Thursday Night Football: Giants at Redskins

Thursday Night Football: Giants at Redskins

The NFC East will be on full display Thursday night when the Giants and Redskins throw down for the first of two meetings in 2014. Both are coming off emotional games in Week 3 that saw New York notch their first victory of the season, and Washington lose a heavyweight bout to the Eagles. Eli Manning had his first interception free outing versus Houston since November of 2013. In D.C., it’s all about Kirk Cousins, who tossed for 427 yards last Sunday and has made the fanbase, media, and many within the organization quickly forget about RG III. It’s a short week, so don’t expect a lot of clean, crisp football. Here’s a preview and prediction.

NY GIANTS AT WASHINGTON -3.5

The Giants offense is beginning to show signs of competence. Eli is always prone to soul-crushing (and hilarious) blunders, so it’s highly possible he will implode in primetime for all to point and laugh at. Then again, the ‘Skins secondary just got torched by Nick Foles and will be without DeAngelo Hall after the veteran corner ripped his Achilles. Free agent running back Rashad Jennings has been a revelation, ranking third in the league in rushing. Although finding holes to hit could be problematic against Washington’s third best run defense. The less Eli puts the ball in the air the better chance Big Blue has to getting a W. Linebacker Jon Beason will miss his second straight game with a bum foot.

Washington went toe-to-toe with the defending division champs last Sunday. However, there are no moral victories in the NFL. Another defeat means an 0-2 record in the NFC East at the quarter pole. Cousins has plenty of weapons at his disposal even if DeSean Jackson can’t go due to his sprained shoulder. Pierre Garcon and Niles Paul are making defenses pay, and Alfred Morris checks in just behind Jennings in the rushing stats. The front seven battered and bruised Nick Foles and Philly’s decimated offensive line. The Giants’ O-line will have its hands full all night long. Rookie Bashaud Breeland will step in for Hall, so Victor Cruz could be doing the salsa for a second straight Sunday.

Home chalk has easily covered the first two Thursday night slopfests. The good news for the Giants is it’s only a short train ride to the nation’s capital. The Redskins are more beat up and might still be smarting over a tough loss. Can Tom Coughlin devise a game plan to exploit Cousins? As great as he was at the Linc, the would-be heir apparent to RG III was erratic down the stretch.  Pressuring him into early mistakes could be his undoing. Lest we forget, the G-Men harassed Cousins in the 2013 finale to the tune of 19-49 for 169 yards and two interceptions. Giants are 4-2 ATS in their last six road trips. ‘Skins are 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings in the series. Stick with the home chalk.

Bet Washington -3.5