The 49ers cannot:
- Pass the Ball--they are averaging a league worst 3.99 yards per attempt. (The Vikings are averaging 7.02 YPA). And no, it doesn't help that they have Trent Dilfer under center
- Protect the Quarterback--they have given up 43 sacks, tied for 30th in the NFL. They are also have a league worst negative pass play percentage of 13.3%, which means that they make every defense look like the best in the league at creating sacks and interceptions. They're also have the second worst adjusted sack rate, at 9.8%.
- Protect the Ball--the Niners have thrown 15 interceptions and fumbled the ball 9 times, four of which the other team recovered.
- Establish Good Field Position--with an average kickoff return of 22.4 yards and punt return of 9.3 yards, the 49ers special teams haven't helped their offense out. Maurice Hicks, their kick returner, only has one return for more than 40 yards, and Michael Lewis, their punt returner, only has three, despite have 56 kick returns and 40 punt returns. The Niners have yet to return a kick or punt for a touchdown and Lewis has also fumbled three punts.
- Score Points--San Francisco's average of 13.7 points per game is the worst in the NFL. They've scored less than 20 points in ten of their twelve games, only hitting the twenty point mark against against the Cardinals in Week 1 (20 points) and Week 12 (31 points)
For this game, it shouldn't matter that Ray Edwards was suspended four games for steroid use, nor should it matter that his likely replacement, Erasmus James, is battling knee problems. Antoine Winfield should be back and the Vikings defense should dominate a putrid 49ers offense.