NEPD Editor: James Christensen
At least one oddsmaker doesn’t like Ryan Mallett’s chance of bringing home a victory in the first preseason action for the New England Patriots.
According to the SportsBettingDime.com, the Washington Redskins are a one-point favorite over New England (total 38.5).
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald first announced that Mallett would start the game, leaving Tom Brady—who has played lights out in practice against the Washington defense—sitting on the bench. Mallett, who threw just four passes in 2013 according to ESPN.com, should get the bulk of the duties, with Jimmy Garoppolo seeing some time as well.
Here are your discussion points for the first game of the year, followed with my short answers.
Who will be the biggest surprise player?
I see a pair of running backs—James White and Roy Finch—having a big night and breaking off some long gains. James Anderson could surprise some onlookers as well.
Who will be the biggest disappointment?
Justin Jones has been given every chance in the world to make this team. He has all the physical tools, but I’m still waiting to see him put it all together on the football field. He and Asa Watson need to show they belong tonight.
Would you trade Ryan Mallett during the preseason? How much would it take?
At this point in the game, I’d keep Mallett and take whatever compensatory pick is given for his departure as a free agent. With Garoppolo struggling, New England needs a legitimate backup. Adding Brady Quinn wouldn’t change my mind. That said, if a team offers a third-round pick—don’t hold your breath—it would be tough not to take that chance.
For a full roster with updated player numbers, check out Patriots.com.