NFL THURS. NIGHT PREVIEW: REDSKINS @ VIKINGS (WK 8):
KIRK COUSINS FACES OLD TEAM AND HOPES TO SAY “YOU LIKE THAT” WITH A VICTORY!
VEGAS ODDS: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-16 1/2) —- over WASHINGTON REDSKINS ~ TOTAL: (42 or 42 1/2)
Well folks 4 weeks ago Vikings QB Cousins was on verge of being ousted as the Starter with one more horrible game. Then he caught the luck of the schedule maker as he has not gotten Hot, and nobody for now talking bad about Cousins. Cousins was (24-23-1) as a Starter for the Redskins. He won 5 games vs. winning teams. He is now (13-9-1) as the Vikings starter. Three weeks ago he was (10-9-1), making him the most average winning QB to reel in 200+ million dollars ever. Now, thanks to the scheduling Gods he gets to face another horrific Defense for the 4th straight week.
Cousins was able to face 3 really bad Defenses the past 3 weeks as he finally got Hot. He faced the Giants (#28) Defense, Eagles (4th worst) vs. Pass, Lions (#31) Defense and (2nd worst) vs. Pass and the Falcons (#27) Defense and (3rd worst) vs. Pass. He faced 3 of the 4 worst Pass Defenses in the NFL, in a row. Now that was as good as Kirk Cousins could’ve ever asked for. You want to really go deep into who Cousins has been insanely fortunate to have faced so far? Add in he faced #24 Raiders Defense and #26 Packers Defense too. He faced one top 24 Defense and that was the #10 Bears Defense, who has been shredded the past 3 games for over 400 yards per game. In reality the Vikings and Cousins have not faced an outstanding Defense or even close yet. Now they can add the #21 Redskins Defense to this almost impossibly easy schedule to face for an entire half of your season.
Nothing has gone right for the Redskins folks, as they are a made 2 point conversion away from being win less right now. The Offense is as bad as you could imagine as we near the midway mark to the 2019 season. They can’t run the ball, although new HC Bill “Moron of Epic Proportions” Callahan will run it every play if he could. He is the most play “NOT TO LOSE”, rather than “PLAY TO WIN” Head Coach I’ve ever seen. Last week vs. Niners in a game the Skins had numerous chances to win, he passed it a dozen times. Worse they completed 9 of those passes, so it wasn’t like pass plays had no shot, so he was forced into calling all run plays. The Skins Offense ran 38 total plays the entire game. The Niners ran 60. The Redskins Offense so far is graded (F) and is really close to reaching a never before final season grade of (F-) after I grade all game tapes in depth. The Redskins high score this year was 27 points in the Opener vs. the Eagles. They scored a meaningless TD vs. Prevent D, with 6 seconds to go. Otherwise they are at only 20 points in that game. The other games they scored 21, 15, 3, 7, 16 and 0 (last week). They scored 2 TD’s the past 4 games combined. One was a missed broken tackle turned into 65 yard TD run vs. Patriots, their only score of that game. As I told you the Vikings schedule has been as favorable of late as possible, well the Skins have faced the Niners and Patriots elite Top 2 Defenses the past 3 weeks. Nobody has beaten either of them, and clearly the Redskins were one of the least shots at beating either of them, although you gotta credit the Skins for hanging in there vs. Niners last week, as they were still only 1 TD from a win for most of the 4th quarter.
This game should be called “MISMATCH CITY BOWL” as the Vikings average (27.4) points per game, the Skins (12.9) and no, that is not a typo. The Vikings D allows (17.6) points per game and the Redskins D allows (25.1). Laying just shy 17 points in the NFL is now becoming a normal thing. But the oddsmakers are forced to set these lines at crazy high numbers and will continue to until these bottom feeders show some improvement.
The Vikings HC Zimmer is a run first guy and this season he decided he was going to really be that type guy as they ran it and ran it and they ran it really well as young RB Cook (best RB in NFL right now) just exploded and then Cousins started making awful mistakes to compound things and make Zimmer more inclined to not have him “Lose the game”. But doing that pissed off stud WR’s Thielen and Diggs, who wanted the ball thrown their way more.
