NFL Preseason Free Picks: Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers 8/22/10

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After a tumultuous offseason, the Minnesota Vikings have their starting quarterback situation worked out. The ageless wonder, QB Brett Favre, is going to be leading the team onto the field in an NFL preseason betting affair against the San Francisco 49ers.

Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers (-3)
Sunday, August 22nd
8:00 ET, Monster Park, San Francisco, CA

Vikings Notes: Where else could we start than with return of No. 4? Favre ended all of the controversy about his return to the Vikings this week when he left the small town life from his ranch in Mississippi and headed up to Minneapolis to rejoin his teammates in the second week of the preseason. Even though he has been away from the game since the NFC Championship Game, Favre is expected to start on Sunday night. His role should be limited, as head coach Brad Childress expects him to take either approximately ten snaps or run two drives. Favre should be reunited with RB Adrian Peterson, who sat out last week's win against the St. Louis Rams. Instead, the man that was sparkling was QB Sage Rosenfels, who suddenly went from battling for the starting QB job to battling to keep his position on the team. Rosenfels completed 23-of-34 passes for 310 yards and three TDs without throwing a pick. Without a doubt, the former Houston Texan was the most impressive QB that the Vikes had in the 28-7 victory. QB Tarvaris Jackson and QB Joe Webb only combined to throw ten passes. Webb threw for a TD and ran for 24 yards on three carries. The defense for Minnesota was the most impressive of any unit in the first week of the preseason, as it held the Rams to just 150 total yards. The only score came via a special teams gaffe. The test should get much more difficult this week, though.

49ers Notes: The 49ers put up the second most points of the preseason in their 37-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts last weekend. However, head coach Mike Singletary has to be a bit concerned with his starting offense. Though the offensive line gave QB Alex Smith plenty of time to throw the ball, the former No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft only went 3-of-9 for 37 yards with an INT in limited action. None of the major receiving options for San Fran got in on the act at all, some due to being held out of the lineup, others of which were just ineffective thanks to Smith. However, the good news for Singletary is that his reserves played fantastic football during the final three quarters in spite of the fact that they were given a 10-0 deficit to try to overcome after one quarter of play. QBs David Carr and Nate Davis both performed admirably, combining to go 14-of-17 for 182 yards. Carr also threw a touchdown pass. The focus last week was on the running game though, and that should be a trend that continues this week for the Niners in their home opener. Running back Anthony Dixon, the team's sixth round draft pick out of Mississippi State last season, rushed the ball 21 times for 103 yards and a TD in his professional debut. Dixon is part of a trio of backs trying to replace the suddenly retired Glen Coffee to be starting RB Frank Gore's backup.

The Final Word: However sharp can Favre really be in this game? Asking for No. 4 to lead the starters on a touchdown drive in this one is going to be difficult, especially considering the fact that there is some controversy going on between him and Childress. We tend to believe that the united 49ers are going to put a better product on the field, particularly considering the fact that this is the preseason, and the end result is going to be a relatively comfortable two score 'W'.

Prediction: 49ers 20 – Vikings 10

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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