It wasn’t meant to be on Sunday Night football yesterday evening as the Chiefs dropped a disappointing defeat to the Panthers back-ups. Kansas City had a ton of opportunities and red-zone trips, but their starters lacked efficiency in the final 20 yards. Today, there’s only one game to focus on and it’s possibly the most highly-anticipated pre-season encounter in recent memory.
The Browns travel to the nation’s capital to take on RG3 and the Washington Redskins. As exciting as Griffin can often be, most fans will be tuning in to check out the ongoing QB saga brewing in Cleveland between Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel. With new head coach Mike Pettine vowing to name his Week 1 starter after this contest, there’s a lot on the line for the veteran Hoyer and the polarizing rookie in Manziel. It promises to be an intriguing affair with an abundance of storylines. We’ll look to bump our record over the .500 mark with a big Monday night winner. Read on below for further game details and tonight’s official selection.
Browns vs. Redskins Betting Odds:
Cleveland Browns +2.5 (+100)
@ Washington Redskins -2.5 (-120)
Over 42 (-110)
Under 42 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Browns vs. Redskins Pick:
It is believed that RG3 and the Redskins starters will feature for at least a quarter Monday night, perhaps playing a few series into the second quarter. Meanwhile, coach Mike Pettine of the Browns has promised that this is the final test for both Hoyer and Manziel and a decision on their Week 1 starter should be made tomorrow. Manziel and Hoyer will both get reps with the first-team offense, and ideally they’ll be going against the Redskins’ starters on defense. It will be interesting to see how the dynamics of playing time unfolds, but don’t be surprised if Manziel gets the majority of his reps against the second-teamers of Washington.
Still, the Redskins possess some pretty solid depth, especially at the quarterback position. RG3 seems fully healthy and ready to go and will have his main weapons of Pierre Garcon and newly signed DeSean Jackson at his disposal. Going against a solid Browns secondary will be a good test for his progression as a pocket-passer. But where Washington truly holds an advantage is with their depth under centre. Kirk Cousins will take over from RG3 midway through the 2nd quarter, and expect yet another stellar outing. He has outplayed Griffin before, and in his limited exposure to NFL defenses, he’s acclimated himself quite well. Every indication is that Cousins is good enough to be an NFL starter, and he can definitely have his way with the Browns back-ups. And even if Cousins does face off against the Browns starters, he’s talented enough to make it work. Look for the former Michigan St. starter to play into the 4th quarter.
Expect a tight and exciting affair throughout. Even though it’s a pre-season game, the hype surrounding Manziel/Griffin/Hoyer/Cousins is pretty high and the fact that this game will draw national MNF attention should have the players buzzing. In the fourth quarter, the game should be tight, but with former Brown Colt McCoy being the Redskins’ number three option, and the maligned Rex Grossman being Cleveland’s, we’ll lean with the Redskins. Their quarterback depth is impressive, with all three men recently filling the role as NFL starters. Expect Cousins and McCoy to make a difference over the Browns back-ups, en route to covering the minimal 2.5-point spread.
PICK = Redskins -2.5 (-120)