AP Pro Football Writer
Even though the Redskins are 1-1 and the Giants are 0-2, they’re both in the thick of the NFC East race.
The injuries Dallas has sustained and the walkabout Philadelphia is on make the division a blurry mess in which anything could happen.
So when Washington (No. 21 in AP Pro32) visits the 3 1-2-point favorite Giants (tied for 26th in AP Pro32) on Thursday night, plenty is on the line for a September game. The winner can be considered a legitimate threat, at least for now. The loser — not even New York if it falls a third straight time — can be dismissed.
“It’s definitely good to hurry up and get another shot,” said Giants DE Cullen Jenkins. “It’s real frustrating. You want to win every game. To have the chance and be up and just not be able to finish it off, that’s the most difficult part of it. You have to move on fast, because you have to gear up for the new game. At the same time, you still feel it.
“We’re 0-2 right now, and that’s the facts. We’ve got to get a win …”
Pro Picks thinks they finally will hold on in the fourth quarter.
KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP: No reason for anyone to listen to Pro Picks after the Jets knocked us out at Indianapolis. Still, as a public service (maybe), we’ll continue to try to find outright winners without repeating a team. We’ve taken Green Bay and Indy. This time, it’s SEATTLE; can’t go wrong with the Seahawks in their home opener.
No. 28 Jacksonville (plus 13 1-2) at No. 1 New England
Patriots have some defensive deficiencies, which means very little against the Jags in Foxborough.
BEST BET: PATRIOTS, 33-16
No. 12 (tie) Buffalo (plus 3) at No. 18 (tie) Miami
Rex Ryan had success in Miami while coaching the Jets. It continues with the Bills.
UPSET SPECIAL: BILLS, 20-19
No. 3 Denver (minus 3 1-2) at No. 22 (tie) Detroit
Both high-powered offenses have sputtered, defenses slightly better. That changes here.
No. 11 Atlanta (minus 2) at No. 6 Dallas
Rejuvenated Atlanta against depleted Dallas.
No. 4 Cincinnati (plus 2 1-2) at No. 17 Baltimore
Battered Ravens come home 0-2 and can’t afford to fall further behind 2-0 Bengals.
No. 31 New Orleans (plus 3) at No. 9 (tie) Carolina
Battered Saints head to Charlotte and can’t afford to fall further behind 2-0 Panthers. Sorry …
No. 18 (tie) Indianapolis (minus 3 1-2) at No. 22 (tie) Tennessee
Battered Colts … you get the message. Time to change Indy’s luck.
No. 24 Philadelphia (plus 2 1-2) at No. 9 (tie) New York Jets
Have to think Eagles will find the magic potion soon. A hunch it’s this week.
No. 12 Kansas City (plus 7) at No. 2 Green Bay, Monday night
Chiefs have had way too long to stew over painful loss to Denver. More pain coming at Lambeau Field.
No. 32 Chicago (plus 14 1-2) at No. 8 Seattle
Shield all children from this one as angry Seahawks take it out on awful Bears.
No. 7 Pittsburgh (minus 1 1-2) at No. 15 St. Louis
Rams haven’t faced an offense like this. Steelers haven’t faced a defense like this.
No. 14 San Diego (plus 2 1-2) at No. 16 Minnesota
Last time Chargers were in Minnesota in 2007, Adrian Peterson set single-game rushing record with 296 yards. He won’t be that prolific Sunday.
No. 20 San Francisco (plus 6 1-2) at No. 5 Arizona
49ers fooled a lot of people with opening victory. No fools in Arizona.
No. 29 Tampa Bay (plus 6 1-2) at No. 30 Houston
If the Texans don’t wake up this week, they might slumber all season.
No. 25 Oakland (plus 3 1-2) at No. 26 (tie) Cleveland
Can’t see Raiders being successful on road, not even in Cleveland.
2015 RECORD: Against spread: Week 8-7, Season (15-15-1). Straight up: Week 7-9, Season (17-15)
Best Bet: 0-2 against spread, 1-1 straight up.
Upset special: 0-2 against spread, 0-2 straight up.