Denver Broncos (5-9 SU, 4-9-1 ATS) vs. Washington Redskins (6-8 SU, 6-8 ATS)
NFL Week 16
Date/Time: Sunday, December 24, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: DEN +3.5/WAS -3.5
Over/Under Total: 40.5
The Denver Broncos come to FedEx Field on Sunday to take on the Washington Redskins. Both teams are out of it, but still trying to make some good things happen. Last Thursday, the Broncos won their second game in a row with a 25-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts. At 5-9, the season has been a massive letdown after a 3-1 start, but at least theyre out there trying hard. The Redskins also showed they havent packed up and gone home, following a 20-15 win over the Cardinals last Sunday for their 6th win of the season. Who can come out ahead this Sunday?
These late-season games among teams that are out of contention can be tricky. It can be hard to sense what the approach of a team will be. Guys arent hurried back from injury, rookies are getting more extensive looks, fewer risks are taken personnel-wise, and it becomes a glorified tryout in many respects. Teams might also go for wins instead of ties and any number of things is going on that throws a different light on the spread. One could surmise when both teams in a game are facing the same predicament that it evens out, but there are some things to keep an eye on.
One of those elements might be Denvers QB situation. Brock Osweiler had a good showing last Thursday in the win over Indy, a rare occurrence for a Denver QB this season and ample cause to earn him another start this week. Still, they want to see what they have with Paxton Lynch. A 23-0 win over the Jets followed by the win over the Colts on Thursday shows the Broncos are still getting after it. The defense actually looks something close to what it did when they were playing well. And again, getting a good showing from Osweiler bucks a trend, as the Broncos have unsuccessfully worked with three different quarterbacks this season.
Trevor Siemian started the last game for the Broncos, leaving the game with a shoulder injury that landed him on IR. Osweiler should get the start, but the Broncos reserve the right to get a better look at Lynch. WR Demaryius Thomas has been more-productive lately and Emmanuel Sanders was decent on Thursday. Running back CJ Anderson showed he still has some late-season juice in his legs with 158 yards on the ground, along with Devontae Booker adding 39 yards rushing. Osweiler was able to hit WR Cody Latimer with a TD, while connecting with TE Jeff Heuerman for a 54-yard score.
The Broncos saw CB Aqib Talib and Von Miller named to the Pro Bowl this week, but the highlights on this side of the ball have been minimal. While we saw the Denver offense fall off a few seasons ago, this was the first sign that their D might be waning. Their other corner Chris Harris was good this season, but all in all, its been a letdown on this side of the ball. The shutout over the Jets and then the solid showing against the Colts last week shows they are still in there able to resemble the dominant defense that helped them become Super Bowl Champions less than two years ago. But what was once a playmaking defense has surely disintegrated, with Denvers D manufacturing a disastrous minus-15 in turnover ratio in 2017.
The Redskins saw their formula for success fall flat this season. They arent a bad team and remain dangerous in certain spots, but the consistency was not there this season. Injuries have been an issue across all areas of the team and that problem snowballed throughout the season. Their offensive line wasnt left intact, which may have played a role in the offense underachieving. The aerial attack lacked an identity, which prevented it from being all it could be. And the defense, also struck hard by the injury-bug, has been a definite team-liability. Only three teams have given up more points this season than the Redskins.
Kirk Cousins hasnt been that bad considering everything that worked against him this season. He has thrown for 3636 yards, while tossing 24 TDs and running in three more. Injuries to different backs have stunted what was looking like a promising run-game, though rookie Samaje Perine has offered some promise in recent weeks. The receiving crew, however, has been really hit-and-miss. Sometimes it seems like they have a gaggle of useful tight ends and number-three-type receivers. Jamison Crowder leads all ball-catchers with 717 yards. Vernon Davis is having a resurgent season. Josh Doctson has made some big plays and has five touchdowns, but he has only 29 catches on the season. No one has stepped up and become the guy, and as a result, its a bit of a mish-mosh.
It would have been nice to what the Skins D would have come up with had they been able to stay at close to full-power. But injuries have been major and partially as a result, the D has been solidly substandard this season. Its not like they dont have solid pieces remaining in the mix that could eventually pay off. Ryan Kerrigan is a game-changing linebacker, Kendall Fuller and Josh Norman is a pair of solid corners, and they have interesting youngsters like LB Zach Vigil. But with all the voids and their lack of being able to stop the opposing run-game, theyve become pretty exploitable.
This is Denvers fourth road game in five weeks. Theyve done well to win two straight, though wins over the Jets and Colts may have made Denver look a little better than they actually are heading down the stretch. Neither team has shown clear signs of giving up, as both teams won last week. I just see things going less-smoothly on this road-trip for Denver. They did have a long week, but I see the Redskins out-legging them and covering the spread.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Washington Redskins plus 3.5 points. - Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a FAT 100% bonus up to $1000 at MyBookie! (Use Promo Code: PRDCT14)