Vikings on the road, but in a dome

The Vikings were undefeated in the friendly confines of the Metrodome, but they are 11-0 playing in domes with an artificial surface. Noise while on offense will be the difference Sunday in the Superdome during the NFC Championship.

The Vikings advanced to the NFC Championship Game in part because of their success playing in the noisy environment of the Metrodome.

Quarterback Brett Favre threw 25 touchdowns and only two interceptions at home this season as the Vikings went 9-0 and finished with a 34-3 thrashing of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in an NFC divisional playoff game.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo appeared rattled in attempting to run his offense in the deafening environment. Now, the Vikings are about to get a taste of their own medicine.

Minnesota will play in its first NFC title game since the 2000 season on Sunday when it faces the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome.

That means Favre is going to be the one operating under adverse conditions, playing against the team for which he grew up rooting as a kid in Mississippi.

"I think you saw with Dallas coming in (Sunday), being a visiting team in a dome is tough," Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell said. "It's just tough to get off on the snap count. Tough to just operate. There's things you do normally. So it will be a tough thing, but we do play well inside and we play well on turf."

Longwell is correct on both counts.

In fact, the Vikings were 11-0 this season playing in domes and on artificial surface. They ended up 4-4 on the road, losing three December games at Arizona, Carolina and Chicago. The defeat at Arizona was played with the roof closed at University of Phoenix Stadium but that was on a natural surface.

The Vikings were only 2-4 playing on grass. Coach Brad Childress said the Vikings already are preparing for dealing with the noise in the Superdome and that they regularly work on a silent snap count in practices.

The Vikings also practice in their indoor facility with noise blaring for portions of the Wednesday and Thursday sessions to prepare for games like they will face Sunday. It's a game that tight end Visanthe Shiancoe is glad will be played inside.

"I like staying indoors," he said. "With our track record, we put up more points indoors. I don't know why. I kind of don't care why. We're going to play in a dome again. Same type of environment. Same type of turf. So we usually explode on turf."


  • DE Ray Edwards suffered a sprained right knee against Dallas in Sunday's playoff game. The injury isn't believed to be very serious but his status for Sunday's NFC title game likely won't become clear until later in the week.

  • DT Jimmy Kennedy was able to play Sunday against the Cowboys after missing the regular-season finale against the New York Giants because of a broken thumb.

  • RB Adrian Peterson has gone a career-high eight games without a 100-yard rushing effort. Peterson's drought dates to mid-November.

  • FB Naufahu Tahi was added to the injury report late last week because of a back injury but he was able to play Sunday against Dallas and appeared to get through the game with no problems.

  • CB Antoine Winfield saw increased playing time against Dallas as he was used in short-yardage base situations and also inside in the nickel defense. The Vikings have been looking for a way to get Winfield on the field but not play him full time because he's still recovering from an injury to his right foot. It's not clear if Winfield will be able to play more snaps against the Saints.

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