The national media has been brainwashed by the Dallas Cowboys recent success. It was less than six weeks ago that they were but written off in the NFC. After back-to-back losses to New York and San Diego, the Cowboys were widely considered the third best team in their own division.
After a victory over the 13-0 New Orleans Saints, the 4-10 Washington Redskins, and the 11-4 Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys were immediately thrusted into Super Bowl contention again. If you consider their issues that led to the 8-5 start and vulnerability on the field, the Dallas Cowboys should not be getting the amount of favoritism in a game on the road in Minnesota as they are.
Has the media has forgotten that Brett Favre has the Vikings 8-0 at the Metrodome? Has the media forgotten that it is one of the loudest stadiums in the league? Most importantly, have they forgot that the Vikings have been almost unbeatable on their home field.
It's pretty crazy how 'America's Team' automatically gets the amount of publicity and support that they have. I am going to prove to why the Minnesota Vikings should win by more than a touchdown this coming Sunday.
At the beginning of the NFL season, the biggest story in the league was Brett Favre signing with the Packers hated inner-division rival, the Minnesota Vikings. An 11-1 start had many football wonks dubbing the Vikings the best overall team in football.
A running game led by Adrian Peterson, a virtually flawless passing attack led by the aforementioned Favre, and a defense so stubborn up-the-middle that no team had any real success moving the ball for an entire game.
There were a couple bad halves against San Francisco and Baltimore mixed in the first 12 games, but the Vikings realistically should have won in Pittsburgh. Watching the game, most people would have considered the game in favor of the Vikings.
If it wasn't for a couple fourth quarter defensive touchdowns later and instead of being one of the undefeated's late in the season, they were 11-1. Still, most people were considering them just as good as the New Orleans Saints.
What has changed? A couple of primetime television losses to Carolina and Arizona on-the-road and they are not even supposed to beat Dallas this week. Remember, those losses came away from the Metrodome.
As bad as the Vikings played in both games, they were leading in the second-half against Carolina and scored 30 points in the second-half in their loss to the Bears. For those of you who don't pay attention to the NFC North on a yearly basis, the Chicago Bears always give Minnesota fits at Soldier Field.
It wouldn't matter if the team was undefeated against a winless Bears team, the Vikings and Bears know each other extremely well. It's tough to make excuses for all four losses and with all do respect to every team they loss to, the Vikings beat themselves in every game.
If the offensive line plays like it has on the road than the Vikings will have a tough time winning. That has been their biggest weakness offensively all season. It is not been an issue at home at any point because it seems like they can communicate a little better when it's quiet.
Defensively, if Antoine Winfield and Pat Williams are healthy than the defense has been just has good as anybody. If you were to ask any player on the Vikings, they would also tell you that they beat themselves in all four losses.
The Cowboys deserve the respect they are receiving based on their recent play, but again the two wins over Philadelphia are divisional games. It's simple to say that the Cowboys had the Eagles number all year long.
Every NFC East team had the Washington Redskins number all season. And, it's still a question how good their win against New Orleans is. If things workout like I think will, Arizona is going to give New Orleans a lot of problems, and they will have a chance in the end to beat the Saints who have not won in more than a month.
Losses to New York and San Diego in the weeks before that were not surprising. The running game has shown the inability to get going on more than one occasion. Felix Jones is going to be the key because he is the only 'game-breaker' in the backfield. Marion Barber and Tashard Choice are great runners, but neither of them can change a game with one carry.
If Jones gets loose against a stout Vikings run defense than this one gets real interesting. I just don't see that happening with Pat and Kevin Williams, both healthy, up the middle.
The way that Brett Favre has played in the Metrodome can not go unnoticed and will inevitably be the reason the Cowboys get beat. So many people questioned his inability to control himself under pressure. He has only thrown two interceptions all season at the Metrodome.
His precision and accuracy have been as good as it gets in every game, yet people want to hand the game to the Cowboys because of the past three weeks. The defensive pass rush is going to tell the tale on both sides of the ball.
If Jared Allen can get to Romo and/or if DeMarcus Ware gets pressure on Favre, we will likely know early who is going to be in front when the clock hits zero. The home-field advantage is not getting as much respect as it should.
The Metrodome has speakers which the crowd noise gets sent through and makes it unbearably loud for anyone in the stadium. You will leave the game not being able to hear in some cases. Minnesota fans have been so star-struck by Favre this year and really have yet to get over the catastrophe of 1998, that you will not really get to hear how loud that building can be until Sunday.
I expect a lot of disappointed Cowboy fans and a bunch of fans wearing purple will be streaming out of the stadium talking 'Purple Pride' and the famous words of the once Viking, Randy Moss "Super Bowl Homeboy!"
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