Key Patriots dates in September
Today marks the beginning of a new month. Not just any month, but a month in which the New England Patriots actually start playing real football.
Here are some key September dates for Patriots to keep in mind.
Thursday, September 1st: Tonight, the Patriots face off against the New York Giants in their final preseason game. Storylines to keep in mind include Tom Brady’s playing time and a multitude of roster battles, from Tyler Gaffney and D.J. Foser to Cre’Von LebLanc and Jonathan Jones and Darryl Roberts.
Saturday, September 3rd: The Patriots must follow league rules and cut their roster down to 53 men by 4 PM ET. Stay tuned here on Musket Fire for immediate reactions and analysis of the final cuts.
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Sunday, September 4th: At high noon New York time, the claiming period for players placed on waivers the previous day will expire.
Monday, September 5th: The Patriots can begin assembling their 10-man practice squad.
Sunday, September 11th: The Patriots open the 2016 season in the desert against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday Night Football. Certainly, the most interesting storyline to watch will be Chandler Jones’ pressure on his former teammate Jimmy Garoppolo. Hopefully, the Pats can crank up the heat on the ground via LeGarrette Blount.
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Sunday, September 18th: In the home opener, the Patriots play host to divisional rival Miami Dolphins. Always a pesky divisional rival, the Dolphins are sure to give Garoppolo some troubles, especially with that revamped defense. However, the Patriots will be expected to win this game, and they really should. Especially if they lose to the Cardinals, the Pats must treat this as a must-win.
Thursday, September 21st: The Houston Texans come to town in a true AFC power ladder matchup. Power ladder because, if the Texans pull off the win, their value will skyrocket before we’ve reached the quarter pole of the NFL regular season; similarly, going 1-2 or heaven forbid 0-3 on the season would cause some rumblings of discomfort in New England. Losing here after a 2-0 start would be tolerable, however.
Next: 3 ripple effects of Barkevious Mingo trade
Stay tuned here on Musket Fire all month long.