Matt’s 2018 Individual Game Record: 10-8 (ATS & O/U)
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (NFL Network)
Free NFL Picks: Redskins & Under
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
Both Washington and Tennessee still are alive in the playoff hunt as they square off Saturday afternoon from Nashville. Don’t expect much offense here as these are two old-school, grind-it-out teams without much of a passing attack to speak of.
The Titans sit eighth in the AFC standings, with Baltimore (8-6) holding the final wild-card spot and Indianapolis (8-6) also ahead of Tennessee. The Titans close next Sunday at home vs. Indianapolis. Washington is a game behind first-place Dallas in the NFC East and a game back in the loss column of Minnesota (7-6-1), which holds the final NFC wild-card spot. The Skins close at home vs. Philadelphia.
Long story short: The loser Saturday is toast. This writer doubts that Washington coach Jay Gruden returns in 2019 without a playoff berth. These teams have split 12 all-time meetings going back to the Titans’ Oilers days. Washington has won the past two (2010 & ’14) on walk-off field goals. The Skins also have won their past three Saturday games (last in 2016).
Both Clubs Off Low-Scoring Wins
I’ll be honest in that I didn’t expect Washington to win Sunday in Jacksonville, but the Skins did 16-13 to snap a four-game skid. Dustin Hopkins hit a 36-yard field goal on the game’s final play.
Quarterback Josh Johnson got his first start in more than seven years – the team’s top two QBs, Alex Smith and Colt McCoy, are out with broken legs; Johnson was the fourth starting QB in the past four weeks (Mark Sanchez, who is just bad) – and was solid in completing 16 of 25 for 151 yards and a TD with 49 yards rushing. Washington held the Jaguars to just 192 yards of offense. The Skins lost tight end Vernon Davis to a possible concussion in the fourth quarter. Offensive lineman Ty Nsekhe and cornerbacks Joshua Holsey and Danny Johnson also got hurt. Probably no team has been more ravaged by injuries this year than Washington. It has placed 18 players on injured reserve.
The Titans won their third in a row Sunday, 17-0 at the Giants to improve to 3-0 vs. the NFC East this year. If you have Derrick Henry on your fantasy football team and were in the playoffs, you probably are in the finals now because Henry followed his epic 238-yard, four-TD game in Week 14 vs. Jacksonville with 170 yards and two scores on a career-high 33 carries. Henry broke the franchise record for rushing yards (408) in back-to-back games, held by Oilers legend Earl Campbell (405).
Marcus Mariota threw for just 88 yards. The Tennessee defense forced two turnovers and held the Giants, who were without Odell Beckham Jr., to 260 yards. It was Tennessee’s first shutout since Christmas Day 2000 against Dallas. Tennessee lost safety Kenny Vaccaro to a concussion and outside linebacker Sharif Finch to a shoulder injury.
- Redskins are 11-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Titans are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win of more than 14 points.
- Titans are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Saturday games.
Wouldn’t shock me at all if this ended in some sort of baseball score. Shoot, maybe hockey. So giving more than 10 points is silly for an NFL pick. Go ‘under’ the total and Redskins manage to lose by no more than 10.