Qb Jmar Smith Birmingham Stallions
Smith signed with the Patriots as a UDFA following the 2020 NFL Draft, and had the potential to be Jarrett Stidhams biggest competition for the starting quarterback job in training camp. That changed when the team signed Cam Newton two months later, and Smith was cut before the start of camp when the NFL decreased the roster limit as a COVID precaution.
Ryan Johnston The Hockey Show
My BOLD prediction is that the Patriots will win the AFC East. The combination of Mac Jones, the new talent at TE & WR, plus what I expect to be a pretty stout defense will put them in contention. The Bills will take a step back from the 13-3 record of last year and the Pats will get to host a playoff game at Gillette.
Again, this one was close. The Bills regressed, but not nearly as much as Johnston or some others may have expected.
Former Patriots Taken In First Usfl Draft
In case you missed it, spring football is returning this year in the form of the USFL. This league, which will begin play in April, is somewhat of a reboot of the popular league in the 80s of the same name it features similar team names and logos as well.
The league held its inaugural draft over the last two days, featuring 35 rounds with each round dedicated to a specific position. While the league didnt publicize the draft pool ahead of time, it consisted of over 500 players. Any player who graduated high school in 2020 or earlier was eligible, meaning current college players not yet eligible for the NFL could forego their final year of eligibility to play pro.
Of the 280 players selected, 10 spent at least some time with the Patriots in recent years. From pre-training camp hype to those who appeared in regular season games, see if any of these names ring a bell
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How To Watch New England Patriots Vs Philadelphia Eagles Nfl Preseason Game
ByMichael Balderstonpublished 19 August 21
The Patriots and Eagles will kick off the action for week two of the 2021 NFL preseason.
The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles have played each other in two Super Bowls, most recently in 2017 and with each team winning one. This preseason matchup between the two squads is a far cry from those games, but both bases of passionate fans are sure to have an interest in what transpires on the field this Thursday, Aug. 19.
Playing at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, the New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles game is the first for week two of the 2021 NFL preseason. Because of the new 18-game schedule for the regular season, it is also the second-to-last game of the preseason, which typically means starters will get a longer look.
Read on below for a game preview and how to tune in for all the gridiron action.
Patriot Train From Boston To Gillette Stadium
The Patriot Train departs from North Station and takes you directly to Gillette Stadium. This is by far the easiest way to get to the game because you avoid the hassle of being stuck in traffic when leaving the stadium.
In case you’re wondering, the Patriot Train is a special version of Boston’s Commuter Rail. It takes you right to the stadium on a section of tracks only used on game days.
Getting to Gillette Stadium from Boston on the Patriot Train takes slightly more than an hour.
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How To Watch Nfl Preseason Games
Seven of the NFL’s remaining 16 preseason games will be broadcast live on NFL Network. The other nine games will air throughout the preseason as replays.
There are two nationally broadcasted games this week, both of which will be on Sunday. The first one, a 4 p.m. ET clash between the Bengals and Dolphins, will air on CBS. The second one and last game of the preseason Browns vs. Falcons will air on NBC.
The nine live games on NBC, CBS and NFL Network will be available to stream live via fuboTV which offers a free seven-day trial. Streamers can also use NFL Game Pass available for $99.99 which provides live access to every out-of-market preseason game and replays of every contest. During the NFL regular season, NFL Game Pass will also provide replays of each game as well.
The remaining preseason games will be broadcast live locally.
How Deep Is The Cornerback Love
While the status of star cornerback Stephon Gilmore continues to be on the minds of Patriots fans, and media alike, the depth among the teams cornerback depth chart continues to be the more pressing issue on the field. J.C. Jackson has been the number one option throughout preseason, and the 25-year-old has performed admirably in that role. However, the Pats have struggled with depth beyond Jackson, and starting slot corner Jonathan Jones. Joejuan Williams has emerged as a potential candidate, along with free-agent acquisition Jalen Mills and incumbent Myles Bryant. Newly-acquired corner Shaun Wade may be worth a second, or even third look for a significant role, should he impress the Patriots brass with a strong showing on Sunday. Remaining options such as Dee Virgin, Mike Jackson, and DAngelo Ross appear to be competing more for a spot on the practice squad at this point. While much about the cornerback positional grouping remains questionable, one thing remains certain. They need Stephon Gilmore back on the field as soon as possible.
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The Mac Jones Moment That Almost Was
For a half-second, Gillette Stadium was on the verge of transforming into pure sound as Joness deep ball down the sideline floated toward the hands of Kristian Wilkerson. But the ball fell incomplete, appearing to glance off the receivers hands just beyond the front pylon.
