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Vikings vs 49ers MNF Week 1 Prediction

After the up and down coaching tenure of Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco, the franchise was ready for a steadier hand. Jim Tomsula will make his San Francisco head coaching debut in the season-opening NFL Monday Night Football game between the Vikings and 49ers.

ESPN will nationally televise the Vikings-49ers game from Levis Stadium in Santa Clara at 10:20 p.m. Eastern. The Vikings and 49ers will play in the second game of the season-opening Monday Night Football double-header, following the Eagles and Falcons.

Harbaugh took the 49ers from the lower segment of the NFL to three NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl and then back toward the middle of the pack again in a four-year stint. He reportedly had worn out his welcome in San Francisco during last seasons 8-8 performance, which included a four-game losing streak late in the season. He chose to move back to the college game and his alma mater in Michigan during the off season.

Tomsula has coached San Franciscos defensive line for the past eight seasons, and while he may not have the most well-known name in the NFL, hell provide stability to the Niners.

With the newcomer Tomsula on the opposite sideline, second-year Minnesota Coach Mike Zimmer will be the more experienced coach on the field in the Vikings-49ers game. Minnesota posted a 7-9 record in Zimmers first season, while starting rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater most of the season. The first-round draft pick out of Louisville had a solid debut season, throwing for 2,919 yards in 13 games. But going forward hell need to improve his touchdown-to-interception ratio of 14-to-12.

The Vikings-49ers game also should mark the return to the field of Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, who missed nearly all of 2014 after allegations of child abuse were leveled against him. Before his suspension, Peterson last took the field for the Vikings in the 2014 season-opening game, as Minnesota defeated St. Louis 34-7. Peterson is not expected to play in any Minnesota preseason games, so the Vikings-49ers contest likely will be his first appearance on an NFL field in almost a full calendar year. Over his career, Peterson has rushed for 10,190 yards with 86 touchdowns, all with the Vikings. He also has five receiving TDs in his NFL career, meaning Peterson likely will surpass the 100-touchdown career mark at some point in the 2015 regular season.