The National Football League's Week Nine of the 2006 regular season is upon us here in the Bay Area, as well as the first tinge of wet weather. Curl up on the couch with a mug o' soup and a blanket: it's time for American football.

* Minnesota vs. San Francisco
Sunday, November 5, 2006. 1:00 PM, PST.
Week 09
The Battle Of The Exposed

Despite that, these Vikes are so far the turnaround story of this NFL season, with hard-nosed football and good execution. Boring, competent and grim-visaged, like The Spurs' Tim Duncan. No one will want to play them in the last month of this NFL season.

Which brings us to this week here in SF. Our Niners had Chicago run 'em over last week. Now, against a team with middling talent, plenty of personnel holes, and a focus on fundamentals, how will the 49ers fare?