The New York Giants are trying to avoid an 0-3 start – and second loss to an NFC East rival – when they host the Washington Redskins on Thursday night. The Giants have blown double-digit leads in the fourth quarter of each of their first two games but they have recent history on their side against the Redskins, winning the past four matchups.
Washington rebounded from a season-opening defeat to Miami with a 24-10 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday behind a running attack that produced 182 yards. “I think that they have gone ahead and decided to do exactly what they like to do there – run the football,” New York coach Tom Coughlin said of the Redskins. It will be a matchup of strength versus strength – the Redskins are averaging a league-high 171.5 yards rushing while the Giants ranked third against the run with 68.0 yards surrendered. The teams met on a Thursday night almost exactly a year ago in Washington and the Giants breezed to a 45-14 victory.
TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS, NFL Network.
LINE HISTORY: Books opened the Giants as 4-point home favorites but that has been moved to -3.5. The total has held at 44.
WEATHER: Temperatures expected to be in the low-70s under partly cloudy skies. Wind will blow across the field around four miles per hour.
INJURY REPORT: Redskins – T Tom Compton (Questionable, calf), CB Justin Rogers (Questionable, foot), LB Perry Riley (Questionable, calf), WR DeSean Jackson (Mid October, hamstring). Giants – DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (Questionable, foot), TE Daniel Fells (Questionable, foot), DT Markus Kuhn (Questionable, knee), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Questionable, head), T Ereck Flowers (Questionable, ankle), LB Jon Beason (Questionable, knee), WR Victor Cruz (Out indefinitely, calf), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Out indefinitely, finger).
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Redskins (+3.5) – Giants (+2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Giants -4
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “The Redskins the early results from the Redskins defensive makeover have been impressive, with former Chargers LB coach Joe Barry paying immediate dividends as defensive coordinator. The New York media are primed to eat this team alive after the G-men blew double digit leads in the fourth quarter of each of their two losses to open the season.” Covers Expert Teddy Covers.
ABOUT THE REDSKINS (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS, 0-2 O/U): After Alfred Morris rushed for 121 yards in the opener, rookie Matt Jones erupted for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns last week to make life easy for quarterback Kirk Cousins, who finished 23-of-27 for 203 yards and a score. Cousins, who will be without top wideout DeSean Jackson (hamstring), had a nightmarish performance against the Giants last September, throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble. Tight end Jordan Reed has 13 receptions and a score through two games while Washington’s defense ranks No. 1 overall, allowing an average of 234.5 yards per game, and fourth against the run (70.5 yards).
ABOUT THE GIANTS (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U): Coughlin on Monday admitted to being “frustrated” with the erratic play of quarterback Eli Manning, who has performed poorly and made some head-scratching decisions in the fourth quarter of both losses. Manning finally did connect with wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who had seven catches for 146 yards and a TD last week, but New York’s running game has been inconsistent and could be without starting left tackle Ereck Flowers, who hurt his ankle Sunday. Conversely, the Giants could receive a big boost on defense as starting middle linebacker Jon Beason (knee) is expected to make his season debut.
* Under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings.
* Redskins are 0-4 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Redskins are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a ATS win.
* Over is 4-1 in Giants last five vs. NFC East.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Sixty-two percent of Covers users are backing the Giants.