is over. The south lost…Get over it. You’re wasting your time and energy being a racist. Why don’t you worry about something you can control.

  20. chitown26 says: Sep 21, 2009 2:00 PM

    Down with the 49ers.
    I was at yesterday’s game and besides going to Raider games, I have never seen a bigger bunch of bubbling morons at a football game.
    I took my family to a football game to enjoy the sunny Sunday afternoon and catch a good game between division rivals, and of course moronic people of many different ethnicities couldn’t keep their mouths shut, couldn’t keep from getting wasted, and couldn’t keep from yelling at my kid about his bears hat. Seriously.
    I expected more from 49er fans, but I guess I was wrong. I can’t wait to show up to the Thursday night 11/12 game against the Bears and root for Chicago.

  21. epping16 says: Sep 21, 2009 2:08 PM

    Dude Bears fans are the worste! I’m a 49er fan in Illinois so I hear it all the time! Chicago fans are classless

  22. purple hay-seuss says: Sep 21, 2009 2:50 PM

    Hey, Youngone,
    Re-read your 6th grade spelling test. The one that asked you to spell ‘utterly’. That’s the one. Even Patrick Willis, whom did very well bottling up AD last year, will be unhappy that you are saying good things about him in such a sloppy way. Stop that.
    Vikes-Niners is a long history of very good football games, some much more meaningful than others. This one will be the same, and its weight will be felt later in the season. Here’s some trivia: What was the original, intended design and name for the stadium that was to replace Metropolitan Stadium in Minnesota – before the Hump was defecated into our midst? Candlestick Park. Ooooh, the irony. Tasty.
    No, not that hot thing your mom uses on your school shirts, Youngone.

  23. Great Smoky says: Sep 21, 2009 3:03 PM

    First, Ron In Charlotte says:
    “I bet Obama shows up to push HC reform during the second quarter.”
    (Probably a reference to Mr. Obama’s appearances on numerous TV shows in the past few days.)
    Then Dirte says:
    “Hey Ron in Charlotte. Let it go, the Civil War is over. The south lost…Get over it. You’re wasting your time and energy being a racist. Why don’t you worry about something you can control.” (sic)
    Well, there’s at least one kernel of truth in the second post: The implication that one can’t control President Obama. Mr. Obama is the latest in a string of chief executives who mistakenly believes he is my ruler, not my leader.
    Then there is the endlessly amusing accusation that if you disagree with any Obama policy or stance you must be a robe-wearing, noose-tying hater of the very worst kind. It is sort of a “get out of jail free card” that Obama supporters invoke so they don’t have to discuss issues, or acknowledge our Constitution. It is much like the old Bush-era saw which asserted that those who disapproved of going to war in Iraq must be hellbent on the destruction of America. Such arguments have obviously served the Republic very well, what with our fiercely divided populace, and the oceans of obscene personal attacks that substitute for actually understanding what the hell is going on, and debating it sensibly.
    Of course, we could just stick to talking about football…

  24. Debacled says: Sep 21, 2009 3:05 PM

    @Dirte
    Who did you get your talking points from today- Maddow or Olbermann? Or was it Daily Kos?

  25. cliffcla says: Sep 21, 2009 3:05 PM

    Yes you did forget to mention Petersons revenge factor.. He got 4yds on 14 attempts last time. If I recall he was just comming off of a knee injury last time. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that was the time frame. Still……Patrick Willis is a Beast.

  26. Ottawa49ers says: Sep 21, 2009 3:11 PM

    Florio you gotta stop with the shameless NBC plugs… We all know that you are now NBC’s whipping boy, and your reminders are getting really annoying to read.
    I miss the old PFT where you had no problem ripping into NBC employees and didn’t have inside jokes like calling the other writers “Mr” written into the posts.
    Still love the site but your selling out is taking it’s toll on me…. please stop plugging NBC, we all know they broadcast the game on Sunday night it’s the only place to watch it
    GO NINERS!

  27. Great Smoky says: Sep 21, 2009 3:11 PM

    Then there’s the Hugh McElhenny angle. Great history between these two teams, and the upcoming game should be a good one.

  28. slipkid says: Sep 21, 2009 3:27 PM

    remember that steve young 50 yard run to beat minnehaha on the last play of the game…
    osamabama probly will speak at halftime of the niners/vikes game, assuming TOTUS is available to tell him what to say. resident zero really doesnt speak well off the cuff.
    he was on seven (yes, 7) talk shows yesterday trying to sell a health care reform bill he doesnt actually have. it’s the baucus bill, and it isnt so much about health care or reform of its management as much as it is about giving fedgov access to your bank account so the ‘single payer’ can bill you when it decides to allow you to get some care. that, and a bunch of other immoral and unconstitutional stuff…
    and, the south seceded legally, after which the north invaded illegally. the north refused to have anyone but the south pay its tariffs to fedgov. at that time, the tariff was all the tax revenue. and the south paid 85% of that.

