New England Patriots: 3 things to watch for in preseason opener

Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Mac Jones #50 looks on during Training Camp at Gillette Stadium(Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots thing to watch No. 1: Who’s playing quarterback?

The biggest question surrounding New England’s offseason has been the quarterback situation. Patriots fans haven’t been treated to a quarterback competition like the one we are watching in probably 30 years or so. It’s no wonder that fans have eaten it up as a result.

The three active quarterbacks right now are Cam Newton, Mac Jones, and Brian Hoyer. How Belichick uses these three in his first game will give us some great insight on how the depth chart at the position will shake out.

Newton is presumably the starter for the time being. We are about to find out how much of a grip he has on the position however. The most likely scenario is that Newton plays a series or two before handing things off to Jones and Hoyer, but if he plays more than that, there’s reason to believe that Jones is making a serious push for the starting role.

Likewise, Jones playing time will also tell us where he stands so far. He could end up splitting time with Hoyer after Newton starts, he could end up playing the rest of the way, or he could play only a few drives. There’s a lot of unknowns associated with the preseason, and how Belichick plans to utilize his QB’s is at the top of that list.

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If Jones is used sparingly, it would also suggest that the QB race is closer than expected. If he plays most of the game, it could really go either way. The coaching staff may want to have him go against live defenses more because of struggles or successes in this case, and while it’s certainly unlikely, it would raise some eyebrows across New England.

How Belichick plans to use his quarterbacks is the most interesting storyline for this upcoming game, and for good reason. We have heard a lot of chatter about the quarterback competition so far, but this is the first time we will see what the pecking order is. There’s a good chance Newton will play a series or two before giving way to Jones and Hoyer, but if things don’t go that way, you may want to buckle up and get ready for a wild preseason.