It was a great ball by Mac , Wilkerson said after the game. I have just got to adjust better to it. I have got to do my part.
However, labeling the pass a drop might be a step too far.
Running the play back a few times, you can see cornerback Torry McTyer get his hand in to disrupt the catch just as the ball arrives for Wilkerson. The cornerback doesnt get his hand on the ball a testament to how perfectly Jones placed the throw but he made an already difficult catch even harder for Wilkerson, who looked like he couldnt close both hands around the ball because of the contact.
While its good that Wilkerson expects himself to make that kind of play and learn from it in the future, lets chalk that one up to a great effort by everyone involved, including the defense.
My goodness. Mac Jones put this ball right on Kristian Wilkerson’s hands .
The two had plenty of other good moments in this game to hang their hats on.
But dont take that as too much of a knock on Jones. The fact that he already has the confidence to attempt throws like that in his first live NFL action speaks volumes about where he is in his development and his comfort level on the field.
Annual Acquaintances: Six Afc East Matchups
Because the National Football League has been utilizing a rotating schedule formula since the last realignment of divisions 20 years ago, the overwhelming majority of each team’s opponents are knowable several years in advance. One aspect of the schedule that never changed with the updated formula is the home-and-away series between teams within any given division.
For the Patriots, that means six of their 17 games are guaranteed to be with the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets. New England will host each of their American Football Conference East Division partners at Gillette Stadium while also taking road trips to all three.
Eight of the remaining 11 opponents are comprised of two entire divisions â one from each conference â outside the AFC East. These groups are subject to the aforementioned rotating schedule formula, designed to ensure that every NFL club in both the AFC and National Football Conference plays each of the other 31 franchises at least once every four years, with the venues alternating between home and away games.
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Tony Massarotti Felger & Mazz
Will they win it all? Probably not. Will they win the division? Possibly, but doubtful. But what they will do is make the playoffs and put a sign on the front door: BACK IN BUSINESS.
Hard to argue with this prediction from Mazz. Theres certainly a back in business feeling, especially given the play of Mac Jones.
Word On The Cancellation Of The First 2 Weeks Of Nfl Preseason
A post shared by Dallas Cowboys Insight on Jul 2, 2020 at 6:09pm PDT
According to Kevin Seifert of ESPN, the NFL made the decision to shorten its preseason to help control the spread of COVID-19. Heres what Seifert said in his report:
In essence, the league canceled Weeks 1 and 4 of its original preseason schedule. It had previously canceled its Aug. 8 Hall of Fame game. Most players will still report to training camp on July 28, but the first preseason games wont be played until Aug. 20-24. The second week of preseason games is scheduled for Aug. 27-31. Some re-shuffling of the original preseason schedule for Weeks 2 and 3 are underway, as each team will play one home game and one on the road.
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Cam Newton And Mac Jones Headline A List Of Crucial Players To Keep An Eye On When The Patriots Take The Field Thursday Night
Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Patriots football is back tonight, folks.
Well, sort of.
New England will face off in their first glorified scrimmage of the preseason against the Washington Football Team at Gillette Stadium Thursday night, giving everyone their first taste of actual football in a game setting.
Starters arent expected to play much, of course. The first preseason game is almost always dedicated largely to getting the regulars out there for a few series before allowing the backups to fight it out for their roster spots.
That doesnt mean there wont be plenty of interesting storylines to follow in this one.
For one thing, Patriots fans will get their first look at the re-imagined offense . That includes both Cam Newton and Mac Jones, who fans will get to see in game action for the first time, as well as new pass-catchers like Jonnu Smith and Kendrick Bourne.
The revamped front seven, with newcomer Matthew Judon and returning stars Donta Hightower and Kyle Van Noy, will also take center stage for a defense that should be much improved.
And as always, a number of backups will get their first big opportunities to show why they should make the 53-man roster or work their way up the depth chart will.
Here are five players to keep an especially close eye Thursday night, beginning with a two-for-one special everyone will be watching with rapt attention.
Winner: Rb Rhamondre Stevenson
Like Taylor, this is Stevensons third week in a row as a winner. He registered his league-leading fifth touchdown of the preseason and continued to show off his elite footwork and ability to run between the tackles. Stevenson ran the ball five times for 23 yards and a touchdown where he bounced off defenders and carried the pile across the goal line. His strong camp and preseason should have the Patriots feeling confident heading into September. Stevenson is someone who can step in and take the pressure off of Damien Harris to carry the bulk of the load.
