Jan 11, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) gestures at the line in the second half during the 2013 AFC divisional playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Preseason: Analysis Of New England's Opponents


Nov 18, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert (35) gets tackled by New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (50) during the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Patriots 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, football is still a thing.

Yesterday the 2014 preseason schedules were announced, which isn’t that important, but in a time where the NFL world is standing still (relatively speaking), hearing something like this was pretty awesome.

The Pats open in Washington, then return home to face the Eagles and Panthers, and once again, they finish on the road against the Giants.

Washington

The first week of the preseason generally isn’t that interesting, as the starters only play a few series. However it will be fun to see how the new look Pats secondary looks against Robert Griffin III, and his new weapon DeSean Jackson (Revis vs. DeSean…hell yeah). The Redskins also boast a top running game, which will be a good test for a New England front seven that has question marks.

Philadelphia

Like week one, there generally isn’t much action for the starters in the second game of the preseason. But I do think it will be another good test for New England’s defensive unit, specifically the front seven, as they will have to deal with LeSean McCoy, and Darren Sproles. As for the Pats offense, this could be a nice “warm-up” heading into Carolina, as the Eagles defense was ranked 29th in the league last year.

Carolina

This is where we finally get to see some real football. In past years, the starters have played at least one half, sometimes even longer than that. I personally love this matchup, simply because it gives the Patriots a challenge in the most important preseason game there is. The Panthers dominating front seven will really test New England’s offensive line, which is a concern (the interior at least) heading into the 2014 season. Carolina is a physical group on offense as well, so we will get to see what the Pats front seven is really made of before the regular season even begins.

New York

Perhaps the most boring game of the preseason is the last one. At this point, everybody is ready for the regular season to begin, and typically the starters only play a series or two, if that. If Bill Belichick does elect to play his starters for a series, it will give us another chance to see Brandon Browner one last time, before his four game suspension begins.

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