Washington @ Arizona
Recommended Wager: ARI -6.5
Washington Football Team:
-LT Saahdiq Charles (calf) was INACTIVE week 1, he was marked as questionable and had practiced in full Friday. He’s no longer listed on the injury report and should return.
-LB Thomas Davis Sr. (calf) was INACTIVE week 1 after not practicing all week. He is now practicing in full and should return.
-CB Kendall Fuller (knee) was INACTIVE week 1 after being marked as doubtful. He is now practicing in full and should return.
-T Josh Jones (ankle) was INACTIVE week 1 after not practicing all week. He is QUESTIONABLE after being limited all week.
-C Mason Cole (hamstring) was injured week 1. He is OUT after not practicing all week.
-S Jalen Thompson (ankle) was injured week 1. He is OUT after not practicing all week.
IR: T Marcus Gilbert (opt out)
Spread Breakdown: The spread has bounced around between 6.5 and 7. It currently sits at 7.
When the Football Team has the ball:
There’s really no way of getting around the fact that the Football Team has a bad offense. Though they were able to impressively drop a 27 burger on the Eagles, we at First and Thirty are staunchly against overreacting to week 1 (except when it fits our narrative). Dwayne Haskins started the year where he left off, completing just 54.8% of his passes and averaging just 5.7 yards per attempt with a 52.8 PFF grade. The offensive line is mostly terrible, and there isn’t a sole to throw to outside of Terry McLaurin. To Haskins credit, he does a great job protecting the football — both as a runner and a passer. At the end of the day, bad QB + bad line + bad receivers + running back doesn’t matter = bad offense.
Fortunately for Haskins his fellow Football Team members, the Cardinals defense is one of the worst in the league. They rely on Chandler Jones to generate pressure by himself (to his credit, he usually does) and Patrick Peterson to shadow the opposing teams top receiver (hello, Terry McLaurin). S Budda Baker is solid against the run, but can’t do much in coverage. 2019 33rd overall pick Byron Murphy is looking to improve on his rookie year, and he got off to a decent start after allowing just 2 catches on 5 targets last week. Outside of those core starters, there’s a bunch of players who probably belong on the bench.
When the Cardinals have the ball:
The Cardinals made a splash in free agency by trading for DeAndre Hopkins in exchange for David Johnson — a trade so lopsided I just assume Cardinals GM Steve Keim has footage of Bill O’Brien having sex with an animal or something equally fucked up (earmuffs PETA). It’s quite common for new receivers to take some time to get acclimated in a new offense, but Hopkins went out and caught 14 balls for 151 yards last week, so throw that one out the window. Along with 3rd year wideout Christian Kirk and slot old man Larry Fitzgerald, it’s a solid trio of receivers for second year starter Kyler Murray to work with. Murray had an up and down rookie year, but he clearly has 1st overall talent. With another year under his belt and a receiving core that now includes Hopkins, he should have everything he needs to elevate his game. The biggest issue is the offensive line, which is kinda terrible.
The Football Team’s defense is fairly simply — their defensive line fucks and their secondary blows. DE Chase Young has as much upside as anyone entering the league at any position, and he got off to a solid start with 4 pressures and 2 sacks. They shouldn’t have any issues getting to the quarterback. The problem is in today’s NFL it’s entirely possible to mitigate a pass rush if you’re QB can get rid of the ball quickly and your receivers can get open. Murray has shown that he can get the ball out quickly when he needs to, and I’ll happily take Hopkins/Kirk/Fitzy over Jimmy Moreland, Ronald Darby, and Fabian Moreau.
Here’s to the Football Team not giving us another loss.