Thursday, September 25, 2014

NFL Picks, Week 4 - Thursday Night Edition

New York Giants (+3) over WASHINGTON 

This is a difficult one for me to pick, as the only Giants game I've seen was their week 1 debacle in Detroit. In that game the offense looked entirely out-of-sync as the Lions jumped out to an early lead and the Giants didn't threaten at all, and looked pretty clumsy in their attempts to.

Eli Manning's offensive coordinator made some waves when he stated Eli's goal was to complete 70% of his passes. Against Detroit he fell a bit short, completing only 55% of his passes, and for a paltry 4.9 ypa. Since then the Giants passing game has improved significantly. He completed 67% of his passes for 7.1 ypa (against Arizona) and 75% of his passes for 8.4 ypa (against Houston). Good performances against some very good defenses.

They face their division rivals the Redskins on the road on a short week. Washington is riding the scorching right arm of quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has put up 677 yards and 5TDs to just 1 interception since RG3 went down with (another) injury early in week 2. But it's always important to put numbers in context, and Cousins put up these numbers against Jacksonville and Philadelphia, two teams who put up little resistance defensively.

Both of these teams have good front sevens and questionable (at best) secondaries. So it comes down to which quarterback you can trust in a game where he won't likely see much help from his running game.

I like Cousins in a shootout, but if the game is sloppy and favors the defenses then I trust Manning to make a few extra plays at the end.

If this were a Sunday game, I'd be more inclined to predict the shootout. Instead this is the game where the Cousins express takes a step backwards, and the Giants actually get some pressure on him, which makes him an entirely different-looking quarterback.

2014 Midweek Picks: 3-0

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