Sunday, January 17, 2010

NFC Wildcard Cowboys @ Vikings Preview

Well as I stated yesterday NFL history tells us this is the weekend for the home teams. I was caught up in the moment and just more wished than anything that Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals could win another game. In reality the Sagarin ratings had New Orleans 9+ points better than the Cardinals and I just watched the Cardinals D get lit up for 45 points by the Packers, so looking back that was a foolish prediction. Remember predictions are just that, and also just for fun. So here we go again.

People do not realize the HUGE advantage these teams have playing at home. The Saints were swarming to the ball like bees as were the Colts. Remember that as you watch the games today. Typically home field is worth 3 points, but in these rounds of the playoffs I believe it is at least 7.

Everyone seems to forget for the first half of the season the Minnesota Vikings were everyone's favorite. The Vikings have the most players in the upcoming Pro Bowl, they have Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and won 12 games. They faded down the stretch but don't forget they still have the same players and talent they had when they were red hot.

The Vikings were 2nd in points score in the NFL, 5th in yards, and 8th in passing. The flavor of the day is the Dallas D but remember the Vikings score 30 or more points in 10 of their games. The Vikings will need to run the ball but you beat Dallas by passing the ball. Newman, Jenkins, Sensabaugh, and Hamlin are their weakness. The problem is getting the time to throw the ball. Bryant McKinnie will be the key as he has to block DeMarcus Ware all day. Also remember that Brett Favre throws the ball harder than all of the other QBs in the league, so he requires less separation from his wideouts and also can get the ball into coverage. The Vikings will also need to use Chester Taylor and Visanthe Shiancoe to keep those Dallas linebackers out of the backfield and ease the pressure on Favre. The two also combined for 13 TDs.

The Cowboys were 2nd in yardage this year but were 14th in points scored. Tony Romo had the best year of his career but the Cowboys have been dominate on defense which makes his job a lot easier. On the ground the three headed monster of Barber, Jones, and Choice combined for an awesome 4.8 yards per carry and 13 TDs. The Vikings will look to stop the Cowboys from ripping off the big ones. Miles Austin has become the great savior but don't forget Sidney Rice had as many yards as Austin. The Vikings have the 2nd rated rushing D in the league so the Cowboys may have trouble moving the ball on the ground as well.

This game should be a great one and a close one. After watching Reggie Bush run wild yesterday, after doing nothing all season you have to respect the home field advantage. Dallas knows the Eagles very well and beat them twice in a row but the Vikings are a different animal. Look for Peterson to bring the load and their D to play better than they have all season. I like the Vikings in a close one.

Prediction Minnesota Vikings 23 - Dallas Cowboys 20

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