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Four-in-a-row for in-form Vikings? Get NFL Thursday Night Football tips

Leigh Copson 23 Oct 2019
Kirk Cousins (credit:USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images)

Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings predictions for Thursday Night Football in Week 8 of the 2019 NFL season. Can the Minnesota Vikings take their win streak to four games to keep the heat on Green Bay in the NFC North, or will the Washington Redskins return to haunt former quarterback Kirk Cousins and leave with the ‘W’? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings (Friday 01:20 BST)

The Minnesota Vikings were enduring an early-season crisis after going 2-2 in their first four games of the season. They were shut down on offense and dominated in a 16-6 Week Four loss in Chicago, and in the aftermath of that loss the Vikings were forced to do some serious soul-searching as critics tore into Kirk Cousins and the media reported that one of the team’s biggest stars, wide receiver Stefon Diggs, wanted out of Minneapolis. Offensive play-calling was also the subject of a great deal of criticism – the team had been overly-reliant on the run game in the early stages of the season and when it was shut down by Chicago, the Vikings had no answers. It was clear that something needed to change and fast. It did.

Minnesota revamped its offensive strategy for the Week Five trip to New York to face the Giants and it paid off in strong fashion as Cousins produced a season-best showing, completing 22 of his 27 pass attempts for 306 yards and a touchdown in a 281-0 victory. The best was yet to come though as Cousins racked up 670 passing yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception over the next two weeks to lead the team to an important home win over Philadelphia and a huge road win at division rivals Detroit, and in doing so he became the first quarterback in NFL history to have at least 300 passing yards and a passer rating of 130 or higher in three consecutive games. Cousins is on fire and so are the Vikings, so could there be a better time for them to be hosting his old team, the Washington Redskins, for Thursday Night Football?

While Minnesota are running riot, the Redskins are already counting down to the 2020 season. Washington fired head coach Jay Gruden after an 0-5 start that was somehow worse than their record suggested, and although his temporary successor Bill Callahan was able to lead the team to victory in his debut, nobody was getting carried away. After all, they were facing the hopeless Miami Dolphins on that day and they almost threw it away. The Redskins gave up 13 unanswered points in the final quarter and were staring defeat in the face when Miami opted to go for it all with a two-point conversion with just 10 seconds left in the game. Convert it and a first victory was theirs, fail and they would hand the ‘W’ to Washington and fall to 0-5. Needless to say, the Dolphins blew it with a truly horrendous two-point attempt, and that means Washington will avoid the embarrassment of an 0-16 season.

The question is, can the Redskins actually win another game this year? Thursday Night Football is known for throwing up some surprise results given the short week, but it is almost impossible to see how Washington can roll into US Bank Stadium, pull off an upset and head back to the capital with their biggest win of the season so far in the books. They are, quite frankly, horrible on both sides of the football. Last Sunday they managed just 154 total yards as they were shutout for the first time this season in a home defeat to San Francisco, and they have now failed to score more than once in three of their last four games. Defensively the numbers have been better in the last two games, but you can put that down to them facing the useless Dolphins in Week Six and taking on the 49ers in awful weather conditions in Week 7. This is a unit that has been getting gashed all season and with Cousins in the form that he is in right now he should make it another miserable night for his old team.

Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook is likely to pile on the misery too. The 24-year-old made a blistering start to the season as he racked up 454 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns through the first three weeks of the season, and although he was completely shut down by the Bears in Week Four, he has been back on top form in two of the last three games, producing a 200+ yard showing against the Giants before going for 149 total yards and two scores in the win over Detroit in Week Seven. Cook is going to be a nightmare for a Redskins run defense that is giving up, on average, just over 134 yards per game, so I expect another successful night at the office for this talented running back.

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Four-in-a-row for in-form Vikings? Get NFL Thursday Night Football tips

Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings predictions for Thursday Night Football in Week 8 of the 2019 NFL season.

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