The New York Giants travel to the nation’s capital for a primetime divisional showdown against the rejuvenated Washington Redskins. The Giants will try to run early and often on the battered Redskins’ defense, which could be without defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (game status still unknown). Eli Manning will have his shot at the DeAngelo Hall-less ‘Skins secondary, but it should come after Rashad Jennings does his damage on the ground. Kirk Cousins will once again have to carry the Redskins against a tougher defense than he saw last week. Cousins and Garcon should keep the Redskins in the game, but they will need DeSean Jackson’s downfield prowess to be on full display if they want to avoid last place in the division. Victor Cruz should feast against the ravaged secondary, especially after Jennings opens up the passing lanes with the downhill running.
Final Prediction: The Giants look to be in a far better spot in terms of injuries for the Thursday night matchup, and the Redskins will have to be perfect on offense to keep this game in check. The ‘Skins defense won’t create enough pressure to force a Manning mistake and will be dragged up and down the field all night long. Giants, 27-23.
The Philadelphia Eagles look to stay undefeated against a perennial Super Bowl contender on the road. Nick Foles and the Eagles’ offense face their toughest test thus far against a stout 49ers defense. In an attempt to have LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles in open space, expect Chip Kelly to have them both heavily involved in the passing game, whether it be designed screens or wheel routes on broken plays. The Eagles’ defense will have their hands full in trying to contain dual threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the triple threat of Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, and Anquan Boldin. The Eagles defense doesn’t appear to be up to the task and unless Foles can muster some of his second half miracles, the Eagles look to be picking up their first loss this Sunday out in San Fran.
Final Prediction: The 49ers will be too much to handle for the Eagles, especially at home. LeSean McCoy should shake his recent struggles and turn in an hundred yard game, while Foles looks poised to struggle against a dynamic San Fran secondary. 49ers, 31-21.
The Saints picked up their first win last week, and will march into Dallas looking to even their record at two and two. The Cowboys have won their last two games, both on the road, and look to improve to three and one for the first time since 2008. The first three games for the Cowboys’ offense have been dominated by the commitment to the run and DeMarco Murray’s success with the increased workload, but as the Saints come marching in, Dez Bryant is due for an explosive game. The Cowboys will certainly stay relatively committed to the run, but with the Saints’ offense’s ability to score in a hurry, the ‘Boys will be forced to lean on their best player, and when his number is called good things tend to happen. Bryant will find the endzone twice and should turn in more downfield vertical catches than his usual intermediate catches. Romo and Bryant will take the game over and win a close one, letting the NFL know the ‘Boys are for real.
Final Prediction: Cowboys defense struggles, while Brees turns in a huge game. Romo shows his back is just fine and goes for over four hundred yards and three touchdowns. Bryant goes over two hundred yards. Cowboys, 37-33.