NFL Preseason Betting – QB Questions Abound as Wash. Visits Cle.
Zack GarrisonNo comments
Uncertainty at the quarterback position is something the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns have both suffered with over the last few seasons. That situation looks set to repeat in 2015, as neither squad is sure what it will get out of the most important position in the game come Week 1. They’ll get their first chance to assess things tomorrow when they meet for a preseason tilt at FirstEnergy Stadium (8:00 PM Eastern).
Unlike the Browns, the Redskins at least know who their starter will be when the regular season begins. Erstwhile superstar Robert Griffin III will get another crack at making this his team for the long haul. But it’s not clear how short the leash will be on the fourth-year pivot, who has yet to match his stellar rookie season. Waiting in the wings are Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, who have both had a measure of success as the team’s starter over the past two seasons. Cousins and McCoy figure to see most of the reps on Thursday as the team tries to protect the oft-injured Griffin.
With respect to RGIII’s playing time, Washington head coach Jay Gruden said, “I would think at least a quarter right now, just off the top of my head. But we’ll see … It could be longer. It just depends on how many plays you get. He could have a pitch count, and we’ll go from there.”
The Cleveland Browns, meanwhile, have yet to name their opening day starter and really don’t have much to choose from between veteran Josh McCown and divisive youngster Johnny Manziel.
Though most figured McCown – who had success with the Bears in the past, despite a brutal and short tenure with the Bucs thereafter – would get the nod, Manziel has evidently impressed in camp.
“From the day I came in, in the spring, and we finally got the players in the building, and from Day One — in the building, in the classroom — he’s been phenomenal around Josh [McCown] and the other quarterbacks and myself and [coordinator John] DeFelippo,” position coach Kevin O’Connell said of “Johnny Football” to the NFL’s official website site. “As far as just digesting — whether it’s install one to specific situational work to protection, he is doing everything on a daily basis that we’re asking him, and then some, within the confines of the rules, and really just starting to flourish.”
Looking at the trends, Mike Pettine was 1-3 straight-up in his first preseason with the Cleveland Browns last year, while Gruden went 3-1 in 2014.
With the backup QBs figuring to see most of the reps, look for Washington to come out on top. Cousins and McCoy are stronger, more experienced players than Cleveland’s options. That should be enough to get the win, so take Washington and the points.
Pick: Redskins +2.