When the 0-1 Giants travel to face the 0-1 Washington Football Team on Thursday night (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network), it will be a battle of two NFC East teams who have offensive concerns. The Giants lost at home 27-13 to the Broncos in Week 1. Washington also fell as a host to an AFC West team, losing 20-16 to the Chargers.
The Giants need more from QB Daniel Jones and a (hopefully) healthier feature back in Saquon Barkley. WFT is going through a QB change with Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip) landing on injured reserve, going back to Taylor Heinicke. Henicke will try to get more out of his three big playmakers, Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas.
Here’s how Sporting News sees the potential low-scoring Week 2 opening game playing out:
Giants vs. Washington odds for “Thursday Night Football”
- Spread: Washington by 3
- Over/under: 40.5
- Moneyine: Giants +144, Washington -172
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
The line has dropped from Washington by 4 with concerns over what Henicke might do vs. a tough Giants in relation to what Jones does vs. 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 long-time rivals have played twice a season going back to 1932. The Giants hold the advantage, 105-69-4. The Giants have won five consecutive games in the series, going back to 2018. The last three games have been decided by 10 total points. Before that streak Washington had won four of six meetings.
Three trends to know
—64 percent of bettors are leaning with the Giants to cover the 3 points, but 64 percent of bettors like Washington on the moneyline.
—A whopping 68 percent of bettors think the low over/under is too high and are taking the under with negative trends for both offenses.
—The Giants are 5-5 against the spread in their past 10 games. The total has gone over in only one of those games. Washington is 6-4 ATS in the past 10 games, with only three of those games going over.
Three things to watch
Heinicke at the helm
Most teams can’t turn to a playoff starting QB on their bench but Heinicke got the makeshift nod against Tampa Bay in the wild-card round last season. He sandwiched that with two strong relief efforts, including giving Washington a chance against the Chargers in Week 1, connecting well with McLaurin and Thomas. He should be inspired he can have the same type 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 curbed workload in his first game coming off a torn ACL in Week 1. The Giants can’t afford to give their best offensive sklll player a diminished role and expect to win. He also will help open up the passing game for Jones.
The Chase is on
Chase Young, Washington’s explosive second-year edge rusher, was bottled up against the Chargers’ new-look offensive line featuring first-round tackle Rashawn Slater. But the Broncos’ Von Miller erupted for two sacks on the Giants’ shaky offensive line. Young needs to have a big game to shut down the Giants’ downfield passing.
Stat that matters
109.8. That’s Heinicke’s passer rating in regular-season action during his short career in Washington’s offense, one he knows well from Carolina. There’s a perception there’s a massive downgrade from Fitzpatrick, but keep in mind the offense came to life only when he came in the game last week.
Giants vs. Washington prediction
Washington will get enough big plays from Heinicke early and then ground and pound this game away with Gibson. Young will clean up against Jones with Barkley being only a limited factor. Washington’s defense puts together a dominant effort.
Washington 20, Giants 13