Give Zimmer credit, he finally realized what so many like me have known for years, Cousins is terrible in the pocket. Too slow and scared shitless when Defenses are even 5 yards from him. So the Vikings started calling lots of “PLAY ACTION PASSES”. The result has been graded (A+) over these past 3 weeks since change in Offensive Play calls to help out Cousins. He has thrown for 300+ yards in all 3, with a perfect 135 passer rating (first time this ever happened). He’s thrown 10 TD’s, and 6 of those TD were off “PLAY ACTION” (13-16), (150yppg) and (15.4) yards per pass attempt. This is nearly impossible to achieve over a season, but boy has this made Diggs and Thielen happy campers. In the past 3 games, the Vikings are 1st in points scored (36), yards per play (7.2), yards per game (480) and Cousins completion % has gone from (64%) to (75%). I am not a Cousins fan, but he has played best 3 games of his life past 3 weeks. Prior to this big 3 week explosion by Cousins passing ball, he had gone 9 straight games with high of 260 passing yards. That’s the “real” Kirk Cousins.
One thing I have to note. Last week the Lions Defense was graded by me (F-). It’s one of worst 10 overall performances I’ve watched in 20 years. The Vikings wide outs were “WIDE OPEN” on 80% of the plays, including many times open by over 5 full yards of separation. Almost all NFL QB’s would’ve had a big day vs. that horrific coverage.
KEY MATCHUP TONIGHT:
The Vikings run the ball for (160) rushing yards per game. Their Defense allows only (84) rush yards per game. This is as solid as you will see as a combo effort by any one team. Ever. Tonight the Vikings face the Redskins (6th worst) Run Defense. If they are forced to put extra guy in the box to stop Vikings run game, Cousins again will likely have wide outs running free and he will likely enjoy another big day. The one bad news note tonight for Vikings is their stud WR Thielen is OUT. Huge loss as Skins can now watch Diggs much closer with double teams and force other guys to beat them thru the air. I personally do not see Cousins passing for 300+ again here tonight. I’d guess more close to 250.
VIKINGS HEAD COACH MIKE ZIMMER IS A TICKET CASHING MACHINE AT HOME:
Zimmer as Vikings Head Coach is (32-12-2) ATS and (3-0) ATS this year at home. Laying 2 TD’s and a FG to get a ATS cover is something we don’t see much and last year vs. Bills as big Fav at home he lost straight up.
JUST TO REALIZE HOW BAD REDSKINS OFFENSE IS?:
The KC Chiefs run the ball for 82 rypg. The Redskins Offense rushes ball for 85yrpg. But the Chiefs pass ball for 136 yards per game more than the Redskins do. Most teams are usually good at one and so so at maybe the other (pass/run). The Redskins are really bad at both.
Last week the Redskins played without it’s highest paid player on Defense, CB Josh Norman. They allowed only 3 FG’s to an undefeated team. He’s one of my 5 most overpaid players and it wasn’t shocking the D played so well without him. Funny rest of league no longer feels he’s an even above average cornerback, as nobody offering anything to grab him before Trade deadline. Case Keenum returns to face his old mates where he led them to a fantastic season and Playoff shot. He has had a few big games passing ball, but this Skins OL has been simply atrocious and given him very little chance to perform at a high level. Also RB Adrian Peterson returns to city he was Superstar for years. He is nursing a bad ankle and I doubt he does much tonight. Cousins will get to keep a nice streak ahead too as he faces weak Chiefs D next game. At this rate Cousins will be league MVP by years end.
Enjoy the game tonight and hope all your weekend wagers ahead are WINNING ones!
FINAL NOTE: We had our worst overall weekend last week in 3 years, losing in both CFB and NFL too. We went just (3-4) in CFB and (2-3) in the NFL. We lost 3 Totals by 1 point and all 3 were ahead of pace by large margins in first half. Lots of missed FG’s and turnovers in red zone and a possible very nice week turned bad in a NY minute. Until last weekend, our Totals picks were as great as we could’ve even hoped. Still a very big winning season overall, and we always expect the Gambling Gods to swing our way in those close ones ahead. We will definitely have a few “Best Bets” this weekend as we see some really great spots.