The 49ers defense has been about as easy to run on as a campaign slogan promising cancer to every American, but Vikings running back Adrian Peterson thinks that they’re in for a surprise this weekend.
Peterson thinks that the Vikings’ rushing attack, which has produced 218 yards through the first two weeks of the season, is going to provide problems for the San Francisco defenders. According to Peterson, the Niners have never seen anything like what the Vikings will be bringing to the field this Sunday.
“These guys are good, but we’re looking forward to the challenge,” Peterson said, via Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I don’t think they’ve faced a run-attack offense like we have. So I think that can switch things up. We’re looking forward to playing those guys.”
Unless the Vikings are coming out with something really different this week, Peterson’s comment sounds like a serious stretch. The 49ers didn’t come up against good running offenses in either of their first two games, but their 2011 defense, which was pretty much the same as this year’s unit, shut down plenty of ground games comparable to what we’ve seen from the Vikings so far this year. That doesn’t mean that Peterson and the Vikes can’t be successful, but it won’t come from the 49ers being dazzled by something they’ve never seen before.
If the Vikings run offense is going to impress this weekend, it’s probably going to take a strong performance from Christian Ponder that forces the Niners to loosen up on defense. The Vikings know they need that kind of production from their passing game and we’d expect the 49ers defense to handle their business without too much trouble if Ponder can’t get it done.