WASHINGTON REDSKINS (0-1) at GREEN BAY PACKERS (0-1)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Green Bay -7.5 & 50.5
Opening Line & Total: Packers -7 & 50
Two defenses that were lit up in Week 1 will each face another stiff test on Sunday when Robert Griffin III and the Redskins visit Aaron Rodgers’ Packers.
Washington gave up 443 yards in a 33-27 home loss to the Eagles in the season opener, while Green Bay allowed 494 yards in a 34-28 loss in San Francisco. Griffin nearly brought his team back from a 33-7 hole, finishing with 353 total yards and two scores, while Rodgers threw for 333 yards and 3 TD in a losing effort. Both teams will likely be without key defensive players for this matchup. Redskins star LB Ryan Kerrigan suffered a concussion in Week 1, S Brandon Meriweather is questionable with a groin injury and CB DeAngelo Hall (ankle) remains out indefinitely. The Packers’ outstanding secondary could be missing two starters in FS Morgan Burnett (hamstring) who is questionable, while CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) is doubtful. Although these injuries should contribute to this game being a high-scoring affair, the last time these teams met in 2010, Washington won 16-13 despite Rodgers throwing for 293 yards. Although the Redskins are 36-17 ATS (68%) as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points since 1992, they are also just 4-11 ATS (27%) after gaining 75 or less rushing yards in their previous game over the past six seasons. Green Bay is an excellent 10-2 ATS (83%) after an ATS defeat in the past three years, but only 8-16 ATS (33%) versus poor passing defenses (allowing 7+ passing yards per attempt) in the past six seasons.
Last week the Redskins trailed by 26 points late in the third quarter before ending the game on a 20-0 run. Griffin looked tentative for those first three quarters and only got into a rhythm once the Eagles dropped back into a prevent defense. Griffin completed 30-of-49 passes for 329 yards (6.7 YPA) and 2 TD, but also threw two picks and took three sacks. Because Washington was trailing for most of the game, the team abandoned the run, finishing with 74 yards on 18 carries (4.1 YPC), a far cry from its NFL-best 169 rushing YPG last year. RB Alfred Morris was held to 45 yards on 12 carries (3.8 YPC) and the only other running back with a carry was Roy Helu, who was given one hand-off. Griffin did a nice job spreading the wealth among his receivers, as five players caught at least four passes each. WR Leonard Hankerson was the star with 80 yards and two scores, while WR Pierre Garcon (11 targets) and WR Santana Moss (9 targets) were the most popular choices for Griffin when he dropped back. With the Packers defense stopping the run much more effectively than the pass last week, the Redskins could choose to throw the football more than usual. Washington’s defense was chewed up by the fast-paced Eagles offense, allowing 263 rushing yards on 49 carries (5.4 YPC), but the Packers don’t have the type of rushing offense that can compare to Philly’s ground game.
Aaron Rodgers was able to make a whole slew of big plays against an excellent 49ers defense last week, completing 21-of-37 passes for 333 yards (9.0 YPA), 3 TD and 1 INT. He relied on basically three players who got 30 of the 36 targets, WRs Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, and TE Jermichael Finley. Nelson and Cobb each had seven catches for over 100 yards and a touchdown while Finley wound up with five catches for 56 yards and a score. Finley injured his toe during that performance though, and is questionable for Week 2. The Packers tried only 15 rushing attempts from their running backs, which resulted in a mere 44 yards (2.9 YPC). Rookie RB Eddie Lacy had 14 of these carries, but none went for more than seven yards. Lacy figures to find a lot more holes in the Redskins run defense that was carved up by the Eagles on Monday night. The Packers defense allowed nearly 500 yards last week, but they were also on the field for 38:35. Although Colin Kaepernick averaged 10.6 yards per pass attempt, the 49ers managed only 2.6 yards per carry against Green Bay.
DENVER BRONCOS (1-0) at NEW YORK GIANTS (0-1)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Denver -5.5 & 56
Opening Line & Total: Broncos -6 & 56
The Manning brothers meet again on Sunday afternoon when Eli’s Giants try to avoid an 0-2 hole when they host Peyton’s high-powered Broncos.
Both siblings had huge season-opening performances, as Peyton Manning threw for 462 yards and 7 TD in a 49-27 rout of the Ravens, while Eli Manning racked up 450 passing yards and four scores in a 36-31 loss to the Cowboys. He also accounted for half of his team’s six turnovers by tossing three interceptions. Peyton has won both previous NFL matchups between the brothers, prevailing 26-21 in 2006 and collecting three touchdown passes in a 38-14 blowout in 2010. The Broncos are 14-3 ATS (82%) after gaining 500+ yards in their previous game since 1992, but the Giants have also been a great wager coming off high-scoring affairs during this same timeframe, going 23-9 ATS (72%) after a game where 60+ points were scored. Denver has dominated poor passing defenses (235+ passing YPG allowed) over the past four seasons with a 13-5 ATS mark (72%), but New York is 13-6 ATS (68%) versus excellent passing offenses (260+ passing YPG) over the past six seasons.
