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NFL Betting: Giants vs. Redskins Thursday Night Preview

Posted by Stan Jenkins on 9/25/2014 10:34:57 AM

The New York Giants and Washington Redskins are both 1-2 in an NFC East in which the Philadelphia Eagles are 3-0. This is a very important early season game for both clubs.

New York Giants @ Washington Redskins – Thursday, September 25

The New York Giants and Washington Redskins are both 1-2, but they’re in the same position only because they took different routes to get there. New York started off 0-2 this season but then bounced back this past Sunday with a 30-17 win over the previously unbeaten Houston Texans. The key for the Giants was their swarming defense, which scooped up three interceptions and created the short fields needed to give a struggling offense a boost. The Giants’ offense scored every touchdown in that win over Houston, but four separate scoring drives were under 30 yards in length. New York’s defense really stepped up, and with Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins staring down Big Blue in this game, the Giants will be well served by having a pass rush that can get after an opposing quarterback, quite possibly creating the turnovers the Giants benefited from this past weekend. New York has the ingredients on defense that can turn Thursday’s game in its favor. Washington scored 34 points on the road against Philadelphia, but if New York can hold Washington to 20 points or so and get at least two turnovers from Cousins, the Giants would probably like their chances in this one.

One other thing that has to greatly encourage New York heading into this game is that for once, quarterback Eli Manning was secure with the ball. Manning has been an interception-prone quarterback in recent years, with last year being one of his worst as a pro. Manning started the new season in shaky fashion, but on Sunday, he completed 21 of 28 passes without an interception. If Manning can avoid turnovers and the Giants can force them from an opposing quarterback, everything can, and probably will, fall into place for New York.

As for Washington, here’s what the Redskins are counting on as they prepare for Thursday’s game. While the Redskins will respect what the Giants’ defense accomplished against Houston, they’ll realize that Houston quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is a mediocre NFL signal caller, and very possibly something worse than mediocre. Fitzpatrick had a brief fling with the Buffalo Bills, appearing to be the starter of the future for that franchise, but his brush with prosperity lasted a very short time. Fitzpatrick’s career crashed and burned, and he’s one of a few really bad solutions for the Texans at a position that needs a new draft pick next year, maybe Jameis Winston.

The Redskins are going to feel that with Kirk Cousins under center, they have a quarterback who can make all the right plays, and after Sunday’s narrow loss to the Eagles, who can blame them for thinking that way? Cousins threw for 427 yards and three touchdowns. He seems like a better option at quarterback than Robert Griffin III was even before RG3 got injured. Washington should be able to move the ball on the Giants without making too many big mistakes. The Redskins will take this game on Thursday night.

Pick: Redskins -3.5

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