Two teams who had turbulent off seasons face off in the second game on
Monday Night football. Both teams have dealt with multiple off the field issues and
are looking forward to being able to get on the field.
The 49ers have had a significant overhaul. Coach Jim Harbaugh was fired
after an incredibly successful stint as head coach. He wasn’t the most pleasant
person to work with and it ultimately led to his demise. He was replaced by new
head coach Jim Tomsula who is an unlikely candidate facing a lot of criticism from
the 49er faithful. The team was aggressive in free agency signing speedster wide
receiver Torrey Smith away from the Baltimore Ravens. He will add an element to
the receiving core that quarterback Colin Kaepernick has never had. They also
added veteran running back Reggie Bush who will look to revitalize his career in the
49ers offensive system that will be friendly to his pass catching abilities. On the
other hand the team suffered major departures on both sides of the ball. Running
back Frank Gore who was arguably the best running back in team history left to sign
wit the Colts. Patrick Willis, who had battled injuries over recent seasons
unexpectedly retired. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree left to sign with the Oakland
Raiders. These are only a few of the many departures from a team that is going to
have a significantly different look this season.
The Vikings have been dealing with turmoil and uncertainty surrounding star
running back Adrian Peterson and is child abuse accusations. Speculation was
rampant that the team would either trade or release him in the offseason but the
teams held onto him and are now one of the “sleeper” picks in the division. Peterson
will likely have some rust after almost 2 years off, however he has also rested his
worn body over the last few years and is a good bet to return to his dominant self.
The team also solidified its weak wide receiver position by acquiring Mike Wallace
in a trade in the offseason. Wallace has world class speed and will give young 2nd
year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater a deep target in the passing game. The defense
did not have any “big name” signings, however they were aggressive to add a
number of bodies o provide depth in the offseason.
Both teams are huge question marks with the 49ers being predicted as low
as a 3 win team by many prognosticators. A lot of that has to do with the team’s
offseason losses and the hiring of an unproven coach. Tomsula will be under heavy
scrutiny from day one replacing the undeniably successful Harbaugh. The Vikings
have a potential star at quarterback in Bridgewater and a hall of fame running back.
Head coach Mike Zimmer will find a way to get stops on defense, the question is will
they be able to score enough points to win games. This game wont be the most
talked about one, but it may be a great one.
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