Oh, Neat, Another Blowout: Vikings 34, Cowboys 3

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Daily Norseman: The Media Is Off The Rails

Minnesota Vikings fans need the playoff game on Sunday to get here – quickly. The media is testing their sanity levels, mainly from all the praise being lavished on the Cowboys even though Minnesota finished with a better record (12-4) and they’re at home, where they are 8-0. But now the media is dabbling in comparisons, and this has sent the Daily Norseman over the edge.

They picked up on this piece from ESPN:

The Vikings boast two speed receivers, Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice, who combined for 16 touchdowns in the regular season. There’s also tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and his 11 touchdowns. How could one forget running back Adrian Peterson, who is considered one of the best in the game at his position?

Then there’s Brett Favre, a future Hall of Famer, who says he loves playing against the Cowboys.

You could substitute some of the Vikings’ names with Eagles players. Move Harvin out and put in DeSean Jackson. Replace Rice with Jeremy Maclin. Shiancoe for Brent Celek. Peterson for Brian Westbrook.

Favre for Donovan McNabb.

DN’s reaction?

Holy crap, really? Are you serious with this garbage?

For starters, the insinuation that Sidney Rice. . .who stands 6’4", weighs 205 pounds, and is hardly the definition of a “speed receiver”. . .and Jeremy Maclin (6’, 195) are interchangeable is a complete joke. They’re not even remotely close to the same type of player. Rice has outstanding hands, amazing leaping ability, and great body control, and Maclin. . .well. . .does not. (Certainly not in comparison to Rice, in any case.)

Second of all, on what planet is 2009 Brian Westbrook on anywhere near the same level as Adrian Peterson? Westbrook missed half of his team’s games this season, and barely had more yards rushing and receiving combined (455) than Peterson had in receptions alone (436). Not to mention 16 fewer touchdowns.

And Favre and McNabb being interchangeable? Well, I’ll just let the numbers here speak for themselves.

The numbers for 2009 aren’t even close, Favre wins.

Video: Brett Favre, getting it done in 2009.


Blogging The Boys: Attack Jasper Brinkley

The Dallas Cowboys enter their game against Minnesota with a lot of confidence based on recent play. They’re on a four-game win streak and their offense has been balanced, able to run the ball and strike with the pass. The Vikings are known for run defense, but they lost middle linebacker E.J. Henderson earlier this season. He was replaced by rookie Jasper Brinkley. Blogging The Boys says the Cowboys will test Brinkley in both the run and pass game.

The Cowboys game plan will likely center around attacking [Jasper] Brinkley. He’s big and can stuff inside runs, but he cannot run well in space. The Cowboys will see if he can chase powers, off-tackles and tosses to the edges and get through the pulling guards. If he can’t the Vikings will have to bring a safety up to offer help.

They would rather not do that since they are a zone team…

If the Vikings are playing their usual coverages the bigger calls will come in the middle of the field. Dallas will no doubt send [Jason] Witten up the field on seams and deep ins to challenge Brinkley and fellow rookie SS Tyrell Johnson. If Dallas can get tight ends on Brinkley it will get big plays. Also look for more plays running Patrick Crayton into the middle of the Vikings zone, between the layers and in front of the safeties.

Video: When the Cowboys want to attack the middle, they use Jason WItten.


Daily Norseman: Vikings Should Just Forfeit

Over at the Daily Norseman, they’re finding the sports media’s drooling over the Cowboys recent exploits a bit annoying. So annoying in fact, they linked to a satirical article in the local paper skewering the idea that the Vikings have no chance against Dallas according to the talking heads on TV and radio. The article, tongue-in-cheek, cites Brad Childress’ response as: “We all know why we’re here today, so let’s get right to it,” Childress said. “After listening to the expert analysis provided by ESPN, Fox, NBC, the View, and anyone else I may have forgotten, the Minnesota Vikings will forfeit this year’s divisional playoff game to the Dallas Cowboys.” The only conclusion that the Daily Norseman can come to is to agree with Childress that the Vikings should just go ahead and forfeit the game since they have no chance of winning, at least according to the experts.

We know that the experts always get it right, so even showing up at the Metrodome would be a waste of a perfectly good afternoon that could be used for ice fishing or something like that. Of course, critics of the move might point to the fact that the Vikings inked Brett Favre for this very moment, to give them veteran leadership in the playoffs. But ESPN’s Matt Mosley notes this:

The Cowboys’ plan is to make sure Favre has to test those 40-year-old legs. The last time he saw this defense, he completed 5 of 14 passes and was intercepted twice before being knocked out of the game at Texas Stadium. He was of course with a 10-1 Packers team at the time in ’07.

See? Might as well not even play the game.

Video: Even this Madden 10 game has the Cowboys beating the Vikings 24-20.


Blogging The Boys: Believe In The Cat

Cruising under the radar in last weekend’s Wild Card game was the injury to Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber going into the matchup. The Barbarian is suffering from a knee injury and only carried the ball three times in the first quarter last week before he was removed from the game. With Barber’s health in doubt for the upcoming Vikings game, the Cowboys will have to turn to their backups. And for Dallas, it’s not a problem.

Enter Felix Jones, first-round pick from two years ago, who has fought his own injury demons during his time in Dallas. But over the last few weeks, the Cowboys have been feeding Felix the Cat more carries, including last week’s stellar performance against the Eagles. And the Cat has responded.

From Blogging The Boys:

Jones has carried ten or more times in each of the last five games, and is averaging 15 touches and 96 yards from scrimmage. Not bad for a rotation guy, though I wonder how much Felix will rotate on par with Marion Barber or Tashard Choice, with a production curve that’s rising as quickly as his:

  • vs. Chargers – 11 touches, 53 yards from scrimmage, 15% of total offensive yards;
  • vs. Saints — 15 touches, 68 yfs. 15% of offensive yds.;
  • vs. Redskins — 14 touches, 85 yfs., 22% of offensive yds.;
  • vs. Eagles — 16 touches, 94 yfs., 20% of offensive yds.;
  • vs. Eagles — 17 touches, 178 yfs., 42% of offensive yds.

16 touches seems to be the sound barrier for Felix Jones. Get him to 17 or higher and defenders can’t hear him until he’s five yards past them.

The Cowboys hope they have a three-game season in front of them. I know who I want getting the lion’s share of running backs touches in those remaining games — the biggest cat of them all, Felix Jones

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