New York Giants vs Washington Football Team Prediction and Against the Spread Pick
Key Stat: The Giants beat Washington in close, low-scoring affairs in both of their 2020 meetings (20-19 and 23-20).
New York Giants vs Washington Football Team Prediction
Week 1 was an absolute blast, so the NFL has rewarded us with the Giants at Washington on Thursday Night Football in Week 2. It’s important not to have too much of a good thing. Or, cynically, they think more people will watch this game if they schedule it early in the year. (That’d probably be right.)
Saquon Barkley played about half the Week 1 opener as his long, slow rehab continues. The team has said they plan to ramp up his work, but it’d be a mild surprise if that happened on a short week in a road game. Expect to see him in the same general area of snaps after he got in limited practices this week and is officially listed as questionable. Evan Engram, who missed Week 1 for New York, is out.
On Washington’s side, Ryan Fitzpatrick was set to take over and lead his own team, without anyone waiting in the wings behind him. So of course, Week 1 brought other plans, as a hip subluxation will put him out of commission for half the season. That means Washington will turn to Taylor Heinicke, who was last seen keeping Washington surprisingly close with the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs last January.
Heinicke is an athletic quarterback who is maybe not necessarily good but at least adds another dynamic to the offense with his mobility. But this offense looks like it will run through Antonio Gibson, who handled 20 carries in Week 1 and looked solid. The Broncos gashed New York for 165 yards on the ground on 28 Week 1 carries, including a 70-yard touchdown run from Melvin Gordon in the fourth quarter in Week 1.
Washington also adds some playmakers in the passing game, and while they keep the reins on Heinicke a bit in Week 1 after he took over for Fitzpatrick, you’d imagine they’ll feel a little more comfortable even after just a short week where he is at least part of the first-team offensive gameplan. New York notably had trouble keeping up with KJ Hamler in Week 1, who dropped a potential long touchdown but got open downfield on several other plays. Terry McLaurin draws a tough matchup, but rookie Dyami Brown could be a spark in a similar vein as Hamler, or tight end Logan Thomas might be relied on much like the Broncos utilized Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam to attack the Giants’ defense.
The Giants’ offense struggled in Week 1 with no spark from Barkley, and though they managed two touchdowns in the end, their second score came on the game’s final play to turn what would have been a 27-7 home loss into a slightly better-looking 27-13 defeat. Sterling Shepard made some nice plays for the Giants, and Kenny Golladay looked good in his debut, but New York very much looked in Week 1 like a team that hadn’t improved much this offseason. With a short week and a road game on tap, I’m skeptical they’ll improve much offensively against a strong Washington unit. I like the Football Team to cover.
New York Giants vs Washington Football Team Against the Spread Pick
Bet: WAS -3.5
Our handicapper Brian Good landed a +512 Same Game Parlay last week on TNF, can he land the repeat tonight? Click to read his picks here.