Peyton Manning was certainly on the mark to open the season, connecting on 27-of-42 passes for 462 yards (11.0 YPA), 7 TD and 0 INT. Six different receivers had multiple receptions, with three catching multiple touchdown passes. WR Demaryius Thomas had five receptions for 161 yards and 2 TD, TE Julius Thomas caught five balls for 110 yards and 2 TD and WR Wes Welker started off his Broncos career with nine grabs for 67 yards and 2 TD. The only receiver who played poorly was WR Eric Decker who caught just two of his seven targets. But not all was rosy in Denver, as its three-headed rushing attack did very little. RB Knowshon Moreno carried nine times for 28 yards (3.1 YPC), rookie RB Montee Ball managed just 24 yards on eight attempts (3.0 YPC) while Ronnie Hillman produced 15 yards on four carries (3.8 YPC). None of the team’s 23 rushes went for more than nine yards. The Broncos defense was thrown on 62 times by Joe Flacco, but held strong by allowing just 5.4 yards per pass and 2.8 yards per rush to the Ravens while forcing two turnovers. The lowlight of the night occurred when LB Danny Trevathan celebrated a sure touchdown return too early and didn’t carry the ball past the goal line before dropping it. The Broncos are hoping star CB Champ Bailey (foot) will be able to start on Sunday, but he’s listed as questionable. With the Giants’ suspect ground game, the secondary will be tested early and often by Eli Manning.
Although the Giants had no problems moving the football through the air in Dallas, Eli Manning was sacked an uncharacteristic three times and top rusher David Wilson lost a pair of fumbles, finishing with a pitiful 19 yards on seven carries. Backup RB Da’Rel Scott ran pretty well in limited duty (23 yards on five carries), but the team will look for Wilson to return strong and have a better grip on the football. New York also signed former RB Brandon Jacobs to help jump-start a ground game that finished with 50 yards in the loss to the Cowboys. However, this is still a pass-first offense with Eli Manning completing at least five passes to five different receivers in Week 1, with three of those players topping 100 yards — WRs Victor Cruz (118 yds, 3 TD), Hakeem Nicks (114 yds) and Rueben Randle (101 yds). New TE Brandon Myers led the team with seven grabs including a fourth-quarter touchdown while Scott caught five of his eight targets for 51 yards. Although the Giants allowed 36 points in their opener, the defense didn’t play too poorly, holding the Cowboys to 5.0 yards per pass attempt and 3.8 yards per carry. However, there are injury concerns as both CB Prince Amukamara (concussion) and LB Dan Connor (neck) are questionable after sustaining injuries in the season opener.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-0) at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (1-0)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Seattle -2.5 & 45
Opening Line & Total: Seahawks -2.5 & 45
The 49ers head to Seattle on Sunday night to take on the Seahawks, who beat them 42-13 the last time they played at CenturyLink Field last December.
Last season, San Francisco defeated the Seahawks 13-6 at home, but the Seahawks were a much different team towards the end of the season. Seattle won seven of its final eight regular season games, including the blowout victory over the 49ers at home on Dec. 23 when QB Russell Wilson threw for 171 yards and four touchdowns. RB Marshawn Lynch added on a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown of his own while piling on 130 total yards in that blowout. San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick struggled against the Seahawks secondary, going 19-of-36 for 244 yards with just one touchdown and an interception. Kaepernick and RB Frank Gore combined for just 59 rushing yards on a day where Seattle outrushed San Francisco by a hefty 94 yards (176 to 82). Over the past three seasons, the Seahawks are 20-7 ATS (74%) against conference opponents and 13-3 ATS (81%) at home. They are also 3-0 ATS in the past three meetings in this series. However, since Jim Harbaugh was hired as the Niners’ head coach, his team is 24-13 ATS (65%) in all games, and 11-3 ATS (79%) where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points.
The 49ers were challenged last week against Green Bay, but came out on top and sent the league a message. After beating the Packers in the playoffs last season behind Colin Kaepernick’s 181 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, the quarterback found a new way to pick apart Green Bay. This time he attacked their secondary using his cannon for an arm and went 27-of-39 for 412 yards and three touchdowns. Kaepernick averaged 10.6 yards per pass and absolutely decimated a Green Bay secondary that many have high praise for. TE Vernon Davis caught six passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, but WR Anquan Boldin was the story of the game. Boldin finished with 13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown in his Niners debut, displaying uncanny chemistry with his quarterback despite it being their first regular season game together. Green Bay was able to put up 28 points on the 49ers defense, but San Francisco was able to force two turnovers and get stops when they really needed them. This battle on Sunday could potentially be a preview of the next NFC Championship game.
The Seahawks were able to win 12-7 on the road last week in Carolina, but it was not a pretty offensive performance. QB Russell Wilson performed well for Seattle, going 25-for-33 for 320 yards, but he found the end zone only once on a 43-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse. Seattle struggled with its running game all day against Carolina, getting just 43 yards on 17 carries (2.5 YPC) from their superstar RB Marshawn Lynch. One of the bright spots for the Seahawks offense was the performance of WR Doug Baldwin, who caught seven passes for 91 yards. Despite the lack of scoring for the Seahawks offense, the defense looked like it was in prime condition. The unit allowed just one touchdown and 253 total yards against an offense led by Cam Newton that can be very dangerous. They caused two turnovers in the game and allowed just 5.4 yards per pass. Seattle is an early season favorite by some to win the Super Bowl, but must find a way to get the ball into the end zone more to achieve the ultimate goal of winning a championship.