Quick halftime thoughts on NFC West games

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

MINNEAPOLIS -- The 49ers have shocked the Vikings by taking a 14-13 halftime lead on Nate Clements' return of a blocked field goal attempt.

The Rams have found new life with Kyle Boller at quarterback.

A few thoughts:

  • This 49ers-Vikings game has lived up to expectations as a tough, physical game featuring borderline dirty tactics. The 49ers have punished Brett Favre, whose toughness simply amazes. The hit Justin Smith put on Favre's knee looked like the sort of shot that knocks normal quarterbacks from games.

  • Marc Bulger took a pounding in Week 2 and he was already trying to play with a broken pinky finger. It was no surprise when the Packers knocked him from the game in the first half. Boller's success in relief gives the Rams a needed jump start. I do not know how long Bulger will be out after suffering a shoulder injury, but the better Boller plays, the longer Bulger probably gets to make sure he's feeling right.

  • The 49ers are one tough, resilient team. Losing Frank Gore early gave them an easy excuse. They could have played the injury card and lamented how they had lost the one guy they could least afford to lose. Instead, they fought back. There's a lot to like about this team and it's clear the 49ers will not underachieve with Mike Singletary as head coach.

  • Steven Jackson hasn't gotten much going for the Rams in the first half. That could change if Boller keeps making plays through the air.

Halftime in the Metrodome runs another 8 minutes. The 49ers have to be feeling very good about their current position.