Pre-season week 2 Free NFL Picks– Thursday games
Detroit Lions @ Washington Redskins -2.5
We have been told to expect to see a bit more of the starters when Detroit travel to Washington this evening.
Matt Stafford played just one series in the week 1 victory, and Calvin Johnson didn’t feature at all. Due to injuries though, many starters look set to miss the game, which means more playing time for the younger guys.
There are plenty of jobs still up for grabs, and one is for the QB2 spot between Dan Orlovsky and Kellen Moore. During practice, the two quarterbacks share time with the second string team and after Kellen Moore got the shot last week, I’d imagine Orlovsky will be the second QB in the game today. Look for him to impress more than Moore vs the Jets (9 of 17, 67 yards and 1 INT) and get a step ahead in the QB battle.
The NFL world exploded after Ameer Abdullah’s explosive start in last week’s game, so all eyes will be on him with Joique Bell still side-lined. It will be interesting to see how he gets on now the Redskins know what to expect, although I’m not sure coaches study much game-film for pre-season matchups. The second half should feature RB Zach Zenner, who is fighting for a roster spot.
First round draft pick Laken Tomlinson looked good vs the Jets, and could see some playing time with the starters for this game, in a swap with Manny Ramirez.
The starting defensive tackles should be Tyrunn Walker and Caraun Reid, who are both looking to secure a starting position alongside Haloti Ngata once he returns from injury.
Washington beat Cleveland in a tight one last week, and will be looking to put on a good show in their first home outing of the season.
According to Coach Jay Gruden, the first team are set to play the whole first quarter, so look for Robert Griffin III to build on his average performance from last week. His numbers were low, 4 completions out of 8 with just 36 yards, but he had a dropped deep pass which was a sure-fire TD, which would have boosted these figures.
Several starters are still expected to miss this game through injury, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, Jordan Reed and Bashaud Breeland will all be out.
Third string QB Colt McCoy will be next up after RGIII in this one, and will need to really impress to unseat the impressive Kirk Cousins in the race for QB2.
Cousin done everything he could in the backup position last week, and completed 12 of 14 passes for 154 yards. If Cousins can limit the turnovers, arguably his biggest negative attribute, I think he could be a better QB than RGIII, and is deserves another shot at starter.
The article by NFL’s Chris Wesseling was interesting, and talked of how former head coach Mike Shanahan believes Cousins “has got a big-time future (in the NFL)”.
The special teams were a negative for the Redskins last week, so I expect this will be a focused area of improvement in this match. Andre Roberts fumbled a punt, Chris Thompson muffed a punt and the coverage team gave up a 54-yard return to open the second half.
After watching both teams play in their week 1 match-ups, I couldn’t bet against Detroit in this one. The Redskins are at home, which is why they are favourites, but the Lions were disciplined last week and always looked like a threat on offence. They kept the mistakes low, with just 3 penalties, and the offensive line done a great job in QB protection and opening up the running lanes.
Marco D’Angelo’s “Marco’s Minute”: NFL Bye Week Handicapping Tips
Marco D’Angelo (@MarcoInVegas) from WagerTalk.com talks about his “How to Bet TV Games” in this segment of “Marco’s Minute”.