NEPD Editor: James Christensen
Come back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as I choose my five favorite New England Patriots and NFL Draft links to share. Feel free to submit your own links in the comments.
Ten things to watch for in tonight’s Patriots vs Eagles game. (NEPD)
Mallett must make better decisions with the ball; last week’s interception came on a play in which the quarterback would have been wise to take a sack, instead heaving up a lame duck as he was hit. The former third-round pick has shown flashes of his considerable potential in practice but his inconsistent accuracy is concerning to those hoping Mallett will eventually replace Tom Brady as New England’s starting quarterback. Mallett is unlikely to usurp the backup quarterback role from Brian Hoyer this year, but a strong rebound performance would go a long way towards restoring the confidence of New England’s coaches and fans.
A list of Patriots players not expected to play tonight. (ESPN Boston)
In Friday’s practice, quarterback Tom Brady, receiver Brandon Lloyd (who missed two practices early last week), and tight end Rob Gronkowski worked off to the side when the rest of the team was preparing for tonight’s game, a sign that they may see little, if any, action tonight. Receiver Wes Welker could be in the same category, having left Friday’s practice early for what appeared to be non-injury reasons. Tight end Aaron Hernandez missed three practices last week, and may also be held out of tonight’s game.
The Patriots schedule this week is absolute chaos. (Boston Herald)
They host the Eagles tonight, travel to Tampa tomorrow, practice with the Buccaneers on Wednesday and Thursday, and play the Bucs on Friday before returning to Foxboro. Then, they’ll cut the roster from 90 to 75 next Monday and play their preseason finale Aug. 29 against the Giants. In all, they’ll endure a 10-day stretch in which they take four flights, play three games, conduct two joint practices and run through 15 roster transactions, give or take. Oh, and two days after that, they’ll cut the roster from 75 to 53.
Can the Eagles offense find their rhythm against New England? (CSN Philly)
The Eagles’ first offense, which sputtered its way to negative-three yards on two drives in the preseason opener against the Steelers, will try to battle its way into positive territory on Monday night in Foxboro, when it plays most of the game versus the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
“It’s everything that it’s built up to be,” Lloyd said Friday after the final practice of training camp. “It takes every ounce of concentration and physical preparation and mental preparation to be able to function in this offense. They have a championship pedigree and I’m just doing my best to get up to speed and execute.”