Playoff breakdown: Cowboys-Vikes
Give Favre points for self-awareness. But the fact is, we have reached that point where every game Favre plays could be his last, for reasons other than injury. He and his family went home to Mississippi last week to "recharge the batteries,'' as he put it, but he also said, "I haven't thought about what next year will be like. All I want to do is beat Dallas. I don't want to even think about next year.''
In nine of the Vikings' first 11 games, Favre's passer rating was 95.3 or higher; he had 24 touchdowns and three interceptions. In the next three games, two of which the Vikings lost, Favre's rating was under 80 and he had three touchdowns and four interceptions to encourage buzz about a flameout like last year's with the Jets. But Favre played well in the last two weeks of the season, including a four-touchdown, 316-yard performance against the in-the-tank Giants. That finish, of course, is another reason to care: Because even if this is Favre's last game, you just don't know what you're going to get.
This aspect of the game is made all the more intriguing because of the quarterback on the other side of he ball. (Warning: Almost every element of this game comes back around to Favre). It will be fascinating to watch Vikings left tackle
Bonus Why You Should Care: The Cowboys' pass rush is getting all the pregame buzz, but it was the Vikings who led the NFL in sacks, so there's a no-respect subplot in play, too. And
Yet the point remains: both coaches are still regarded by many critics as over-their-heads coordinators doomed to ultimately fail as head coaches. Phillips has been on
"Obviously the big thing is all that speed off the edge with Ware and Spencer. Usually when you've got one good edge rusher -- a [
The Cowboys are the trendy pick to rise from wild-card round winner to Super Bowl champion. There's that pass rush, there's Tony Romo looking like he's matured into a first-rate NFL quarterback not just before Thanksgiving, but afterward as well.