Friday Notes Before The Big Game Against Big D

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 15, 2010 – 9:22 am

Will this game ever get here?! It’s been 12 days since the Vikings last played and we still have to wait 2 more days before they play again.

It feels like we’ve analyzed every possible aspect of this game over the past 5 days, from blogging about it to the news articles we’ve posted to my conversation with PA on his 9-noon show on Thursday. Here are a few random thoughts and updates on previous thoughts…

– In our Monday morning preview video we cited health as one of the key storylines in this matchup. As it turns out, both teams appear to be fairly healthy with the  game just 2 days away. Only one player for the Vikings has missed practice this week (FB Fahu Tahi) and the Cowboys expect to have both Marion Barber and Tashard Choice in their backfield.

– You’ve surely heard ad nauseam about the importance of the Vikings pass protection against Cowboys edge rushers DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. I won’t dismiss that point – it’s key in this game – but a few things to follow up on that. First, don’t forget about the middle of Dallas’ defensive line, which features Pro Bowler Jay Ratliff. He’s good against the pass and the run, as we point out here. Secondly, the Vikings have a couple of good edge rushers, too, in DEs Jared Allen (14.5 sacks) and Ray Edwards (8.5 sacks). Lastly, I’m actually anticipating that both the Vikings and Cowboys offenses will find a way to scheme against those lethal pass rushes and at least avoid disaster. So, which team can find the best antidote?

– Here’s something we haven’t discussed this week: Cowboys CB Terence Newman is very good. Whichever Vikings WR he lines up against will have a challenge.

– I brought this up with PA Thursday on the radio. QB Brett Favre did not guarantee a victory during his Wednesday press conference. The fact that some media outlets took what he said and turned it into a guarantee is quite a stretch, but I get it – stretching it into a guarantee creates buzz and promotes the self-interests of said media outlets. Favre said he would be shocked if he weren’t doing another Wednesday press conference next week. What else should he say? On top of that, he said Dallas is playing as well as any other team in the NFL right now. Let’s move on.

– I haven’t really shared this opinion on the site because I myself don’t want to be the source of inflammatory remarks regarding the coming opponent. But it’s Friday and we’re close to the game, so here it goes. I think the Vikings can take advantage of the middle of the field on offense. I like guys such as Chester Taylor, Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin working the middle and taking advantage of one-on-one mismatches. Conversely, the Vikings defense must be on their “A” game when defending the middle of the field. TE Jason Witten is a player and when players such as RB Felix Jones and WR Miles Austin get the ball in their hands, the Vikings defense must tackle them. Tackling issues – something the Vikings defense has had periodically this season – will devastate the Vikings if they arise again on Sunday against Dallas.

– There is going to be at least one key special teams play in this game. Special teams play often goes under the radar, unless there’s a big breakdown. But collectively, special teams ends up playing just as much of a factor in the outcome of a game as offense or defense. Regardless, you’re going to see a combination of at least a few big plays on special teams. Whether those plays are returns, turnovers, blocked kicks, kickoffs out of bounds to give away great field position, I don’t know. But I have a feeling that someone, somehow is going to make a big impact on special teams. Right now I’m sensing a big return somewhere along the line by either Percy Harvin or Patrick Crayton, a FG at the end of the game or a blocked FG/punt in the middle of the game.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 30 Comments »

30 Responses to “Friday Notes Before The Big Game Against Big D”

  1. By Canadian Viking on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    I agree Mike, it seems like an eternity since the vikes played a game.

  2. By Ron Schuelke on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    I see Chester Taylor having big game with all eyes on Adrian

  3. By VikeKip on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    Headed up for my first playoff game! Need revenge from ’75…

  4. By Brad Karkiainen on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    That is true Mike, I think someone will go for a big play on special teams and honestly I think it will be Percy with a return for big yards if not a return for a touchdown.

  5. By Bruce on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    The Vikings offensive line have to have their best game of the year for the Vikings to win this game.

  6. By Canadian Viking on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    For you guys going to the game on Sunday, you better not have a voice left on Monday. You need to RAISE THE ROOF!!!

  7. By CA Norwegian on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks Mike. So you are wrong only if there are no special teams big plays or kicks out of bounds, or winning field goals, etc. I guess there has been little talk of the special teams, I think ours are more special.

  8. By Jason on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    Even when Adrian is having a good game, you can always count on Chester busting big gains, every time he touches the ball.

  9. By project2nd on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    GO VIKES. Hey Vikings fans … check out our banter about the Vikings leading up to the match-up with Cowboys this weekend on our blog at Thanks! And SKOL VIKINGS! Let’s be LOUD at the DOME on Sunday!!!

