..I'm tired of hearing about the Vikings second half collapse, and about the Cowboys being the hottest team in the NFL right now.
OK...let's assume the Vikings were better in the first half than they were in the second half.
We all know the Vikings played totally different at home compared to on the road during that second half.....but does anyone really have a feel for how much different?
Taking ONLY the 2nd half games that were played at home...here are some numbers to let you know just how dominant the Vikings have been on their home turf over this stretch.
The Vikings played 5 games at home during the last 8 games of the season:
They won all 5 games (indeed they are undefeated in all 8 home games this year....but since the official story line is about the Vikings falling apart the 2nd half I am concentrating only on those games)
In those 5 home games the Vikings scored an average of 34.4 points per game.
The fewest points they scored in any of those 5 games is 27. (T. Jackson and the 2nd stringers got playing time in the 2nd half of all 5 games....so I think it's safe to assume more points could have been had.)
In those same 5 home games the Vikings gave up an average of 9.2 points per game.
The most points they gave up to anyone in any of those 5 games is 10. (Again....many of those points, including the 7 scored by the Giants were against our scrubs)
That means during the second half of the season at home...the Vikings outscored their opponents by an average of 25.2 points per game.
The SMALLEST margin of victory in any of those games was 17 points. (27-10 against the Lions)
(and that is while giving their 2nd and 3rd stringers significant playing time in all 5 games)
Now let's look at the other side of this....because not only are the Vikings playing at home...but the Cowboys are playing on the road.
During the last 8 games of the season, the Cowboys had 4 road games.
Their win/loss record in those 4 games is 2-2 (50%)
In those 4 games they scored an average of 18 points per game.
The most points they scored in any one of those games is 24 points (3 full points less than the fewest points the Vikings scored in any of those home games during the same stretch)
In those same 4 road games they gave up an average of 16.25 points per game.
Meaning they have an average margin of Victory of 1.75 points per game while playing on the road over the second half of the season.
So...let's put these stats side by side and see which team given the current situation (Vikings @ home....Cowboys on the road) looks better.
Average Points scored:
Vikings: 34.4 points/game
Cowboys: 18 points/game
Advantage Vikings by 16.4 points/game.
(Don't forget...the MOST POINTS scored by the Cowboys in any of those games is 3 full points less than the LEAST POINTS scored by the Vikings in any of those games.)
Average Points given up:
Vikings: 9.2 points/game
Cowboys: 16.25 points/game
Advantage Vikings by 7.05 points/game.
Average Margin of Victory (aka Net points)
Vikings: 25.2 points/game
Cowboys: 1.75 points/game
Advantage Vikings by 23.45 points/game
Again...I can't stress enough...that during this stretch the Vikings 2nd and 3rd stringers got significant playing time...so one could infer that their dominance could have been even more pronounced.....while Dallas never rested their 1st stringers in any of those games.
Home field advantage is very real folks. Until those last two home games against their hated division rivals NOBODY considered the Cowboys to be a play-off contender....now their suddenly the hottest team in the NFL???!!!!
If we were playing in Dallas, I could understand some of the angst...but this is in OUR house. Given the way the Cowboys have played on the road to end the season, compared to how the Vikings have played at home to end the season I honestly don't understand how anyone could pick the Cowboys to win this game!!!
Erik Carlson “Born Purple”
Sioux Falls, SD