The revamped San Francisco 49ers open their season by welcoming the Minnesota Vikings to town. A lot of people are expecting the 49ers to take a major step back, while the Vikings are the sleeper team of the NFL this season. I took the Rams yesterday, and think they are going to be the undisputed sleeper team, but the Vikings may be able to jump into the foray as well. I will say one thing though, when everyone says a particular team is going to have a big coming out party, it usually never comes to fruition. The Vikings want to buck that trend this season. There is definitely pressure on them to perform.
Their success will boil down to how Teddy Bridgewater does on the field. Bridgewater looked good for a rookie in his first season playing at the professional level. He showed glimpses of why the Vikings were confident in drafting him where they did. We’ve seen quarterbacks have fine rookie campaigns and then falter the rest of their careers. Vince Young, I am looking at you.
I noted that the 49ers are revamped. But I don’t think it’s a positive thing. Out is head coach Jim Harbaugh, who took over the head coaching job at the University of Michigan. There was some turmoil between Harbaugh and management late in his time with the organization. Harbaugh leaving San Francisco was inevitable. The 49ers hired Jim Tomsula to try and get the Niners heading on the right path. Tomsula previously spent time as an assistant with the 49ers as a defensive line coach. He is going to see an increased load of responsibility in San Francisco. An early season slide for the first-half of the season, and people will already be jumping off the Tomsula train in San Francisco. Tomsula doesn’t have the same talent to work with as Harbaugh, so calling for the guillotine on him may be a tad premature. The 49ers suffered some key departures, notably on defense. One of which does not include quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Although, ask some 49er fans and they’ll tell you that they don’t even want Kaepernick running the show under center.
Now just a quick recap of yesterday, which was a profitable day for us. I went 3-0 in the afternoon games and the SNF pick is currently pending. As I write this article the Giants are up on the Cowboys, but we’ll see how it goes. Regardless of the outcome it was a nice day for the bankroll. We look to close out week 1 of the NFL on a high note and another winning pick.
Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers NFL Pick
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Vikings vs. 49ers Pick:
The 49ers form the Harbaugh era are pretty well unrecognizable. They lost a lot and will have to make up for it from other avenues. Fixtures that came to define their defense are gone. Patrick Willis and Justin Smith both retired, leaving two of their best defensive players off the roster. Aldon Smith also saw his departure from the 49ers in the offseason. Cornerback Chris Culliver is also gone, landing in Washington with the Redskins. The secondary very slowly regressed, becoming a team that has been passable on. However, the real hurt here is the 7 up front for the 49ers. They are severely depleted and need to rely on NaVorro Bowman to step up. Bowman destroyed his knee in a postseason game against the Seahawks two years ago, resulting in him missing last season. Who knows how he’s going to respond from that brutal injury.
They also lost some on offense, too. Long-time 49er back, Frank Gore, signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Also receiver Michael Crabtree stayed in California going to the Oakland Raiders. The 49ers did add Torrey Smith, a former solid weapon of Joe Flacco in Baltimore. I feel like the 49ers lost a lot and weren’t able to add much to make up for it. Further, it should take some time for this team to gel together. Kaepernick will need to get familiar with his new options in the offense. The 49ers also have a brand new offense and head coach to get used to. I see Adrian Peterson having a big game tonight. The front of the Niners is not what we are accustomed to seeing. Not my biggest play or most confident play of the week, but I’m locking it in with the Vikings.
PICK: VIKINGS -2 (-110)