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NFL Preseason Preview - Minnesota (0-2) at San Francisco (1-1)



By John McMullen, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - The NFL's reigning MVP, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, is expected to make his 2013 preseason debut when the Vikings visit the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.

The Vikings have struggled in the postseason thus far, dropping two consecutive games without their star running back.

Minnesota QB Christian Ponder was just 5-of-12 for a mere 53 yards in limited action for the Vikings last week during a 20-16 loss at Buffalo.

Last season the Vikings finished 10-6 before falling to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card round thanks in large part to Peterson's historic 2,097- yard rushing campaign, the second-best mark in NFL history.

"We want to be a balanced offense," said Vikings coach Leslie Frazier. "But as anyone that follows us knows, our offense is going to be run through No. 28, Adrian Peterson."

The 49ers came away with an uninspiring 15-13 win last week at Kansas City as San Francisco's defense held the Chiefs and former teammate Alex Smith to 170 total yards while registering seven sacks.

"It bodes well," said 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. "They've (the defense) played consistently."

The first-team offense only played one series against Kansas City, but running back Frank Gore made the most of the opportunity by registering a 52-yard run.

"That was Frank being Frank," said QB Colin Kaepernick, who replaced Smith as the Niners' starter. "He's a great running back. Our offensive line did a great job. They were downfield getting blocks and the receivers were getting blocks."

Kaepernick threw just two passes in this game as backups Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien saw extensive playing time at QB.

The 49ers hold a slim 4-3 advantage in their preseason series with the Vikings.

08/23 10:42:06 ET


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