Carolina Panthers (5-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4)
Dallas Cowboys (12-1) at Detroit Lions (6-6)
Miami Dolphins (0-12) at Buffalo Bills (6-6)
New York Giants (8-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)
Oakland Raiders (4-8) at Green Bay Packers (10-2)
San Diego Chargers (7-5) at Tennessee Titans (7-5)
St. Louis Rams (3-9) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-8)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-4) at Houston Texans (5-7)
Arizona Cardinals (6-6) at Seattle Seahawks (8-4)
Cleveland Browns (7-5) at New York Jets (3-9)
Kansas City Chiefs (4-8) at Denver Broncos (5-7)
Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3) at New England Patriots (12-0)
Indianapolis Colts (10-2) at Baltimore Ravens (4-8)
New Orleans Saints (5-7) at Atlanta Falcons (3-9)
Minnesota Vikings (6-6) at San Francisco 49ers (3-9)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:05 ET
TV: FOX, Matt Vasgersian, JC Pearson
43rd meeting. San Francisco leads series, 22-19-1, and is 8-4 against Minnesota in the month of December. The 49ers beat the visiting Vikings, 9-3, on Nov. 5 of last season. That marked the first time the teams had played at San Francisco in the regular season since 1997. The Vikings are 7-13-1 all-time in San Francisco.
KEYS TO THE GAME
The focus is rightfully on their top-ranked running game, but the Vikings' resurgence can also be attributed to the maturation of second-year QB Tarvaris Jackson. He is managing the game well, and hitting on just enough big plays to make defenses pay for over-playing the run. Stacked fronts or not, Minnesota will continue to batter away with RBs Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor with their offensive line able to physically dominate most any opponent.
49ers QB Trent Dilfer threw four interceptions last week, but the Vikings' ability to put pressure on him is diminished with DE Erasmus James going to injured reserve and DE Ray Edwards suspended for the final four games. Dilfer has to rebound to exploit the Vikings' bottom-ranked pass defense, because RB Frank Gore figures to have a tough go of it against the stout front seven.
Vikings: James (knee) is out; CB Antoine Winfield (hamstring) expects to play after missing four of the past five games.
49ers: QB Alex Smith (shoulder/forearm) is doing light throwing to determine soon if he needs season-ending surgery; WR Arnaz Battle (ankle sprain) should play.
The Vikings' remaining opponents are a combined 18-30.
49ers LB Patrick Willis has recorded 18 or more tackles in back-to-back games.
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