Minneapolis, MN - Considering their first two opponents, the Minnesota Vikings haven't shocked too many observers by opening the season with two wins.
The San Francisco 49ers, however, may have surprised some by starting 2-0.
The only Week 3 matchup between unbeaten teams also features Brett Favre's regular-season home debut for the Vikings as they try to prevent San Francisco from posting its first 3-0 start in 11 years.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made the Vikings -7 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Sunday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 61% of bets for this game have been placed on the 49ers +7 (View NFL bet percentages).
Minnesota had to overcome halftime deficits in a 34-20 win at Cleveland in Week 1 and last Sunday's 27-13 victory at Detroit. Those wins were against teams with a combined 4-28 record last season and an 0-4 mark this year, but the Vikings are not concerned about the perceived quality of their opponents.
"I always find it interesting when you win and people are going to tell you how you should win," said coach Brad Childress, whose team hasn't started 3-0 since 2003. "Anybody that doesn't get how hard it is to win a game in this league? It's a hard thing to do. It's hard. It's harder yet to go on the road and do it."
Favre has made it look relatively easy in his first two games with the defending NFC North champions. The 39-year-old quarterback has completed a league-best 77.1 percent (37 of 48) of his passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
He's had to throw for just 265 yards while Adrian Peterson has carried the workload, leading the league with 272 rushing yards and four TDs.
"I think he's playing within the confines, if you will," Childress said of Favre, who is averaging 5.5 yards per pass attempt - third-lowest among NFL starters.
Favre is expected to extend his NFL-record consecutive starts streak he set last week (271) despite leaving in the fourth quarter with an apparent hand injury.
"Not a fractured thumb, or a dislocated wrist, or a season-ending injury," Childress said. "He bent his fingernail. That hurts, too. For those of you who have fingernails, that hurts."
Favre, 8-1 lifetime versus San Francisco, is making his Metrodome debut as the Vikings' starting quarterback. He had a 6-10 record there while with Green Bay but won four of the last five, throwing for 1,565 yards with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions.
Yet, with all the attention he's garnered since coming out of retirement and signing a two-year deal Aug. 18, the future Hall of Famer understands Minnesota's fortunes rise and fall with Peterson.
"I got no problem telling you our offense is based around Adrian Peterson. Big deal," Favre said. "We're going to give it again to him next week."
The worst game of Peterson's career came in his only matchup with the 49ers, rushing for three yards on 14 carries and not catching a pass in a 27-7 win Dec. 9, 2007. It's the only time Peterson's been held below 25 yards on the ground.
San Francisco's Frank Gore rushed for 68 yards and caught eight passes for 49 yards in that contest.
Last Sunday, Gore bounced back from a 30-yard rushing effort against Arizona in Week 1 with 207 yards on the ground in a 23-10 victory over Seattle. It was the franchise's third 200-yard rushing game and first since he rushed for a team-record 212 against Seattle on Nov. 19, 2006.
The most recent effort saw Gore join Barry Sanders as the only players in NFL history with two rushing TDs of at least 79 yards in the same game.
"You may not see me laughing or anything like that, but I enjoy every bit of it because when he's running like that, something good up front is happening," 49ers coach Mike Singletary said. "Obviously, it was a great day. It really was. It's a tribute to our offensive line. It's a tribute to Frank seeing the holes and hitting them. It's a tribute to our outside guys and our receivers doing a great job blocking. Everybody is doing their job in order for those things to happen."
Gore sprained his right ankle in the fourth quarter but said Monday he'll be ready for Sunday, when San Francisco looks for its first 3-0 start since 1998 when it finished 12-4.
The 49ers were 2-0 in 2007 under coach Mike Nolan but lost their next eight games.
"I don't really want to compare to 2-0 now and 2-0 (two years ago)," said Singletary, who replaced Nolan on an interim basis for the final nine games in 2008. "This team, we're just going to continue to work, and we're going to continue to get better. And, we'll stay together. Whatever comes out of that, I think the end result will be good."
San Francisco quarterback Shaun Hill improved to 9-3 as a starter Sunday when he completed 19 of 26 for 144 yards. He was 22 of 27 for 181 yards and a TD against Minnesota in the last meeting in 2007.
The Vikings have won three straight at home over the 49ers, most recently a 35-7 victory Sept. 28, 2003.
Posted: 9/23/09 4:05PM ET