The Dallas Morning News' Rick Gosselin, one of the best NFL writers in the business, reported that the league has assigned Walt Anderson's officiating crew to work the Vikings-Cowboys divisional playoff game on Sunday.
This could prove to be bad news for both teams and especially the Vikings. As Gosselin points out, Anderson's crew was harder on home teams than any officiating crew this season. It called 113 penalties for 1,029 yards on the host teams.
Research of the Vikings' 16 games this season backs up Gosselin's point. The Anderson crew worked the Vikings' 27-10 victory over Detroit on Nov. 15 at Mall of America Field at the Metrodome. Minnesota was assessed a season-high 13 (accepted) penalties for 91 yards. The Lions took only four penalties for 40 yards.
The Vikings took 10 or more penalties in a game only three times this season. Ron Winter's crew called them for 11 penalties for 78 yards at Pittsburgh on Oct. 25 and Walt Coleman's crew called them for 10 penalties for 70 yards on Nov. 29 against Chicago. The Vikings averaged 6.3 penalties per game this season for 47.3 yards.
Anderson, who lives in Sugar Land, Texas, also was the referee for one Cowboys game this season. His crew was in charge for Dallas' 17-10 loss at Denver on Oct. 4. The Cowboys took seven penalties for 70 yards and the Broncos 10 penalties for 81 yards.
Gosselin's blog reveals that when it comes to throwing flags, Anderson's crew is simply in a class by itself. Of the NFL's 17 officiating teams, Anderson's was the only one to assess 200 penalties this season. The 1,794 penalty yards that Anderson walked off was 172 more than the officiating crew that ranked second.
In other words, get ready for a long game on Sunday.
Also, we will have more on this later, but four Vikings have been named to the Associated Press All-Pro team. Running back Adrian Peterson, left guard Steve Hutchinson, defensive tackle Kevin Williams and defensive end Jared Allen were named to the first team. The Vikings had no one selected to the second team. Hutchinson and Williams were picked for the fifth time.
UPDATE: Here is the complete All-Pro team
NFL All-Pro team
QB: Peyton Manning, Indianapolis. RB: Chris Johnson, Tennessee; Adrian Peterson, Vikings; FB: Leonard Weaver, Philadelphia. TE: Dallas Clark, Indianapolis. WR: Andre Johnson, Houston; Wes Welker, New England. T: Ryan Clady, Denver; Joe Thomas, Cleveland. G: Steve Hutchinson, Vikings; Jahri Evans, New Orleans. C: Nick Mangold, N.Y. Jets. K: Nate Kaeding, San Diego. KR: Joshua Cribbs, Cleveland.
DE: Jared Allen, Vikings; Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis. T: Jay Ratliff, Dallas; Kevin Williams, Vikings. OLB: Elvis Dumervil, Denver; DaMarcus Ware, Dallas. ILB: Patrick Willis, San Francisco; Ray Lewis, Baltimore. CB: Charles Woodson, Green Bay; Darelle Revis, N.Y. Jets. S: Darren Sharper, New Orleans; Adrian Wilson, Arizona. P: Shane Lechler, Oakland.