The Washington Redskins looked awful on opening night against the Philadelphia Eagles, but they did rally to make the game a lot more interesting and competitive in the fourth quarter. Was that rally an indication that the Redskins are on their way to being a good team once again, or was that a late-game, garbage-time sequence that should not be given much meaning or weight? The way in which the Redskins perform on the NFL lines this Sunday in Green Bay should offer some answers to these and other similar questions.
Washington Redskins @ Green Bay Packers
Sunday, September 15th – 1:00 PM ET
Lambeau Field – Green Bay, WI
NFL Odds: Packers -7
Why The Redskins Can Cover The Spread…
They got off the deck and showed how good they can be in the second half of Monday night’s loss to Philadelphia. Trailing 33-7, the old Redskins – the version that did not make the playoffs – would have folded the tent and called it a day. The new Redskins managed to score 20 points and put themselves in position to win the game with a touchdown had they been able to recover an onside kick in the final two minutes. They did lose, 33-27, but they made the Eagles sweat. Quarterback Robert Griffin looked awful in the first 35 minutes of this game against Philadelphia, but he was fabulous in the final 25, reducing fears that he might need to take a long time (months rather than weeks) to get back into playing shape for the full season. Griffin didn’t take a single snap during the preseason, so some rust was to be expected. The extent to which Griffin looked sluggish in the first half raised a lot of alarm bells, but his second-half showing should quiet a lot of critics and skeptics. If this version of Griffin (the one that played in the second half versus the Eagles) is the one that shows up for at least 50 minutes against the Packers, there’s little reason Washington can’t score at least 35 points and outduel Green Bay’s offense. Green Bay’s defense remains a huge problem, having been victimized by San Francisco’s attack for 34 points in week one. If Griffin is ready, Washington can match or exceed that point total.
Why The Packers Can Cover The Spread…
Griffin does not look ready. One has to emphasize that Griffin was being given a generous cushion by the Eagles’ defense throughout the second half. He was allowed to complete 10-yard passes in the middle of the field because he was dealing with multi-touchdown deficits on each and every possession he had in that half of football. The Eagles ran into a measure of difficulty in the second half against Washington because quarterback Michael Vick got slowed down with an injury. The Eagles’ insistence on a fast tempo in their offense was tempered by the realization that they needed to burn some clock. This became a tricky juggling act for the Eagles, but the biggest concern was keeping Vick on the field even though he was banged up. Washington closed the gap because it repeatedly produced defensive stops against an injured quarterback. Without that bit of luck, you wouldn’t have seen Griffin fatten his stats. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers should be able to dominate Washington’s defense, and Griffin is not likely to match him at all.
Outlook & NFL Football Betting Prediction:
The Packers, for one thing, are not going to fall to 0-2 this season. Second, Griffin really doesn’t look ready. His throws are wobbly and lack the zip of last season. One shouldn’t expect Griffin to be on his game until October at the earliest. Take the Packers to cover the NFL spread.
NFL Football Picks: Green Bay -7