The Giants take on Washington in a must-win Week 2 matchup. Will they notch their first victory of the new season?
Week 2 is already here, and it comes after a not-so-nice Week 1.
The Giants dropped their regular-season opener to the Broncos at MetLife Stadium Sunday. The offense couldn’t consistently execute, the defense failed to contain Teddy Bridgewater’s air attack, Joe Judge threw the challenge flag on an automatically reviewable scoring play, and Daniel Jones fumbled yet again.
Now, they face the division-rival Washington Football Team and a backup quarterback on a short week. Taylor Heinicke will be taking the snaps for Washington amid Ryan Fitzpatrick’s absence. The veteran quarterback suffered a hip injury in the Football Team’s Week 1 loss and is currently on injured reserve.
New York Giants @ Washington Football Team
Thursday, September 16, 2021 — 8:20 PM EDT
TV: NFL Network, NBC (Local)
Notable Game Props
(Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Giants Total Points: Over-18.5 (-115), Under-18.5 (-115)
- Washington Total Points: Over-22.5 (-110), Under-22.5 (-120)
- First Team to Score: Giants (+110), Washington (-140)
- Last Team to Score: Giants (+100), Washington (-130)
- Giants Total TDs: Over-1.5 (-165), Under-1.5 (+125)
- Washington Total TDs: Over-2.5 (+100), Under-2.5 (-140)
Player Prop Picks (Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
Daniel Jones Under-237.5 Passing Yards (-115)
There are a number of reasons why it’s tough to imagine Daniel Jones recording at least 238 passing yards Thursday night.
For one, facing this Washington defense is a highly difficult task, especially when it comes to the passing game. The Football Team employ an absurdly talented pass rush that includes edge rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat along with a secondary that finished second in pass defense last year (191.8 yards allowed per game).
The Giants offensive line is also a weak point of this Big Blue offense — given the struggles of that unit along with Shane Lemieux‘s knee injury (which will keep him out Thursday night), Daniel Jones might have minimal time to operate.
Joe Judge also hinted at the offense executing long drives (or at least trying to); this could mean the run game will be used a heavy amount.
Biggest takeaway: Don’t expect the offense to open it up Thursday. Judge emphasized how WFT doesn’t allow explosive plays. Said you have to tick-tick-tick down the field.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) September 14, 2021
Sterling Shepard Over-4.5 Receptions (-165)
If you looked at my player prop posts last year, you probably remember how I took “Wayne Gallman anytime TD scorer” pretty much every game.
In 2021, my every-game player prop pick might be the over on Sterling Shepard‘s reception total.
Shepard recorded over 4.5 receptions against the Broncos, which we told you to wager on last week. The sixth-year wideout caught seven balls in the loss.
I’m not confident in Daniel Jones hitting the over on his aforementioned passing-yard total and Washington’s defense is indeed strong. But given the presence of alternative weapons such as Kenny Golladay, Saquon Barkley, and Kadarius Toney (if the Giants actually play him a decent amount), the Football Team defense could overlook Shepard.
Considering what he can do against No. 2 and/or 3 corners, Shepard catching at least five balls Thursday night is certainly possible.
Blake Martinez Over-8.5 Combined Tackles (+110)
A $100 bet to win $110? And all Blake Martinez needs to do is notch at least nine combined tackles?
I would most definitely open my wallet for this play.
Martinez underwent a great 2020 campaign and picked up right where he left off on Sunday when he recorded nine total tackles against Denver.
Last year, Martinez racked up over 8.5 total tackles in 11 of 16 games — he’s more than capable of reaching this production level.
Not to mention, the Football Team could be running the ball a decent amount in order to take the pressure off Taylor Heinicke. This could lead to various opportunities for Martinez to produce in the tackling department.
Players to Watch
Obviously, all eyes will be on the quarterback.
Daniel Jones had an up-and-down game against the Broncos that was highlighted by a second-half fumble — his 30th in 28 career games.
The general confidence in the third-year signal-caller is wavering given the still-existent turnover issue. Fans will hone in on him to see if he can put together a consistently clean performance against a tough division opponent.
Didn’t I say Sterling Shepard would have a big year?
Okay, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself with that take right now — it was only one productive game (seven catches, 113 yards, one touchdown vs. Denver).
But Shepard should still be a player to focus on Thursday night.
As was previously mentioned, this Giants offense employs a talented slate of weapons that also includes Kenny Golladay and first-round draft pick Kadarius Toney (who could be a versatile target if the coaching staff utilized him more than it did against the Broncos).
Shepard could fall under the radar when opposing defenses game-plan for Big Blue — it seemingly occurred with Denver and could happen again with Washington.
Okay, I know this isn’t just one specific player.
But this group must come together if the Giants want to have any success against the scary Washington front.
Not only did the offensive line struggle against Denver, but starting left guard Shane Lemieux is dealing with a knee injury that will sideline him for this Week 2 matchup.
There are a number of issues surrounding the five-man group, which isn’t great news when you’re about to face Chase Young and Montez Sweat.
Will the line hold up and provide Daniel Jones with time to operate? Is Andrew Thomas going to put together a solid performance after actually holding his own against Denver? Will the Giants mainly field Nate Solder at right tackle or elect to go with second-year man Matthew Peart? How will the Giants handle replacing Lemieux?
Various questions are set to be answered Thursday night — the performance of the New York offensive line will be crucial to the end result of this game.
Wide Right Podcast Preview
On episode 80 of ESNY’s Wide Right Podcast, we preview the Giants-Washington matchup. You can locate the episode below.
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY