Winning the Super Bowl in front of the home-town faithful? The Minnesota Vikings could just re-write history.
In the NFL’s 97-year history, no team has ever accomplished what stands in front of the Vikings. There’s still two long weeks of hard postseason football ahead, but as $5.00 underdogs to eventually win it all, the Vikings’ path to the first ever home Super Bowl couldn’t be clearer.
Finishing the regular season 13-3, the Vikings locked up home field advantage throughout this year’s playoffs as the No.1 seed in the NFC. They’ll wrap up the Divisional Round hosting the New Orleans Saints on Monday, but with just two games between them and Super Bowl glory, all of a sudden this dream could become a reality.
For punters looking to jump on Minnesota to win the big dance, you’ll be pleased to know a raucous home crowd advantage in the Super Bowl isn’t the only positive playing in the Vikings’ favour. Mike Zimmer’s men lost just one game at U.S. Bank Stadium all season, but the good news certainly doesn’t stop there: quarterback Case Keenum was close to perfect at home, throwing eight touchdowns and just two interceptions.
Better yet, the enclosed dome conditions of Minnesota’s home ground spells further promise for the 29-year old quarterback. Keenum has in fact thrown only four interceptions in dome games throughout his career, and since star wide receiver Adam Thielen caught for 665 yards on just 48 receptions at home this season, all of a sudden these stats start to look pretty scary.
But of course, offense doesn’t win Lombardi Trophy’s, so what should we make of the Vikings’ No.1 ranked defence?
At home the Vikings were deadly, recording 37 sacks for a loss of 251 yards. They limited four opponents to less than 10 points and had no trouble racking up three interceptions in the process. Monday’s game against New Orleans is a rematch of Week 1’s encounter, a game the Vikings won easily in the end, 29-19. As far as the Super Bowl goes though, the likelihood of facing either the Patriots or the Steelers at home bodes well for this defence, especially with both teams featuring two elite quarterbacks.
Of course, even off the field, the Vikings would be winning the battle. The 66,655 seat stadium is known for being one of the loudest in the league, and since the Vikings created four fumbles at home this year, crowd noise will definitely be a factor throughout these playoffs. If the Vikings do make it as far as February, they’d also have the added advantage of home field locker rooms and training facilities, and with a chance to win their first Super Bowl in a brand new stadium, that’s a luxury every other team wishes they could afford.