Vikings hope to put playoff disappointments behind themMinnesota Sports
- Brett Favre has waited two years for a chance to get back to the NFC Championship Game. The only thing standing in the way of him and the Minnesota Vikings is the team that's given the legendary quarterback plenty of disappointing moments in the past.
From the Sports Network.com
MINNEAPOLIS - Brett Favre has waited two years for a chance to get back to the NFC Championship Game. The only thing standing in the way of him and the Minnesota Vikings is the team that's given the legendary quarterback plenty of disappointing moments in the past.
Favre will be attempting to slay a pair of demons when he leads the Vikings into this Sunday's NFC Divisional Playoff with a Dallas Cowboys squad that enters the Metrodome riding a surge of confidence from a four-game win streak extended by the franchise's first postseason victory in 13 years.
Favre's last playoff pass was intercepted by New York Giants' cornerback Corey Webster in overtime of the 2007 NFC Championship, with the turnover leading to a game-winning field goal that sent the Green Bay Packers to a crushing 23-20 defeat. The attempt was also Favre's final one as a Packer, before a drama- filled chain of events eventually landed the three-time NFL MVP with Green Bay's most bitter rival just prior to the start of this season.
Having accomplished one of his primary goals as a Viking by orchestrating two tension-filled in-season wins over the organization that cut him loose a few months after that stinging playoff loss, Favre now gets a much-desired opportunity for postseason redemption as he tries to bring Minnesota to its first appearance in the conference title game since 2000.
The star signal-caller can also earn some long-awaited payback to a Cowboys club that defeated Favre's Packers three straight times in the playoffs from 1993-95, the last of which marked the most recent time Dallas reached the NFC Championship. The now 40-year-old is just 2-9 lifetime against the Cowboys over his storied 19-year career.
Dallas had won only a single postseason contest since that besting of Green Bay during the 1995 season -- a 40-15 trouncing of the Vikings in an NFC Wild Card matchup on December 28, 1996 -- before finally ending its lengthy drought with last weekend's 34-14 opening-round ousting of Philadelphia. In much the same fashion as their three straight wins to conclude the regular season, the third-seeded Cowboys combined a well-balanced offense with a dominant defensive display to overmatch its fellow NFC East foe.
The Cowboys have outscored their opponents by a 99-31 margin during their four-game tear, which began with a highly-impressive 24-17 verdict over then- unbeaten New Orleans, the NFC's No. 1 seed in this season's tournament, on December 19.
Minnesota, which was granted a first-round bye after earning the second seed with a 12-4 record, will be seeking its first playoff win since 2004. The Vikings returned to the postseason following a three-year absence in 2008, but the NFC North champions were dealt a 26-14 setback by Philadelphia in the Wild Card round in head coach Brad Childress' playoff debut as a sideline boss.
Childress' troops stumbled for a brief stretch after a sizzling 10-1 start to this season, losing three times in a four-game span in December before righting the ship with an authoritative 44-7 waxing of the New York Giants in Week 17 behind Favre's four touchdown passes and 316 yards through the air.
The win put the finishing touches on a perfect regular-season record at the Metrodome, where the Vikings have prevailed by 17 points or more in each of their last five games en route to registering an 8-0 mark.
Favre owns a lifetime 12-10 record as a starter in postseason play, with a 4-4 ledger in the Divisional round.
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