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Winner: Te Devin Asiasi
With Hunter Henry still out and the Patriots thin at tight end, Asiasi finished up his preseason with a nice performance on Sunday night. He caught three passes for 58 yards and flashed his YAC ability. The UCLA product caught a beautifully placed back-shoulder ball from Jones and turned in a nice gain early on in the game when he took a crosser for 26 yards. Asiasi has continuously gotten better since starting camp on the Covid-19 list and can serve as a viable TE3 who can step in and play if Henry or Jonnu Smith were to miss time during the regular season.
Will We See Hunter Henry On Sunday
Despite being one of the highest profile acquisitions of the 2021 offseason, tight end Hunter Henry has yet to see the field for the Patriots in a preseason game. During a team practice on Sunday, August 8, Henry suffered a shoulder injury while participating in a blocking drill. Since then, he missed some practice time, before returning to action while wearing a red-non-contact jersey.
However, it is what Henry has been wearing in addition to his red jersey that may be worthy of greater attention. As observed by Dr Jessica Flynn of Boston Sports Journal, Henry was seen wearing a shoulder brace under his jersey during joint practices with the Giants earlier this week. It should be noticed that shoulder braces of this type provide compression, which assists athletes who are slowly getting back to action while recovering from mild injuries
Cause for concern? Not quite.
Rather than indicating a greater degree of seriousness to his injury, Henry is likely wearing the brace for both protection and support. Compression braces offload stress and force from the injured shoulder thus decreasing swelling/inflammation and pain while speeding up the recovery process. Having Henry back on the practice field is a good sign that he is progressing towards full strength. Still, he has yet to see action in a game setting. Should he see snaps against the Giants on Sunday, it may be an indication that Henry will be ready for week one of the regular season.
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The Patriots Defense Needs Stephon Gilmore Back
With every day that Jalen Mills plays outside cornerback for the New England Patriots, Gilmores chances of getting a 2021 raise increase.
Thursday night was another example of that.
On one hand, Mills wasnt awful necessarily. But opposing defenses know they can go after him whenever they want, and Washington attacked him a bit down the field.
First, the speedy Terry McLaurin worked Mills in man coverage on a deep crossing route that Ryan Fitzpatrick hit for a chunk play.
Then, with backups in the game, he got beat out of the slot by Dyami Brown, who dragged across the field as Taylor Heinicke escaped the pocket. Its tough to cover on a scramble drill, but Mills needs to keep touch with his man on plays like that.
Heinicke almost connected with Brown on the next play against Mills as well. Brown got a step on the cornerback on a fade route, but the ball was overthrown by a few yards.
Things are just fine on the other side of the defense. J.C. Jackson did a nice job breaking up a pass for McLaurin on the defenses second possession and continued his strong preseason.
But Mills, while a versatile player, simply isnt suited to a full season as an outside cornerback. He doesnt have the speed or technique to make it work on a regular basis.
Expect Gilmore to get a pay bump to return to the field within the next few weeks.
Nfl Preseason Schedule Week : Tv Coverage Channels Scores For Every Football Game Today
The NFL is entering its third and final preseason week. There will be fewer storylines to watch in Week 3 than the previous two weeks of preseason action more teams will be resting their starters but there are still some intriguing ones out there.
Above all else, the quarterback battles still bear watching. The Patriots, 49ers and Saints still have yet to announce their starting quarterbacks for Week 1, though it seems like Cam Newton, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jameis Winston hold the lead in the latter three battles.
MORE: Early NFL picks, predictions for Week 1
Still, each coach is going to continue his team’s quarterback competition through Week 3 of the preseason. That means Mac Jones, Trey Lance and Taysom Hill all still have a chance to emerge as the starters it just might take a lot to unseat the favorites.
Outside of those competitions, this week will be a good chance to look at some of the NFL’s other backup quarterbacks. Notably, Dwayne Haskins is getting to start for the Steelers as he competes with Mason Rudolph for the backup job. If Haskins does well, he could be tapped as the eventual successor to Ben Roethlisberger.
And, of course, countless players will be fighting for final roster spots. NFL teams have to cut their 80-man rosters down to 53 by 4 p.m. ET on Aug. 31. As such, this will be the last chance for many players to make a case for a place on a roster or practice squad.
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New England Patriots Loser No : Isaiah Wynn
Things certainly didnt get off to a great start for Isaiah Wynn. On the Pats third offensive play of the game, Wynn allowed Chase Young to blow by him and get a clean shot on Cam Newton. Newton was lucky to get the football out in time to prevent a fumble from occurring.
Chase Young. Still unreal