NFL WK 10 – SUN NIGHT PREVIEW: VIKINGS @ COWBOYS

CAN KIRK “NEVER WON A BIG GAME” COUSINS FINALLY WIN ONE? MONEY BURNER IN PRIME TIME TV TOO: (5-13 IN CAREER)!

VEGAS ODDS:  DALLAS COWBOYS (-3) vs. MINNY VIKINGS  ~  TOTAL: (48)

Well folks we’ve said for years that when it’s time to bet any game where Vikings QB Kirk “Never Won a Big Game” Cousins is playing and he’s facing a team with a Winning record, just bet the other side and your wallet is overflowing with money. Add the game is on Prime Time TV and this piece of garbage is (5-16). When the “PRESSURE” is on this most over rated Bum I’ve ever watched, he folds like a cheap tent. Now he heads to Dallas to face a Cowboys team he is (1-6) lifetime against. Making things even worse for Cousins, the Vikings as a team are now (0-9-1) on the Road vs. teams with a Winning record. Add to that, Vikings HC Mike Zimmer is just (2-8) in 6 seasons as the HC of the Purple People Eaters in Night games. The Vikings are just (2-3) on the Road this year, being outscore (63-45). Cousins last week had a terrible game as he overthrew receivers 12x. That’s hard to do, but again ole Kirk under pressure is one of the worst QB’s all time I’ve ever graded on tape watching. 

The Cowboys are a roller coaster and right now the coaster is at the peak top winning 2 straight games, scoring 37 points in each win. They do come in with the #1 overall Offense in the entire NFL. They have great balance with 1,489 rush yards per game and 287 pass yards per game. They have one of the best Offensive Lines in the league, and they finally seem to have gotten stud RB Zeke Elliott back on track, with 3 straight 100 yard rush games. They will face a tough test vs. Vikings 7 Defense, that amazingly has allowed 0 points of a turnover the past 5 games combined. But the Vikes will be missing stud DT Linval Joseph, who is their very best Interior Defender and one I grade an “A” so far this season. Big loss and will put added pressure on the DE’s to get to Dak Prescott. If there is one team who can possibly win the DL vs. OL match up with this excellent Cowboys OL, it’s the Vikings DL. The Vikings have the #1 (D. Hunter) and #3 (Everson Griffen) pressure rushers in the entire NFL. Dallas OL is (#10) for allowing Pressure and have only allowed 10 sacks all season long. Strangely all 18 sacks by the Vikings are by DE’s. Hence they must win this match up for them to have a good chance to win this game.

Dallas has the #6 Defense in the league so they can definitely cause Cousins fits as he is #28 out of #30 QB’s being sacked, hit or hurried on 41% of his drop backs. Due to these poor numbers, the Vikings have Cousins do “Play Action” 35%, the most of any QB in the NFL. He does have (8 TDS – 1 INT) on those play calls, as Cousins is at his worst when in the pocket, as this is when he gets scared shitless and makes bad mistakes. Cousins has fared well on Road last 3, with 9 TD’s and 0 interceptions. He will be at a huge disadvantage here though missing one of his two stud WR’s (and I feel his best) Adam Thielen. This puts a huge extra burden on the other stud, S. Diggs. He will possibly benefit though from the Cowboys missing stud Safety Jeff Heath. He’s been limited in practice all week. The Vikings need RB D. Cook to have a huge game and take some pass pressures off Cousins. The Vikings run the ball 60% on first/second down, and when he’s busting the open holes, the pass game opens up really well for Cousins. 

Dallas has a big advantage when they have the ball and Prescott is passing it to A. Cooper and M. Gallup, who will have massive advantages over the Vikings two weak links on Defense, X. Rhodes and Trae Waynes. Rhodes has been one of my worst grades in the secondary of all cornerbacks. Cooper has really played to a top notch level at home at Jerry’s World, where in 9 games there since being acquired from the Raiders, he has 63 catches, 1,077 passing yards and 10 touchdowns. I fully expect Gallup to have a big night vs. Rhodes. 

Dallas is a hard team to make sense of. Their first 3 wins came against teams with a (4-22) record. They have lost to the one win Jets. Now they are in the “Red Hot” mode again. They need to get Elliot going as when he is at his peak running, the Offense usually always scores 30+. Vikings also need Dalvin Cook to have a huge day, as when he struggles, the Offense rarely does enough to win.

KEY NUMBERS TO WATCH: 
Minnesota is a fast starter, scoring 138 first half points this season so far. They have allowed 92. Dallas has been more of a second half team as they have outscored their opponents (133-56) in the second half, including a total 4th quarter domination, (75-26). 

FINAL KICK: 
You have to hate money to bet on Kirk Cousins in a prime time or against a Winning team. In this game, he has both of these things going against him. Adding the Thielen, he will have to be at his all time best here vs. a now hot Cowboys team. Problem betting Dallas is they struggle to sustain success for more than a few weeks. For many bettors, this game will be the “BAILOUT Special” game. Hopefully you all are in good shape prior to this game and you can just watch this one without stress. If the Vikings are going to be a Playoff team, they MUST win this game. If the Cowboys are to win the NFC East, this one is critical. Should be a very entertaining game and fitting to be the Sunday Night Prime Time game of week. 

Enjoy the game and may all your wagers be WINNING ones!

Gary Greene