Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) runs past Los Angeles Chargers free safety Derwin James (33) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Landover, Md. Chargers won 20-16. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

SGG Plays of The Day, Sept. 16

Kyle Barrette

Today marks the second half of the week, and if you’re in the first half, we’re here to get you out of it with our top three plays for Thursday. With a short MLB slate, we’re going all football for our top three plays today. We start with the only college game on the board where we are provided with some Mac-tion. The Ohio Bobcats will take on the Ragin Cajuns in a game that will certainly take a back seat to the Thursday night football game everywhere, except parts of Louisiana and Ohio. Not to worry, we have you covered in the Thursday night game as well, between the Washington Football Team and the New York Giants. So, no matter what football you’re watching this Thursday, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get into it.

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Ohio vs Louisiana: Ohio +20
Believe it or not, these Cajuns came into this season in the top 25. Yes, these Cajuns who barely escaped Nicholls at home in a game where they were favored by 26. The play from the Cajuns has been concerning so far, to say the least. A defense that returns ten starters from a team that only allowed 22 points per game last season, just gave up 24 to a school that half of the country has never heard of. Flipping sides to the offense, a unit that last season was one of the better offenses in the country, putting up 34 points and an average of 420 yards per game, has come crashing back down to earth and has only averaged 22.5 points in their first two games this season. The run game has been a glaring hole through the first two contests. Only averaging 2.8 yards per carry is not going to get the job done on any level. The noticeable difference between this year’s offense and last season’s is the lack of running from quarterback Levi Lewis. Last season, the dual threat was highly effective in keeping opponents’ defenses off-balance, but this season he only has 12 attempts. Ohio comes into this game off the heels of an embarrassing upset against Duquesne, a game where they were a massive 28.5-point favorite. Yes, this loss is highly embarrassing, but looking at it more closely, the defense was to blame, and this Ohio offense played well when on the field. The problem was the offense couldn’t get on the field; Duquesne dominated the time of possession. But the Ohio offense did average an impressive 6.7 yards per play. The offense was explosive, but had its struggles on third down, only going one for six on third down attempts. Flipping to the defense, they also had issues closing out drives and could not get off the field, allowing Duquesne to sustain long drives and chew up tons of clock. With both teams coming off a short week and Ohio being highly embarrassed in its previous game, they will come into this game more motivated. This Louisiana team is clearly not the ranked team we thought they were to start the season and Ohio’s issues are more defined in this one and they have not played like a team that deserves to be a 20-point dog. Take Ohio and the points.

Washington vs NY Giants: Washington -3, Antonio Gibson Over 65.5 Rushing Yards
While this game has some big names, it certainly will not live up to last week’s Thursday night game. Washington lost their starting quarterback, as Fitzpatrick went down with a hip injury. Taylor Heinicke filled in admirably and was very accurate, going 11-15 for 122 yards with a TD. This offense is going to heavily rely on Antonio Gibson, who was highly featured with 20 carries and three catches for 108 all-purpose yards last week. The Giants also lost in week one, and even with Barkley back, their offense is riddled with unknowns. The Giants were definitely cautious with Barkley in his return, only giving him 10 carries which he turned into 26 yards. Daniel Jones ran the ball only six times but was able to out rush Barkley. The Giants offense was stuck in first gear against a talented Denver defense, and unfortunately for this Giants offense, they are going to see almost a mirror image of that defense again when they take on Washington. Denver was able to record two sacks and five tackles for a loss last week. You can expect the same kind of stat line from this Washington defense that recorded almost identical numbers against the Chargers. With the Giants easing Barkley back into the offensive game plan, and the lack of talent on the outside for Jones to throw to, the play is Washington -3. Heinicke is a talented playmaker who is accurate with the football, and if Teddy Bridgewater can lead his offense to 27 points, Heinicke can do the same. The second play in this game is going to be a player prop and that is Antonio Gibson over 65.5 rush yards. This line is oddly low considering multiple factors. One, the Broncos just ran all over this Giants defense for a total of 165 rush yards on 27 combined attempts. Next, you have a guy in Gibson who is the vocal point of this offense who got 20 touches last week and was able to turn that into 90 yards against a better defense in the Chargers. Now, I know we just praised Heinicke, but keep in mind that he is coming off a short week, so expect him to still make plays, but expect this offense to rely heavily on Gibson this week.

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