With the Cowboys crushed by injuries and the Eagles struggling, the NFC East is there for the taking for the Giants and Redskins. New York hosts Washington on Thursday night this week as a 4-point favorite on JustBet's NFL odds with a total of 44.
Manning Losing Games For Giants
Last year the first coach fired was Dennis Allen by Oakland after just four games. Could New York can Tom Coughlin after only three if New York loses on Thursday to remain winless? It's not impossible, mainly because of how the Giants have lost.
In Week 1, some pretty wretched clock management by Eli Manning led to a one-point loss in Dallas, a game that New York absolutely had in the bag. And then this past Sunday, the Giants somehow allowed Falcons superstar receiver Julio Jones to get open for a 38-yard pass from Matt Ryan with under two minutes left. That led to Devonta Freeman's 2-yard touchdown run with 1:20 remaining and Atlanta won 24-20.
Manning was really more to blame again than Coughlin was. He fumbled on a sack in the third quarter at the Atlanta 9-yard-line with New York up 20-10 -- a touchdown there and the game is probably over. Then he committed a big delay-of-game penalty coming off a timeout in the fourth quarter, turning a third-and-7 into a third-and-12 that he couldn't convert. Finally, Manning misfired to two open receivers on the Giants' final drive. Manning was 22-for-29 with two touchdown passes in the first three quarters Sunday, then 5-for-11 in the fourth. And this guy just got a four-year, $84 million extension? Manning did pass Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas for 14th on the all-time passing yardage list.
On the bright side, New York's Odell Beckham Jr. continued to show he's a singular talent with seven catches for 146 yards and a 67-yard score. The second-year former LSU star already had 103 catches, doing so in 14 games. That's the fastest a player in league history has reached the 100-reception mark. Beckham's 1,495 career receiving yards are also the most through a player’s first 14 games. In his past 11 games, Beckham has surpassed 100 yards receiving eight times -- and gone over 140 yards six times. New York is 3-5 when he surpasses 100 yards.
The Giants are likely to be without three injured starters on Thursday in No. 2 receiver Victor Cruz, left tackle Ereck Flowers and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Cruz is for sure out as he has yet to debut this year. Flowers and DRC were hurt vs. Atlanta and with the quick turnaround it doesn't look good for them.
Redskins Are Grounding & Pounding
The Redskins, after losing 17-10 in Week 1 at home to Miami, pulled a minor surprise this past Sunday as 3-point underdogs on the NFL odds to the visiting Rams, winning 24-10. Kirk Cousins had a fine game, completing 23-for-27 for 203 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers.
The breakout star was rookie running back Matt Jones, who is technically Alfred Morris' backup. Jones had 19 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns, while Morris had only 59 yards on 18 carries. The Redskins lead the NFL in rushing (343 yards) and are the only team with two backs with at least 150 yards. The Redskins held the ball for more than 37 minutes in each of the first two games. Morris tends to feast on the Giants. He has 444 yards rushing and two scores against them since 2012. He has rushed for at least 100 yards or scored a TD in four of six meetings against Big Blue.
Washington's main injury remains to receiver DeSean Jackson, who didn't play vs. the Falcons with a hamstring injury and will miss a few more weeks. Ryan Grant took his spot in the starting lineup and was targeted six times, making three catches for 45 yards.
The Giants swept and have won four straight in the series. The team played on a Thursday night at MetLife Stadium in Week 4 last season and the Giants rolled 45-14. Manning had one of the best games of his career, throwing for 300 yards and four touchdowns, three to tight end Larry Donnell. Manning also rushed for a score. Beckham hadn't yet made his NFL debut then due to injury. Cousins was really bad, going 19-for-33 for 257 yards with four interceptions; he also lost a fumble. Washington turned it over six times overall. In the rematch at Washington in Week 15, the Giants won 24-13.
NFL Picks: It's desperation time for the G-Men. They will play like it. Give the points and go 'over' with your NFL picks at 5Dimes. The Skins have covered only two of their past 10 following a win. They haven't covered in any of the past four meetings. The 'over' is 4-1 in the Giants' past five vs. the NFC East.