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The San Francisco 49ers started their preseason on a positive note after taking down the Minnesota Vikings 17-6.
49ers starting quarterback, Alex Smith, completed 3-of-3 passes for 16 yards and one touchdown pass in one series of play. Smith connected with fouth year wide receiver Brett Swain for a 4-yard touchdown pass towards the end of the first quarter. Michael Crabtree only caught one pass for three yards.
The Niners are trying to upgrade their pass game this season after finishing 29th in total passing yards last year. With the addition of veteran, Randy Moss, and Super Bowl XLVI standout, Mario Manningham, the Niners boast a revamped receiving corps for the 2012-13 campaign.
On Friday night, most of the 49ers’ offense came from their strong running game, not to mention that starting running back Frank Gore did not play. Anthony Dixon had 12 carries for 46 yards, Rock Cartwright had 8 carries for 44 yards, and newly acquired Brandon Jacobs had four carries for 31 yards, including a breakout 23-yard run. Back-up quarterback Colin Kaepernick outran everybody and tallied up 92 yards on the ground, including a 78-yard quarterback keeper for the 49ers’ second touchdown. San Fran out ran the Vikings, 260 to 82.
The Niners have serious running back depth, especially with the addition of Brandon Jacobs to help in short down situations, but also by drafting rookie LaMichael James. Both Jacobs and James, along with Kendall Hunter, will be competing for 2nd string running back this offseason.
The Minnesota Vikings have some evident offensive issues that they should be concerned about, especially after tallying up only 208 total yards against the Niners. Quarterback Christian Ponder completed 4-of-9 passes for 80 yards in his first game of the year. Ponder, a second year starter, still has a lot to prove if he is going to continue to be a starter in Minnesota. Ponder was towards the bottom of the list for quarterbacks when it came to yards, touchdowns, quarterback rating, and competition percentage.
The Vikings offensive woes do not end there, they are also without star running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson suffered a gruesome knee injury towards the end of last season and is still not 100% better. Peterson has been practicing with the starters and is hoping to play towards the end of preseason. If Peterson is not ready, Toby Gerhart would most likely start. Gerhart carried the ball 5 times for 31 yards in Friday’s game against the Niners.
Ponder and the Vikings will be back in action Friday, August 17 against the Buffalo Bills. As for the Niners and their prolific run game, they will be back in action Saturday, August 18 against the Houston Texans.
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