Finally, we get our first glimpse of the Patriots in pads against an actual NFL opponent following the most bizarre offseason in franchise history. The Pats will play a game on the Gillette Stadium turf for the first time since their thrilling AFC Championship game victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in late January, as they host the Washington Redskins Thursday (7:30 p.m., WBZ 4) in the first of their four preseason games this month. Here are three things to watch for Thursday night with Free NFL Preseason Live Stream Patriots Redskins information at the bottom.
Will Brady and Gronk play?
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There has been a running joke that because of how disgruntled the Patriots’ top two stars were this offseason – with both players hinting at retirement if things didn’t change for the better – that Bill Belichick would play them the full 60 minutes in the first preseason game of the year as a sort of punishment.
Belichick is the vengeful type for sure, but looking to get his top two offensive players injured in an exhibition game would qualify as internal sabotage. Belichick is an odd duck, but this would be Poopity Scoop level strange.
There is a chance we see some of Brady, though. In the past five preseasons, he saw action in the first game two times – playing in two series in 2013 and 2015. Interestingly enough, the past three preseasons in which he did not participate in preseason Game 1 – the Pats wound up going to the Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, Gronk has played in just two preseason games in the past five years – with both coming last year in Weeks 2 and 3.
Many Patriots fans that have come to expect a deep playoff run every single year are worried about this group. There is no denying there is turmoil within the organization, and things just feel different this August. Belichick’s training camp has been noticeably lackadaisical and chill this year, which is leading some to believe he is actually caving to the wants of Brady and Gronk to have a more “fun” atmosphere in Foxboro.
As gruff as he is, Belichick is one of the great chameleons in NFL history. He changes philosophies and his coaching style on a day-to-day basis, let alone a year-to-year basis. Perhaps the “easy way” will wind up as a benefit in the long-run to this fatigued franchise that has played into February in each of the past two seasons.
Of course, if the Pats look like garbage on Thursday night – the “dynasty is dead” alarms will sound immediately.
The new guy
The fluff pieces on newly acquired receiver Eric Decker are coming in hot with some even suggesting he could lead the team in receiving yards this season. There’s also the chance the Pats cut him before the regular season starts. That’s just the Patriot Way.
All kidding aside, Decker is still just 31-years-old. That’s old for a receiver but considering Julian Edelman is 32, and recently departed WR Danny Amendola is 32 as well – there’s a definite chance that Decker could be a key contributor to the Patriots’ offense this year.
Decker was Marcus Mariota’s third option for the Titans last season as he fell behind Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews in production. Tennessee was far from a pass-happy offense in 2017, as Mariota only attempted 453 passes (21st in the NFL). The last two times Decker played in a pass-happy system, however (with Ryan Fitzpatrick with the Jets, and with Peyton Manning with the Broncos), he registered 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
Free NFL Preseason Live Stream Patriots Redskins links
Your best bet for live streaming sporting events is Fubo TV. Here are some other options for Free NFL Preseason Live Stream Patriots Redskins with links. The links will be updated closer to kickoff on Thursday.