New England Patriots v. Jaguars preseason week 1 game preview

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

We finally get some on field action from the New England Patriots as they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

Are you ready for some football!? New England Patriots football is back with the team’s first preseason game of the year, at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jacksonville has been in Foxboro all week for joint practices with the Patriots, so the teams should be pretty familiar with one another. While we may see a series from Tom Brady, expect most of the starters to come out of the game early. Still, I’d like to see a small preview of what this New England offense has to offer.

Ahead of the matchup at Gillette Stadium, here is all the information you need to make sure you don’t miss a snap.

  • Date: Thur. August 10th
  • Time: 7:30 PM EST
  • TV: Boston, Mass. WBZ-TV Ch. 4
  • Radio: 98.5 FM The Sports Hub

Players to watch

For the Patriots, I want to keep my eye on quite a few young players. Those I have in mind are Malcolm Mitchell, Harvey Langi, Jacoby Brissett, and Derek Rivers.

On offense, I am very interested to see how both Brissett and Mitchell have developed since last season. While we hope Brissett never sees the field in the 2017 regular season, it’s always nice to know what you have in your backups behind Tom Brady. Garoppolo is the clear number 2, but Brissett has a shot to prove that maybe he can be the man to replace TB12 when he retires. Brissett plays a different style of football, so I always love watching him work.

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Mitchell will see plenty of time on the field this season. He had a strong rookie campaign last season, and the jump this year is surely expected. Mitchell has the ability to stretch the field, but he seems like he can line up almost anywhere. With a crowded WR group, he’ll have to work hard to earn his snaps.

Flipping to the defense, two rookies catch my eye. Harvey Langi has been seeing a lot of snaps throughout training camp, and he could work himself into a strong support role this season. The jump from college to the NFL is always tough, and Langi was constantly switching positions in college, so to see him at linebacker in game action will be huge.

Derek Rivers was the Patriots first pick in the last NFL Draft, and with Rob Ninkovich’s retirement, he could be called on to aid the pass rush. Coming from a small school, his adjustment may be with the speed of the NFL game. I’d love to see Rivers with a sack in the game against the Jaguars, even if it comes against second or third string guys. Rivers will compete for playing time with fellow rookie Deatrich Wise, who has had a very strong camp.

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Final prediction

Preseason games are so hard to predict, but I’ll give you a score anyway. Of course, I’m still going to pick the New England Patriots to win, but it will be close as fourth and fifth stringers battle it out in the fourth quarter. Let’s go with a final of 23-18 in this one for New England.