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GAME DAY: Can WFT Contain Saquon Barkley?

Both the Washington Football Team and New York Giants look for their first win of the season.

On Thursday Night Football, two NFC East Division rivals will battle for their first win of the 2021-22 NFL season. 

The Washington Football Team fell at home to the Los Angeles Chargers and lost quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for 6-8 weeks to a hip subluxation. The Giants and quarterback Daniel Jones also suffered a disappointing Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos. 

READ MORE: Will WFT Game Plan Change with Heinicke at QB?

Washington coach Ron Rivera confirmed that Taylor Heinicke will get his first regular season start as a quarterback for WFT against the Giants. It's been eight months since his first start, in the Wild Card round of the 2020 NFL Playoffs.

"I feel like my game has progressed a lot throughout those years," Heinicke said. "I feel like I know the NFL game more, it's one of those things where you don't want to turn the ball over. That's the biggest thing."

After Fitzpatrick left, Heinicke finished 11 of 15 for 122 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown to Logan Thomas that gave Washington a 16-13 lead at the start of the third quarter.

Will the Washington defense step up against a Giants offense that struggled to hold onto the football? Washington has a chance to show why is was the second-ranked defense in the NFL last season against Jones, receiver Sterling Shepard and running back Saquon Barkley. Returning from a torn ACL, Barley finished with 10 carries for 26 yards and one reception in Week 1.

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FUN FACT: Four of Jones’ eight wins as a starting QB have come against Washington.

RECORDS: Washington Football Team (0-1) and New York Giants (0-1)

ODDS: WFT is a 3.5-point favorite on FanDuel. The over/under is 40.5 total points.

GAME TIME: 7:20 p.m. CT on Thursday, September 16, 2021

LOCATION: FedExField, Landover, Maryland

TV/RADIO: NFL Network, 105.3 The Fan

THE FINAL WORD: Coach Rivera on Heinicke's maturity: "I think our guys will rally around him. He plays a little bit like his hair's on fire and plays a little bit like a gunslinger. He understands what he has to do and how he has to do it. I'm excited to see what's going to happen."