Alex Smith did something Kirk Cousins never did as the Washington Redskins starting quarterback – he won a season opener. And the Skins did it convincingly with their veteran backfield of Smith and Adrian Peterson leading the way to a 24-6 manhandling of the Cardinals. The Skins could be a sleeper in the NFC as long as they remain healthy and the resurgent AP supplied them with a ground game they haven’t seen in a few years. Looking to start a season 2-0 for the first time since 2011, the Skins host Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2.
Kickoff for this regular season Week 2 game is set for Sunday, September 16, 2018, at 1 p.m. ET at FedEx Field.
NFL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu
Indianapolis Colts +5.5
Washington Redskins -5.5
We saw a quick spike in the line after hitting the board at Washington -4.5. The Skins dominant effort in Arizona swayed the betting public and the line increased a full point to its current number. The wagering has leveled off so don’t expect too much movement either way. With the public backing the under, the total dropped two points to its current 45.5.
Anthony Castonzo – The Colts played their season opener without their longtime starting tackle, who continues to nurse a hamstring injury. Denzelle Good was also inactive with a hamstring problem and J’Marcus Webb limped off the field Sunday with a leg injury. The patched up line help up well against the Bengals, allowing just two sacks, but the group could be much improved once those three return.
Trey Quinn – The depth of Washington’s receiving corps took a hit when both Quinn and Cam Sims exited with ankle injuries. Neither player caught a pass last Sunday and only Quinn played offensive snaps, but they both contributed on special teams and are in line for bigger roles if something happens to the starting three. Sims was carted off the field and Quinn limped off, neither returned after they departed.
Player to Watch
Returning to the field for the first time since the end of the 2016 season, Andrew Luck made it through the game. However, he couldn’t get the Colts a victory. It was an ominous beginning to the game with Luck throwing an interception on his first official pass attempt. But things improved and Luck ended the day testing his surgically-repaired shoulder with 53 attempts. He completed 39 for 319 yards and two touchdowns.
Luck’s second touchdown pass of the game to his favorite receiver T.Y. Hilton staked Indy to a 23-10 lead in the third quarter, but like last season the Colts couldn’t hold on. Luck was driving the team for a potential go-ahead score when Jack Doyle was stripped after catching a Luck offering and the Bengals returned the fumble for the clinching points.
The Skins turned in a dominant defensive performance in their season opening win, holding the Cardinals to 213 total yards, 14 first downs and just 1 of 8 on third-down conversions. The Cards had just 36 yards and two first downs in the first half with Sam Bradford completing only three passes for 11 yards.
The defense barely worked up a sweat in the first half playing only seven minutes while the offense had the ball for 23 minutes. The score wasn’t indicative of how the Skins controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
Free ATS Pick
The Skins didn’t do much to alter their roster during the offseason, rather relying on the return of numerous injured players. They did get Alex Smith and he directed the offense flawlessly in his debut, controlling the clock behind Peterson and a strong ground game. The Skins showed they are a contender in the NFC with an all-around effort against the Cards.
This could be a tough game for the Colts, who are waiting to get some O linemen back and will be without Marlon Mack again. Luck is a difference maker and he’ll have his shots against a Skins defense that didn’t need to work that hard last week. I like the Skins and Smith is just a winner. AP helps balance the offense and the line is strong. I have to go with the Skins minus the points in this one while the Colts continue their rebuild.
NFL Betting Odds: Redskins 30, Colts 20
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