Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 NFL Playoff Preview: Divisional Round – Cowboys at Vikings

The 2010 NFL Playoffs continue this weekend with action Saturday and Sunday. After a 2-2 performance in predicting last weekend’s results, I’ll gaze into my crystal ball once again and try to prognosticate the outcome of each game, while also providing you with an in-depth preview and broadcast information. Sunday’s coverage kicks off at noon with FOX NFL Sunday, followed by the Cowboys and Vikings from Minnesota.

Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, 1:00pm ET, FOX
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in the booth. Pam Oliver and Chris Myers on the sidelines.

After ending their 14-year journey to win a playoff game, the Cowboys are looking like one of the strongest teams left in the dance. Tony Romo is finally playing as well as everyone claimed he was capable of for the past few years and all is well is Jerryland.

Last week, “America’s Team” crushed an Eagles squad that many, including myself, thought was capable of going to the Super Bowl. But now Romo and Company head to Minnesota, where one of the best defenses in the NFL awaits. And lest we forget about that fun-loving, gun-slinging quarterback that plays with a childlike enthusiasm and always has fun out there, Brett Favre.

Get ready for the myriad comparisons between Romo and Favre that the media will pound into our heads. The two are similar, basically because they both scramble a lot and throw careless interceptions, but it’s okay because they’re just trying to make a play. And don’t ever forget how much fun they have!

Rant aside, the Vikings are a more complete team than the Cowpokes. Both Dallas and Minnesota have big weapons at wide receiver, but the group of Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian might be better than Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton and Roy Williams. The Cowboys defense is no joke, but the Vikings are a bit better. Both have threats on special teams.

One of the keys, though, will be the running game. The Cowboys have shifted to a pass-first offense thanks to Romo’s more consistent play and young receivers stepping up. While the Vikings are pass-heavy, (duh, they have the GUNSLINGER!) they feature one of the best running backs in the game in Adrian Peterson. If Minnesota head coach Brad Childress is smart, he’ll pull the reigns in and try to win this one on the ground and not let his quarterback make any of his Favre-ian mistakes, like throwing a crucial pick while having so much fun out there.

Prediction: Vikings 27, Cowboys 24

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