NFL Picks, Week 3: Taking 49ers Over Vikings, Of Course

In Week 1 and Week 2, I went with the San Francisco 49ers in my picks. Week 1 was the toughest, but the reasoning was simply that an elite defense can beat an elite offense. Which is exactly what happened. The same reasoning was used against the Detroit Lions, and now we come to the first team that bucks the trend: the Minnesota Vikings.

While the Vikings have been known for their defense for much of the last decade, it's been consistently held back by a weak offense, and now the window is closing for them. Their defense is aging, and aside from sack master Jared Allen, it's on the decline. All of this is happening while the offense is being rebuilt and, actually, it's starting to look pretty good.

It's unclear if Christian Ponder is the answer in Minnesota, but he's had a great start to 2012 after a pedestrian rookie season (in which he did not start its entirety). He's also got limited weapons, and while Percy Harvin is fantastic with the ball in his hands, he's hardly got the makeup of a true No. 1 receiver. Ponder is relying on his tight ends more and more, and San Francisco has the defense to stop then.

Then we come to running back Adrian Peterson, generally the player that tips the skills in Minnesota's favor. That's not going to happen against the 49ers, as they have the league's best run defense and have for years now. Peterson won't sway the fact that the 49ers have just bested two of the better teams in the league. I'm sticking with the 49ers on this one. Expect them to be 3-0 headed into Week 4.

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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