Last week the NFL released the 2012 preseason schedule, and wow, do the Patriots have an intense schedule!
Week 1 (Aug 9-13): vs. New Orleans Saints
Week 2 (Aug. 16-20): vs. Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 20, nationally televised at 8 p.m. on ESPN
Week 3 (Aug. 23-26): at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 4 (Aug. 29-30): at New York Giants
The Week 1 match up against the Saints would be a great regular season game, but don’t look for many of the Patriots stars to grace the turf for this meaningless battle. Tom Brady will stay in the game for a touchdown, if he even plays at all, and will then hand over the game to backup QB’s Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett. I’d also be surprised if WR Wes Welker plays at all given his recent contractual issues.
Week 2 will be an interesting game to watch since it’ll be nationally televised. I wonder if perhaps Belichick will chose that opportunity to showcase the Brady-Lloyd attack for a bit, if he hasn’t already done so.
I am looking forward to seeing Week 3 against the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers’ neww coach, Greg Schiano, is from my part of New Jersey and I was happy to see him take the leap from college football to the NFL. I can’t wait to see how his coaching influences the Buc’s and hopefully gives us at home a good game to watch (with a Patriots victory of course).
Uh, oh. A Super Bowl rematch for week 4! Think again. This game means almost nothing to either team. The Patriots preseason schedule is so packed that this game will be their third in just nine days. Expect most normal starters to either sit this game out or make an early exit. Belichick is no idiot, he won’t risk an injury that could derail his team for the season just to exact revenge on the Giants in a meaningless game.
Normally, preseason is a waste of time, money, and most importantly, a chance for meaningless injuries. You can add, “OMG did you see that preseason game last night?!” to the popular “[stuff] that no one says” videos. On the other hand, I really enjoyed seeing Ryan Mallett play QB last year during the preseason. He is Brady’s potential successor, so I’d love to see him compete with Hoyer for the primary backup QB spot.