On Sunday in Santa Clara, two 5-5 teams are battling seeking a more advantageous playoff positioning.
The Minnesota Vikings are currently the sixth seed in the NFC to be set for a date on the Tampa Bay Buccanneers or Dallas Cowboys if the playoffs started this week. On the San Francisco 49ers, they tip the edge of the seventh seed, locked in a game with the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers.
The winner of Week 12 of the Vikings at 49ers will give one team a fast track to the wildcard round in the playoffs. And if you recognize national opinion as a barometer of the future, most analysts believe the 49s will prevail.
According to NFLPickWatch.com, a site that hosts weekly direct selections of all NFL games for experts, 59% of experts predict that the 49ers will surpass the Vikings.
San Francisco is also favored by three points, which is the standard gambling award for a team with a home court advantage. Both teams are similar and are experiencing ups and downs in 2021. The Vikings barely beat the Detroit Lions and have strangled certain victories away. The 49ers lost eight home games in a row going back to 2020 before getting rid of schneid against the Los Angeles Rams a few weeks ago.
Plus, San Francisco does well what Minnesota is fighting against – running football. The 49ers are the league’s eighth-best rushing offense, and this week they will face the NFL’s sixth-worst rushing defense per. allowed yards. If you add spot to damage (or damage to damage), the Vikings will be without their entire starting line of defense. Injuries, COVID and other issues have put Minnesota’s starting fire ahead defensively on the sidelines this weekend.
The Vikings have not won in the 49ers in 14 years. The last time they won was Tarvaris Jackson quarterback, and Trent Dilfer played his last professional game. Thereafter, the 49ers Vikings strangled in the season opener of the 2015 season, thanks to a lifeless Vikings effort. And more infamously, the San Francisco Minnesota season ended in 2019 – the fight after Kirk Cousins and Kyle Rudolph left the New Orleans Saints. As a rule of thumb, the Vikings are not doing well in the 49ers house, as evidenced by an 8-15-1 (.354) away record against the 49ers.
Minnesota is tasked with stopping wide receiver Deebo Samuel, whose breakout season is something to behold. In many ways, Samuel is a modern-day Percy Harvin in a way used by the 49ers offense. Then San Francisco, under Kyle Shanahan, always seems to have three or four running backs cutting and cutting the resistance.
Somehow, the Vikings will have to be creative in defense and improve on the sinners by not stopping the race in the first 10 games of the season. Damage reports are damned.
Remarkable personalities who predict 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 is hosting a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos’ and The Doors (the band).