49ers Vs. Vikings: Key Things to Look For During Game

As the 49ers prepare to play the Minnesota Vikings in their first preseason game of the 2012 season, I have a few things that I'll be watching during the game. Many people aren't interested in the preseason or wonder why people even watch the games.

For me it's a matter of answering some questions about players, not to mention getting to see my beloved team in their game-day uniforms in an NFL stadium...yeah, I'm a sports-nerd like that.

Here are a few things that I'll be watching closely and, if you need an excuse to be interested...you can steal my reasons.

  • Can Alex Smith and Company move down the field for a scoring drive, achieving first-downs and looking productive in year two of Greg Roman's offense, utilizing the new weapons acquired, as well?
  • How will Aldon Smith respond to playing against the run and dropping into coverage?
  • Who looks best at the right guard spot, Alex Boone or Leonard Davis?
  • Which backup safety looks most ready to take over if there were an injury to Dashon Goldson or Donte Whitner?
  • Which roster-bubble player(s) end the game "arrow-up", as Jim Harbaugh puts it? (I'm most interested in WR's Nathan Palmer and Chris Owusu, as well as safety Michael Thomas.)
  • Can anyone handle a punt(s) without looking clueless?
Sure there are many other questions...but these are the ones that concern me most when it comes to the upcoming season and the team's chances of going deep in the playoffs...especially if there are any injuries as the season wears-on.

For more on the San Francisco 49ers, join the discussion over at Niners Nation. You can also check out everything we have to offer at SB Nation's NFL hub.

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