49ers vs. Vikings: 4 bold predictions for Week 11 bout

Arik Armstead #91 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Arik Armstead #91 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers -3. 60. Sunday, Nov. 28. 5-5. 4:25 p.m. ET. 5-5. Fox. 42

The 49ers may have won two games in a row, but a massive test will be upending the visiting Vikings in Week 12, which carries playoff implications.

Both the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings are 5-5 on the season, yet the Vikings hold the No. 6 playoff seed in the NFC postseason picture entering Week 12 based on conference record so far this season.

So, needless to say, Sunday’s contest at Levi’s Stadium between these two teams will carry plenty of implications.

A Niners win over the same team they beat nearly two years ago in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs would effectively give head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad a two-game lead in the standings over Minnesota. And that might be a huge difference by the time Week 18 rolls around, especially considering how up and down both teams have been this year.

The Vikings offense is explosive, yes, averaging 30.7 points per game over their last three contests. Yet San Francisco also shut down an explosive offense two weeks ago in the Los Angeles Rams, holding them to just 10 points, and a similar approach against Minnesota lines up the first of our four bold predictions for this crucial matchup.

Bold Prediction No. 4: 49ers nearly double time of possession over Vikings

The 49ers have figured out one of the best ways to win games is to simply not let an opponent’s offense onto the field.

Just take a look at the time-of-possession battles from the Niners’ last two games:

  • Week 10 vs. Los Angeles Rams: 39:03 to 20:57
  • Week 11 @ Jacksonville Jaguars: 38:22 to 21:38

Almost twice the possession time in favor of San Francisco. Why change the approach with the Vikings coming to town?

These stats were aided by the 49ers’ 18-play, 93-yard opening drive against LA that spanned just over 11 minutes, followed by a new NFL-record 20-play, 87-yard drive against the Jags that lasted 13 minutes and five seconds.

Granted, it helps when the Niners offense is converting on third downs and isn’t turning the ball over, yet the Vikings are allowing opponents a middle-of-the-pack 2:47 per offensive drive.

Let’s predict San Francisco goes methodical again here, getting close to 40 minutes of offensive possession time to keep Minnesota’s own offense off the field.

And it can be done by the way of our next prediction.