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Cousins to fold in primetime yet again? Get NFL Week 10 tips for Sunday

Leigh Copson 6 Nov 2019
Kirk Cousins of Minnesota (credit:Elizabeth Flores/Zuma Press/PA Images)

NFL predictions for Week 10 of the 2019 NFL season. Who will come out on top in the big NFC showdown between Dallas and Minnesota? Can the Chicago Bears stop the rot in a must-win meeting with Detroit, and will the in-form New Orleans Saints maintain their iron grip on top spot in the NFC South? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (18:00 GMT)

What a difference 12 months can make. This time last year the Chicago Bears, led by rookie coach Matt Nagy, were embarking on a fine run of form that would see them go from worst to first in the NFC North and end their playoff drought. Fast forward 12 months and they are fighting to keep their fading postseason hopes alive and avoid going from first to worst in the division. So what has gone so badly wrong for a team that were considered Super Bowl contenders coming into this season? I could spend hours listing off the issues surrounding the Bears and they go beyond the appalling performance of Mitchell Trubisky, who continues to get the brunt of the criticism. Last weekend’s loss in Philadelphia may not have looked heavy on the scoreboard but in reality Chicago took a beating – they mustered just nine total yards, one first down and no points in the first-half against the Eagles, and although they did rally after the break, they gave themselves too much of a mountain to climb. Trubisky’s display was downright appalling, but he was not exactly helped by more woeful play-calling from Nagy, dropped passes at crucial moments, a string of penalties and the defenses’ inability to get off the field at third down despite putting Philly in several third-and-long positions. To put it bluntly, the Bears stunk across the board. There is still time for them to turn it around though, but that has to happen now and given everything we have heard from an increasingly stubborn, and bordering on arrogant, Nagy, there is very little chance of Chicago shaking things up for this must-win meeting with Detroit. The Lions are hardly flying themselves at this time, having lost four of their last five games, but I have to admit I am surprised that they are not the favourites for this one. They may not be great, but you do not need to be firing on all cylinders to out-point the Bears these days – in fact, they may not even need to hit 20 points to get the job done. Therefore I have to back the ‘upset’ here as the Chicago defense does its best to keep close before giving up some back-breaking plays.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (18:00 GMT)

The Baltimore Ravens sent a message to the rest of the NFL last weekend as they ruthlessly dispatched the previously unbeaten Super Bowl champions, New England. The Patriots entered the game boasting, at least statistically, the best defense in the entire National Football League, but in their first real challenge of the season they could not cope with the dual threat posed by Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is more than just a ‘glorified running back’ playing QB. Jackson tossed one touchdown pass and ran in two more scores, while the defense become only the second unit to hold the Patriots below 27 points this season, wrapping up a dominant 37-20 victory that has cemented the Ravens’ status as Super Bowl contenders. However, their stock would take a serious hit if they fail to follow up that victory with another on Sunday. After all, they are now facing the only team yet to win a game this season, Cincinnati. The Bengals have been hopeless on both sides of the football through eight games and despite having a couple of weeks to prepare for this matchup thanks to the post-London bye, it is difficult to see how they will have fixed the many deficiencies that have resulted in them being 0-8 at this time. Now, we have seem teams slump badly in the wake of huge wins like the one the Ravens produced in week nine, but I am confident that they will avoid embarrassment here. Baltimore should run away with this, putting plenty of points on the board to win in comfortable fashion.

Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys (Monday 01:20 GMT)

The final game of Sunday’s slate also happens to be the most mouth-watering as NFC East leaders Dallas entertain the NFC North’s second-place team, Minnesota. The Cowboys’ season threatened to fall apart at the seams in week six when a shock loss to the lowly New York Jets took their losing streak to three games, but they bounced back in impressive fashion with a huge division win over Philadelphia that helped them maintain their grip on top spot, and they then followed that up with another victory over NFC East opposition, the New York Giants, on Monday Night Football last week. The Cowboys were slow out of the blocks in that one, trailing 12-3 late in the second quarter, but they put up 21 points in a fourth-quarter blitz to pull away for the win and they will now have their sights set on following up that important victory by knocking off the in-form Vikings. Minnesota appeared to be lurching towards some sort of crisis when they were completely shut down in a loss at Chicago in week four, but head coach Mike Zimmer seemingly went back to the drawing board in an attempt to get floundering quarterback Kirk Cousins going, and it was a move that has paid off ever since. Minnesota have gone 4-1 since that defeat at Soldier Field and no longer appear to be one-dimensional on offense, despite that outstanding run game of theirs. Dalvin Cook has been running over teams on the ground and Cousins has now thrown 13 touchdown passes in his last five games to light up opposition secondaries, so it is fair to say that the Vikings go into this matchup in good form despite the narrow loss to Kansas City last weekend. Would I be shocked to see Minnesota silence AT&T Stadium and leave with the win? No. Do I expect them to do that? No. While Cousins has undoubtedly looked a whole lot better in recent weeks it is difficult to ignore his pathetic record in primetime, and it must be pointed out that has not managed a fourth-quarter comeback in any of the 11 games where the Vikings have trailed coming into the final period. Those statistics, for me, are more telling than any other numbers coming into this matchup, so I am going to back Dem Boys to record a big win and stay ahead of Philadelphia in the race for the NFC East crown. 

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Cousins to fold in primetime yet again? Get NFL Week 10 tips for Sunday

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