Posted on: January 15, 2010 12:53 am


..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 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 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 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 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

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 2, 2009 8:14 pm

The Candidates

Michael Turner - 17 TD's and second in rushing yards at 1699.  Definitely a huge role in turning the Falcons around.  It can be argued, however, that Jerrious Norwood could do an adequate job in filling the RB position as he ran for nearly 500 yards and had 5.1 ypc average - more than half a yard better than Turner.  The passing game was also solid with Matt Ryan and Roddy White.  Turner only had six catches to help that phase out.  Maybe Offensive Player of the year is possible, but there were enough other things that played big roles in the Falcons success to keep from crowning him Most Valuable Player.

DeAngelo Williams - 20 total TD's and third in rushing at 1515.  Many of the same reasons as Turner that he didn't get a lot of consideration.  Jonathan Stewart had 10 TD's and 800 plus rushing yards and Steve Smith had 1400 plus receiving yards and 7 TD's.  His non-existance in the first half of the season didn't help either.

Brandon Jacobs - Inconsistancy with injury plagued him.  Derrick Ward did a fine job filling in for him - even a 200 plus yard game.  Its likely that much of the credit goes to the Giants O-line.

Adrian Peterson - Lead league in rushing with 1760 rushing yards with a decent 10 TD's.  He simply needed to score more and fumble less.  But with the Vikings lacking a threat at QB, it can be argued that he was the most valuable to his team out of these three RB's.  Not a chance the Vikings make the playoffs without him.  Again, the fumbles hurt him too much.  He put the rock on the ground 9 times.

Chad Pennington - 3653 passing yards, 19 TD passes, 7 picks, 97.4 rating.  He was the epitomy of game-manager this year.  Unfortunately, an MVP must be a game-changerRonnie Brown was more of that for the Dolphins than Pennington was.  Why he was second in votes is somewhat puzzling, given the resumes of the other candidates this year.

Matt Ryan - Great rookie season, but he got his award for that.  He wasn't the most valuable player on his team as Michael Turner most certainly was.

Kurt Warner - It was his to lose at the midpoint of the season, but in each of the six weeks leading up to Week 17, his interception total matched his touchdown passes total.  Can't have that.  He also had two of the top five receivers in the league to throw to in Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.

Phillip Rivers - Great "Offensive player of the year" stats.  But a lack of leadership and an 8-8 record is no means for an MVP.

Defensive Players - I am certainly not saying that guys like James Harrison and Ed Reed aren't deserving because obviously, they certainly are.  But defenses pride themselves much more as units than offensives do.  When you think of greatness on the defensive side, you think the Steel Curtain, the Purple People Eaters, the '85 Bears, and the '00 Ravens.  Obviously, you can draw legendary names from each of these defenses but, because there aren't as many stats and such, there isn't the individualism aspect that there is on offense.  When you think greatness on the offensive side, you think individuals -  Joe Montana, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, etc.  There are differing opinions on this issue but I believe the MVP should go to a player on offense.  That is why there is the Defensive Player of the year award.  And defenses really get rewarded when the team wins a Super Bowl because, after all, defenses win championships.

That leaves us with Peyton Manning.  If you haven't already, please read this week's Monday Morning QB article by Sports Illustrated's Peter King at
.  Its amazing how he overcame the obstacles that this season brought forth and was able to go on a nine game tear to finish it out.  He is truly deserving of it.  As a leader and fourth quarter general, he is unequaled by any active player.  And his stats are worthy too.  I, personally, hate the Colts and the success they have year in and year out.  But that success is because of Peyton Manning.  You take him out of the equation and the Colts don't make it to seven playoff appearances in the past seven years.  Maybe three or four - and certainly not this year after starting 3-4.  He is the ultimate player-coach and is every bit as deserving of the MVP as he got credit for.

But congrats to all the players who had an excellent regular season.  It was a fun one to watch and I'm even more excited for what the platoffs have to offer.
Category: NFL
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