  29. this class sucks says: Sep 21, 2009 3:56 PM

    Everyone STFU about Obama this is a football site, take that crap else where. You are all wrong and clearly don’t even understand politics which is probably why you are talking about it on PFT.

  30. MasterShake says: Sep 21, 2009 4:00 PM

    Singletary is a great fit for this team. He will not become the next Lombardi though. The niners needed some structure and that’s what they got. On the road, in a dome, against the NFC central champs is a “back to reality” game for SF. Smoke and mirrors won’t work against he Vikings defense. The QB issue will raise it’s ugly head this week. Maybe for both teams?

  31. purpleguy says: Sep 21, 2009 4:12 PM

    The Seahawks had a ton of injuries, and the 49ers are fairly one-dimensional even with a healthy Gore. I’ll bet this game isn’t as close as everyone thinks it will be.

  32. CanadianVikingFan says: Sep 21, 2009 5:09 PM

    I wish I could see this game live at the dome. I haven’t been there yet and I would like to even though all I read and see is that its garbage and it probably is. But at least I can see when they play at Detroit and Chicago.
    It should be a good game, but I don’t expect to see the same bottling up like last time of Peterson even though I think Patrick Willis is an amazing LB. I’d be concerned for Shaun Hill though, playing in the Metrodome is no easy task.
    On a side note, its nice to see that most 49 fans aren’t scumbags and retards like the Packers, Bears, and Cowboys fans.

  33. purple hay-seuss says: Sep 21, 2009 5:14 PM

    MasterShake,
    What QB issue? That was last year, and the year before that and the year before that. In 2009, there have been exactly ZERO QB problems for the Minnesota Vikings. All the spring/summer drama mercifully aside, the Vikings have their starting QB, whom has not thrown an interception but has 3TDs in two games. Second highest QB rating in the league. And he’s like 400 years old. Can it be? A PLAN in Minnesota for offensive production and ball control? Even The Geezer Himself appears, at least to this point, to be on the same page as the guys 0n the sidelines with caps and headsets – and I don’t mean the one with that “Big Ear” thing. Actual paid coaches for the Minnesota Vikings seem to have control of the offense and a QB that wants, and knows how to, move the ball THEIR WAY. I have to sit down. I’ve not had the pleasure of these ideas for years.
    How is this bad? Until next Sunday, no one can say anything but conjecture and trash-talking about how they THINK things will happen. Can’t wait.

  34. MasterShake says: Sep 21, 2009 5:31 PM

    PHS,
    The Vikes\Favre haven’t shown the ability to throw down the field. At some point, a defensive minded head coach is going to exploit that. I could be wrong, nah…………

  35. purple hay-seuss says: Sep 21, 2009 6:21 PM

    MS,
    I wish had had one of those “Big Ear” things so I’d know what is being said on the sidelines. Then I’d know what they were really wanting and trying to do. You say “don’t have the ability to throw the ball downfield”…Ah, yes they do. They don’t appear to choose to do it alot. They certainly have the ability to score from inside the 10, as at the end of the Detroit game, but chose not to do that and give the Kitties the ball back with time on the clock. These are coaching choices, not lack of abilities.
    And are you talking about Brett Favre, one of the greatest statistical QBs of all time? THAT Brett Favre? I don’t love the guy, and I’ve been against his donning a Purple Jersey and Horns since the start. Excuse me, maybe I’ve been missing something for 16 years. He’s that QB that has all those records for attempts, TDs, completions, yards, INTs, hot dogs eaten, Deer shot, Tractors overhauled, razors ignored, high-schoolers practiced with. All the hype aside, I’m pretty sure he can “Thow it down there” as he is quoted as saying. He’s avoiding INTs and keeping his six-shooter in the holster, as far as I can tell. No, the Minny WR corps is not world-class but the RBs ARE. Wouldn’t you use the best weapons at your disposal, too? Wouldn’t you exploit defenses, too? Harvin!!! The kid is for real. Notice the lack of “Haze” jokes? Chester Taylor could start anywhere else and is a true threat receiving out of the backfield. Then there is that other guy, 28. A man among men, and you know that. The best currently playing, period. I’d give him the ball. A lot. Rice, Berrian, Harvin and Shiancoe are enough. Notice no moves to get a WR/headliner? They don’t need one.
    I said it last week and I’ll say it again. Control, Peterson (Taylor/Harvin/some passing mid and deep), Defense, no QB mistakes and few idiotic coaching decisions. I’m happy so far. I love the deep ball and recall very fondly the Pep/Moss days, the Tark/everybody days and the Kramer/Sammy White days, but those days are gone.

  36. DcNinerFan says: Sep 21, 2009 6:49 PM

    Boy, I think Florio touched a sore spot with Niner and Vike fans. We’ll see what will happen, Willis vs. Peterson, Clements Vs. Farve (yes, I know, but he’s done wonders to screw up the passing lanes the past 2 weeks), and Gore vs. the Williams. Lets just see what happens, and leave the posturing for the ladies. ;-)

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