It’s been three years since the Patriots played a preseason game in which the contest wasn’t overshadowed by Tom Brady’s Deflategate drama.
The last time the Pats played Game 1 of a preseason slate was Aug. 7, 2014 and Bill Belichick opted to rest Brady the entire game in favor of getting reps for Jimmy Garoppolo and Ryan Mallett.
Expect Garoppolo to be chucking the ball early and often on Thursday (7:30 p.m., WBZ Channel 4) against the Jaguars. Garoppolo has been under scrutiny for a sub-par training camp, so expect Jimmy G to treat this game like it was Game 1 of the 2016 regular season.
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Red Sox - Yankees
The Red Sox and Yankees will tangle in the Bronx for a three-game set beginning Friday night. It could be the deciding series for this year’s AL East crown if the Sox are able to win at least two of three in New York.
Starting Friday night for the Sox will be Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 4.08 ERA), followed by Drew Pomeranz (11-4, 3.36 ERA) late afternoon on Saturday, and finally Chris Sale (14-4, 2.57 ERA) on Sunday night.