  10. By Michael on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    BELIEVE IN FAVRE!!!! Protect him well and we will win the game.Sound fundamentals in all 3 areas needed as well! PLAY AS A TEAM-GO VIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.s.Go Cardinals-Payback is a b….. !

  11. By purple08 on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    Start T-Jack!

  12. By Jay Bee on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    I am a Native Mississippian, and I am very proud of Brett Favre. He’s done things in the NFL that most qb’s dream of doing. With that being said, I am a DIE HARD Cowboys fan. I think that this is a pretty even matchup. I think that the team that is able to establish control of the line of scrimmage early, will be the team to win this game. I think the Cowboys are on more of a roll than the Vikings, but I know that there is always the presence of AP to balance that out. In conclusion, my prediction for the game is Cowboys 27 – Vikings 21.


  13. By Tony on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    Is purple08 really Wade Phillips ?? BIG GAME ALERT !!!!! AP is due for a breakout game, you know the type where he has 200+ yards. Run the draw play and it will prove to be very rewarding !!!!!!!

  14. By Michael on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    Reply for purple08

    IDIOT !

  15. By Michael on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    Sorry for your loss Jay Bee!

  16. By purple08 on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    Just heard Lord Farve has come out of the closet. OMG! he IS gay!

  17. By Stephanie on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    purple08…clearly you are not really a Vikings fan b/c if you were you would want your team to win. if you want them to win, you would know that against Dallas’s defense there is no way the Tavaris Jackson would be able to lead this team to a win on Sunday. especially if the game is on the line.

  18. By GJ on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    Vikings will win. Get the ball to Percy. This is what he do. Virginia Beach style.

  19. By vikingeast on Jan 15, 2010 | Reply

    a great game ahead, only concern – pass rush on D, romo’s fast out with the ball, if you’re not on him or going to catch him, get the hands up every time, the biggest help you can give to coverage, going to be a great game, no reason vikes can’t win.

  20. By ibleedsilverandblue on Jan 16, 2010 | Reply

    just watched the hail mary game on nfl network,ahhh sweet memories,fast forward to sunday now,Peterson hasnt had a100 yd game in 8 if we make the vikes 1 dimensional,could be a very long day for Favre,especially the way our defense has been playing,so dont break the champagne just yet ,you know your history Cowboys-27 Vikes-17

  21. By llfarve on Jan 16, 2010 | Reply

    it seems like it is all coming down to one thing the qbs they have both provin to be good but farve knows that he is able to come out on top. He has been doing this for years this whole week he has been studying ever player on dallas. so i feel that if the vikes are going to win it will be because the offinsive line maned up and blocked and let farve play is game. and of coures good d will help but i have no doubts about that go vikes

  22. By Dave on Jan 16, 2010 | Reply

    If the blocking and tackling isn’t there watch out!

  23. By purple08 on Jan 16, 2010 | Reply

    I realise Favre is obviously our best QB. I just enjoy giving all the Brett lovers a hard time. I am a Vikes fan Bigtime but I will always hate Brett Favre. What a dilemna!

  24. By Dueyz on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    BIG game! Vikes need to win this to get all this bad publicity off our backs. Most importantly, to remind our players that their capability is not determined by “expert picks”. We’re an underdog from here forward, no matter what. So we have to believe in ourselves, because no one else is going to until/unless we have the trophy.

  25. By Dueyz on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    The Cowboys’ egos have been boosted, so we know they’re coming in with big expectations. That CAN work to our advantage, IF we exploit it. Look at NE and PIT this year; they “knew” they were dominant, and that over confidence didn’t help them. The Cowboys are not superhumans; they can be beat. If MIN players remember that, and focus on their roles, we can beat them just like anyone else.

  26. By Dueyz on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I keep hearing that MIN needs to “focus hard”; I disagree. They need to do just the opposite, and relax to the max. Allow themselves to get into their prime rhythm and let their skills open up. We can and should beat Dallas; we are the better team. SKOL VIKINGS!

  27. By Dueyz on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Childress is not my favorite coach, but this is his moment to win or lose. He MUST stratigecally outwit Dallas. Talent and ability are too closely matched (although MIN is better overall, I believe) to rely on either. This is a battle of minds, and he had better understand Dallas’ preconceived notions in order to exploit them. He must throw off their gameplan in order to enforce ours. ‘Something unexpected’ better be the recipe of the day, or Dallas WILL expect it and be prepared for it.

  28. By portditisaint on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I hope AP has fun in the pro bowl

  29. By portcitisaint on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply


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