The Redskins: They Come to Play when It Matters the Least

Published on 18-Aug-2014 by Steve Soprano
Football - NFL / NFL Daily Stake

Whoda thought he'd be the key to Manziel's season?

I was a big fan of the Washington Redskins from a wagering perspective last pre-season, which ended up being the only good time to back them.  

Washington won all four pre-season games last season, yet only won three games during the entire regular season. But they certainly made a compelling case to back from a wagering perspective throughout the exhibition season. This was due to their depth at quarterback from the start of a game to finish.

Redskins QBs

Granted, Washington got zero contribution from regular season No 1 signal caller Robert Griffin III, who sat out the pre-season due to injury. But back-ups Kirk Cousins and Rex Grossman gave the 'Skins -- is it more pc by leaving out red? -- a great advantage under center in each pre-season game.

That's one of the first things I check when breaking down a pre-season game: who has the best second- and third-string QB. Late in a pre-season game, those are the dudes who, many times, will make you or break you. Not the starters who by then are doing sideline interviews with highly attractive female reporters.

The Redskins continued their pre-season shine when the 2014 campaign kicked off last week, and the QB depth factor was huge again. Only the slightest of favorites, Washington had Griffin III, Cousins, and Colt McCoy in their arsenal, while New England started Ryan Mallett and brought in Jimmy Garoppolo after that.  

Need I say more? Washington won the game 23-6, and those of us laying the point by which they were favored never broke a sweat.

So, as we look to Monday Night's game between the Redskins and Browns, where do we go with Bovada favoring Washington by 4?

I clearly think you should stick with the 'Skins. I know this will burst the bubble of many Johnny Manziel fans, as he makes his second NFL appearance on the national stage. But in their pre-season opener last week against Detroit, the Browns' offense looked a lot like ... well ... the Browns. Cleveland squandered a few touchdown opportunities and had to settle for four field goals in their 13-12 loss.

Manziel wasn't all that bad, notching totals of 7-11 for 65 yards. But the general impressions was Cleveland's offense still looked like it has a ways to go. Manziel has admitted he does, too. Just within the last few days, he admitted learning an NFL play book isn't a set-and-forget exercise:

It's like learning Spanish, really, for the first few weeks. But now, getting into it, I'm able to paint a picture of the play in my head as it's said.

While I do think one can assume Mr Football will be staying away from cervesas for a while, those aren't exactly the words you want to hear from the new face of the franchise. It seems the Browns would love to give Manziel every chance to pass No 1 QB Brian Hoyer as their starter, but he's just not there yet.

This is not the time to buy the Johnny Football hype as he still adjusts to the NFL learning curve. And I'm not sure Hoyer has, either. The Redskins, collectively, have QBs far more capable than Cleveland, and this will be uno más pre-season game they win and cover. I will be happily laying the quatro.

OK, maybe It know a little more Spanish than I thought.

My pick:  Washington Redskins   -4

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Result:  Washington 24 Clevelend 23     Redskins cover

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