For 51 years, the Super Bowl has been played between two teams on a neutral site. But the Minnesota Vikings are on the verge of breaking that trend. All that stands in their way is a trip to Philadelphia this weekend to play the Eagles. As per sportsbettingdime.com, the odds of the Vikings becoming the first team to play in a home Super Bowl are 3/2.
On Sunday night the Vikings won an improbable victory in front of a crowd of more than 66,000 mostly purple-clad fans at U.S. Bank Stadium. During the first half, Drew Brees was clearly hampered by the crowd noise when the New Orleans offense was on the field. According to some reports during the game, the noise in the stadium reached a 118 decibel level, with cameras even shaking at times when the stadium crowd engaged in the “Skol Chant.” In addition to the crowd element, the indoor field affords Minnesota perfect field and weather conditions, advantages Minnesota won’t have at Lincoln Financial Field this coming Sunday evening.
If the Vikings are going to achieve their goal of playing in a Super Bowl in their own stadium, they are going to have to find a way to work around and, when possible, nullify at least some elements of the Eagles’ home-field advantage. Temperatures on Sunday night in Philadelphia, though not as warm as inside the Vikings’ indoor stadium, will be fairly mild for January, in the 40s at kickoff so the NFC Championship game won’t be an Ice Bowl. Wind, however, could be a factor in the kicking game, which has not been as consistent as Minnesota might like.
When addressing the press this week, Minnesota’s head coach Mike Zimmer emphasized the field conditions in Philadelphia as an element that the team needed account for in their game plans and equipment. Poor field conditions could put added importance on Minnesota’s running game which accounted for two of Minnesota’s touchdowns against the Saints. Scoring early may help limit the raucous Philadelphia crowd’s impact when the Vikings are on offense. Minnesota’s defense will need to redeem itself with a solid performance after allowing the Saints to erase the Vikings’ 17-point lead. Fortunately, Zimmer’s defense has done well on the road this year, helping the Vikings to win six of eight road games and proving the saying “defense travels”.