It was an incredibly successful Week 2 for myself here at The Sports Geek, going 4-1 ATS with my selections and I’ll be looking to further that mark with some Thursday Night Football action to kick off Week 3. For Thursday night, we’ll be looking toward the NFC East division with a showdown between the rivals Redskins and Giants. Not much was expected out of either team in 2015, but a big Redskins victory last week has drawn some attention to the much-maligned franchise.
It’s no secret about the tumultuous off-season the Redskins had. The saga that was RG3 continuously loomed over their collective heads, and no real planning and preparation could be done. They ultimately went the route of Kirk Cousins and he’s been solid thus far. Last week the ‘Skins dismantled a solidly built Rams team, and the emergence of young running back Matt Jones has Washington fans buzzing.
For the Giants, it’s been a very tough go to begin 2015. And even though they enter this contest a mediocre 0-2 squad, they probably deserved to win one of their opening matches. They let Week 1 slip away due to mental errors and poor time management, while they were neck-and-neck with the Falcons last week at home. This week might have initially been considered a routine victory, but with the improved play on both sides from Washington, this Thursday’s contest should be loaded with intrigue. And in a division where the Cowboys have already lost Dez Bryant and Tony Romo, and features a Philly team that looks lost – who knows? The NFC East might be wide open in 2015. Read on below for the full game breakdown and an official selection for this divisional showdown.
Redskins vs. Giants Betting Odds:
Washington Redskins +4 (-115)
@ New York Giants -4 (-105)
Over 44 (-110)
Under 44 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Redskins vs. Giants Pick:
Last week’s performance from the Redskins was an absolute stunner, but something that also really opened my eyes. This was not to be expected, yet the Redskins simply dismantled a legitimate Rams team fresh off beating the Seahawks. Washington was motivated on defense, and looked efficient and beastly when they possessed the football. Rookie running back Matt Jones was quite the revelation against a very good Rams’ defensive front, and he should be able to replicate his performance to a certain degree on Thursday evening.
New York looked especially vulnerable to the ground attack in Week 2 vs. the Falcons. Another rookie, Tevin Coleman had his way with their defense when he got touches, so look for the ‘Skins to pound the football as much as they can. Let’s also not forget about Alfred Morris in that Washington backfield either. The bruising back remains a threat whenever the ball is in his hands, and that dual-threat for the ‘Skins could be there key to victory in New York.
Look for the run game to open things up for Kirk Cousins. While Cousins is by no means a very good quarterback, having an effective running game will undoubtedly make things easier for the former Spartan in the pocket. And do keep in mind that the G-Men have struggled mightily rushing opposing passers in the absence of Jason Pierre-Paul. That should continue again this week. Cousins should be able to locate his array of surprisingly talented receivers, and the ‘Skins should be able to control the clock and move the chains on offense.
On the other side of the football, it will be fascinating to see how the Redskins fare again with regard to their defense. Washington arguably could be 2-0 this season, and a large part of that can be attributed to their stellar defense. Their secondary has shown huge improvements under a new-look from their new defensive coordinator and they should be able to at least limit a pretty effective aerial attack from Eli Manning. Fully stopping Odell Beckham is not really a possibility, but their passing defense should do enough to limit his dominance.
However if the passing game for the Giants is not in full swing, it could be another tough evening for the Giants in front of their restless home crowd. Washington is absolutely stellar defending against the run, and their ferocious front have been known to stuff opposing rushers. The duo of Jennings and Williams has been pretty awful so far this season, and struggled to gain positive yardage last week vs. the Falcons. With that being said, I’m not certain I like their chances at running on the ‘Skins.
I’ve admittedly done a bit of a turn on the Redskins in 2015. Their defense is much, much better than I first thought, and their offense does enough to keep the team in football games. They’re playing sound football and the Giants can no longer be considered to be a better squad than them. Losing at home to a Falcons squad that travels very poorly is a bad loss and oddly enough, the Giants seem to always struggle at home. This promises to be a very tight, and likely a low scoring contest. With a 4-point spread and the recent form of the Redskins, I’m liking Washington to get the job done and get the cover on Thursday night.
PICK = Redskins +4 (-115)