Christian Ponder will have his hands full and then some against arguably the most dominant defense since the 1985 Chicago Bears. Certainly there have been a bunch of dominant defenses that have won Super Bowls, and that is someting Jim Harbaugh is attempting to accomplish right now.
The storied franchise has had their struggles in the past with Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary, but neither had the best defensive lineman in the NFL wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
Justin Smith has been an absolute beast for the last season-plus and after being named to the First Team All-Pro squad last year, he is proving why he is worthy of being mentioned among the best in the game.
His relentless and ferocious ability to come after passers is special, and nobody has been able to handle the beast. Playing in front of superstar linebackers (Patrick Willis, Navarro Bowman) only helps life.
Plus, quarterback Alex Smith has yet to throw an interception for an offense that has answered the bell through two weeks.
Frank Gore is running wild on opponents and Kendall Hunter has been able to keep him fresh by stealing a handful of carries during each game.
The emergence of Vernon Davis has been great to witness, which enables Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree to do their thing. This team is equivalent to Stanford over the last few seasons where Stanford has now gone to two straight BCS bowls (David Shaw coached last season, Fiesta Bowl).
Vic Fangio has been sensational as the defensive coordinator since the Niners have beat up and embarrassed a pair of NFC North squads (Packers, Lions).
The question is not whether San Francisco can get a first round bye, but how dominant will they remain and is this finally the year where the Niners get back to national relevancy by winning the Super Bowl?
The best teams do not win Super Bowls basing off regular season performances, but this team is capable of winning 13 or 14 games if the offense avoids any clunkers.
Slowing down Adrian Peterson is not quite like what it once was, but Kyle Rudolph and Percy Harvin are quite the duo in the passing game. Harvin is electric and is the focal point of the offense. Carlos Rogers will shadow him all game long, which means Ponder better avoid mistakes and Peterson better bust a long one off.
If not, then David Akers will gladly beat out Blair Walsh in in a kicking contest, that is if this one is even that close.
Network: FOX (706)
Time: 1 p.m. Eastern
Experts Pick: Niners by 7
Danny V’s Pick: Niners 26, Vikings 17