When the 0-1 Giants travel to face Washington’s 0-1 football team on Thursday night (8:20 pm ET, NFL Network), it will be a battle of two NFC East teams with offensive concerns. The Giants lost at home 27-13 to the Broncos in Week 1. Washington also lost as host to an AFC West team, losing 20-16 to the Chargers.
The Giants need more from QB Daniel Jones and a (hopefully) healthier trait in Saquon Barkley. WFT is going through a quarterback trade with Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip) landing on injured reserve, returning to Taylor Heinicke. Henicke will try to get more out of his three great playmakers, Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas.
Here’s how Sporting News views the potential low-scoring Week 2 opening game:
NFL OPTIONS OF WEEK 2: Against the Spread | Direct predictions
Giants odds vs. Washington for “Thursday Night Football”
- Spread: Washington for 3
- Below: 40.5
- Moneyine: Giants +144, Washington -172
(betting odds for FanDuel sports betting)
The line has been shortened from Washington by 4 with concerns about what Henicke could do against the tough Giants relative to what Jones does against a tougher Washington defense. The point total is by far the lowest of any game in Week 2.
Giants vs. Washington all-time series
These longtime rivals have played twice a season since 1932. The Giants have the lead, 105-69-4. The Giants have won five straight games in the series, since 2018. The last three games have been decided by 10 points overall. Before that streak, Washington had won four of six games.
Three trends to know
—64 percent of bettors lean towards the Giants to cover the 3 points, but 64 percent of bettors like Washington on the money line.
—A staggering 68 percent of punters think the over / under low is too high and are assuming the low with negative trends for both offenses.
—The Giants are 5-5 against the spread in their last 10 games. The total has been exceeded in only one of those games. Washington is 6-4 ATS in the last 10 games, with only three of those games ending.
Three things to look at
Heinicke at the helm
Most teams can’t turn to a playoff starting quarterback on their bench, but Heinicke got the impromptu go-ahead against Tampa Bay in the wild-card round last season. He paired that with two strong relief efforts, including giving Washington a shot against the Chargers in Week 1, connecting well with McLaurin and Thomas. He should be inspired that he can have the same kind of facilitating outing as Denver’s Teddy Bridgewater against the Giants.
More bite from Barkley?
Barkley (knee) has been limited in practice again all week after seeing a reduced workload in his first game due to a torn ACL in Week 1. The Giants can’t afford to give their best offensive skill player a diminished role and hope to win. It will also help open the passing game for Jones.
The chase is on
Chase Young, Washington’s explosive second-year running back, was held down against the Chargers’ new offensive line with first-round tackle Rashawn Slater. But the Broncos ‘Von Miller blew up for two sacks on the Giants’ shaky offensive line. Young needs to have a great game to stop the Giants’ downfield passes.
Statistics that matter
109.8. That’s Heinicke’s passer rating in regular-season action during his short career on Washington’s offense, one he knows Carolina well. There is a perception that Fitzpatrick has dropped the rating a lot, but keep in mind that the offense came to life only when he got into the game last week.
Giants vs. Washington Prediction
Washington will get enough big plays from Heinicke early on and then he’ll roll and hit this game with Gibson. Young will clean up against Jones with Barkley being only a limited factor. Washington’s defense makes a commanding effort.
Washington 20, Giants 13
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.