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Sir Jackie Stewart has suggested Lewis Hamilton has lost his determination and focus for a fourth world title after losing the lead of the championship to Nico Rosberg.Hamilton, who last year became the only Brit to have matched Stewarts tally of three Formula One titles, trails his Mercedes teammate by eight points after the Germans win in Singapore. Hamilton was 43 points behind earlier in the season but six wins from seven races saw him go into the summer break with a commanding 19-point lead.Though an engine penalty made winning in Belgium highly unlikely and a perfect Monza weekend was spoiled by a slow getaway off the line, the world champion was uncharacteristically erratic in Singapore. Stewart thinks the last two and a half years of dominance -- which has seen him beat Rosberg to successive championships -- and Hamiltons extravagant lifestyle could have taken his eyes of the prize of a fourth crown.?Maybe you can bottom out, Stewart is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. That can happen through consistent success because when you have consistent success everything can seem so easy.Suddenly things can go less well -- you overdrive, you are not on the ball, or you live a life that distracts you. If you are at the top in any line of work, you can get carried away with success. You think you can get away with things. Then someone else comes along and drives better or more consistently.I was always frightened of being beaten. I always thought there could be someone out there better than me or who might have a better car. So I always worked on that basis. I could never sit back and relax.Traditionally Hamilton has been strong in the run in, winning the 2014 championship with six wins from the final seven races. Last year he won five of the first six races after the summer break to wrap up the championship at the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, with three rounds still to run. 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MINNEAPOLIS -- Mike Priefer stepped into the head coaching role Thursday morning when Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, recovering from his third eye operation in a calendar month, learned he would need to watch the opening game of Week 13 from his home.Zimmer required surgery Wednesday night for a detached retina in his right eye. It was the third and, according to general manager Rick Spielman, most serious, operation for the Vikings coach in November.Spielman said Zimmers role going forward would be evaluated Friday.After this mornings appointment, coach Zimmer will not be coaching tonight. We felt this was the best interest of his health, Spielman said on a national conference call Thursday morning.While Zimmer will have no direct contact with the team during the game, Spielman said it wont be easy for him to not be at work. However, one of the risks of retina surgery can be blindness.He realized maybe for the first time this morning how serious this can be, Spielman said.Zimmer was at every practice this week and Spielman said the Vikings have full confidence in the coaching staff against the team with the NFLs best record -- and perhaps best runner.Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is being hailed by many as the best running back to enter the league since Adrian Peterson.In a league where running backs have been devalued, Elliott has made Dallas decision to draft the Ohio State back fourth overall this year a wise move. Elliott leads the NFL with 1,199 yards and is second in rushing touchdowns with 11.Peterson debuted with 1,341 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 2007 after being the seventh pick in the draft out of Oklahoma.Peterson is on the sideline with a knee injury, but his Vikings will be the next to try and slow Elliott. Minnesota knows what its up against at home on Thursday when the Vikings (6-5) host Dallas (10-1).Well, hes one of the better backs Ive seen in quite a while, Zimmer said Tuesday. Hes really an all-purpose guy that catches the ball very well out of the backfield. Hes quick into the hole; looks like hes got great vision ... Hes special.Zimmer, the former Cowboys defensive coordinator, had plenty of accolades to shower on Dallas offense this week. He was complementary of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, who is fourth in the league with a 108.6 quarterback rating.One reason the Cowboys have had success with two rookies playing vital roles is the offensive line.Theyre really, really good, Zimmer said. Theyre the best line Ive seen in a long time in the NFL, physical, athletic, big.Many of those same descriptions have been offered about the Vikings defense this season. Thursdays meeting is a matchup of strengths.Dallas is third in the league in scoring, averaging 28.7 points per game, and is fifth in total offense with 407.6 yards per game. Minnesotas defense has allowed the second-fewest points per game at 17.5 and is third in total defense, giving up 307 yards per game.They have great players on defense, Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, a former Vikings offensive coordinator, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. They get a lot of people around the football. Teams that play hard and hustle and get lots of guys around the ball, good things happen for them. Weve got to be as good about our ability to get people around the football, protect the ball carriers and ultimately play aggressive football without getting loose with it.Only two teams have created more takeaways than Minnnesotas 20 this season.ddddddddddddThe Vikings have 12 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries and are second in the league with a plus-12 turnover-differential.Prescott and Dallas have protected the ball, turning the ball over just seven times this season, the second-fewest in the league.That has given us a great opportunity to stay on the plus side of the ledger in turnover ratio, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told the Star-Telegram. Typically that gives you a good chance to win. We need to take the ball away more. We havent done a good job. We havent done a good job of that the last three or four ball games.Only four teams have fewer takeaways than Dallas 10.Blessed with a keep-away offense, though, the Cowboys have won 10 games in a row and are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot. Dallas could become the first team in the NFL to clinch this weekend. The Cowboys need a win and either a Tampa Bay loss or tie, or a Washington loss.It would be great, but I think the goals for this team are bigger than that, guard Zack Martin told the teams website. Weve got five weeks left, and we know that this season really starts after Thanksgiving here, so were ready to make a push here and finish strong.Both teams play Thursday with a full weeks worth of rest after they played on Thanksgiving. Dallas held on at home for a 31-26 win against the Redskins. Minnesota lost for the fifth time in six games at Detroit in a 16-13 finale.Obviously, I think everyones a little bit frustrated right now, Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford said. For whatever reason, we just werent able to come back off the bye and play the way we have those first five games, and I think anytime you go through a stretch like weve had, people do get frustrated and its tough.Bradford showed up on Minnesotas injury report this week with an ankle injury. He was limited in practice on Monday and Tuesday but is expected to play. The line protecting Bradford is another story.Center Joe Berger missed two days of practice after leaving last weeks game with a concussion. Berger was ruled out Tuesday, meaning Nick Easton is expected to start at center. Right tackle Jeremiah Sirles (hip) also left last weeks game. He was limited in Mondays practice and a full participant on Friday. Zimmer said he expects Sirles to be all right.The Vikings cant afford any more blows to the offensive line. Minnesota has already lost starting tackles Matt Kalil and Andre Smith, along with Jake Long, who was signed to replace Kalil. Versatile backup Mike Harris has spent the season on injured reserve with an unspecified illness.Willie Beavers, who replaced Sirles in last weeks game at right tackle, became the sixth player to take snaps at tackle for the Vikings this season.Minnesota did get leading receiver Stefon Diggs back at practice this week on a limited basis after he missed last weeks game with a knee injury. As of Tuesday, he was considered questionable.Cornerback Terence Newman (neck) and punt returner Marcus Sherels (ribs) missed last week. Newman returned to full practice, but Sherels had not practiced by Tuesday.Dallas will likely be without cornerback Morris Claiborne (groin), linebacker Justin Durant (hamstring) and safety J.J. Wilcox (thigh). Safety Barry Church (forearm) has practiced on a limited basis and could return Thursday after missing four games. Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '
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