Patriots vs Jaguars: Christmas in August

Patriots Cheerleader

The Patriots take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night.

After days of lockout-induced waiting and more Albert Breer reporting than any New Englander should have to take, the Patriots are actually going to play some real(ish) football in their pre-season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Here are five things that we’ll be looking for in the game Thursday Night.

1. The Running Game

The offensive line has been pretty banged up lately, so it will be interesting to see who gets the snaps in the first half of the game. If they are able to get any push at all, we’re very excited to see Stevan Ridley bowl over some Jaguar defenders.

Tackle Steve Maneri is one guy that we’re really excited to check up on.

2. Defensive Alignment

While we don’t expect Coach Belichick to tip his hand too much, we do expect to see some interesting formations with all of the new defensive toys – provided that some of them actually play.

Not only will the 3-man/4-man front be under scrutiny, but where each of the 20+ defensive linemen are lined up within those fronts.

3. Taylor Price

Word on the street is that Price, despite essentially missing two off-seasons due to his late graduation and the lockout, is getting on the same page with Tom Brady. If the former Ohio U wide receiver clicks early in the year, a great offense could become very difficult to contain for NFL defenses.

4. Dane Fletcher and Jeff Tarpinian

Last year, we were one of the few that called for Dane Fletcher to make the team as an undrafted free-agent. In much the same way, we’ve been high on former Iowa linebacker Jeff Tarpinian since the moment he signed.

Expect Tarpinian to make at least one play that open your eyes on special teams.

5. Ryan Mallett

We all know about his talent, but I’ve long waited to see him demonstrate his big arm on the NFL stage. We expect to see some growing pains, but also a few “WOW” throws.

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2 Responses to “Patriots vs Jaguars: Christmas in August”

  1. Ken W says:

    Obviously going to be watching Chad and new D line guys, but can’t wait to see how Price has come along along with Tate. You guys nailed it too with the young RB’s, don’t know how much Vereen will play but I hope Ridley plays a lot because he has seen then most practice time and I just want to watch him destroy people.

  2. Iceman says:

    Logan Mankins signs an extension as well. Huge News

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