1. Will there be an Ellis or Haynesworth sighting?
The two mammoth defensive ends have yet to step on the field in any preseason game. This is their last chance. Much has been made over both signings, as it enables the Patriots to be “multiple” in their defensive attack. But, is it much ado about nothing? Both players are practicing, but it’s unclear how either of them look, as reporters aren’t allowed to attend much of it. Logan Mankins told reporters that it’s been “interesting” lining up against Haynesworth in practice.
2. Will this game serve as a blueprint of sorts?
This is the first of two meetings between the Patriots and Giants, as New York comes back to Foxboro in Week 9 of the regular season.
Neither team expects to see the same things out of their opponent when the two clash again, but the familiarity from the preseason game will certainly help. The Pats’ O-line was dominated last week by the Lions’ D-line, and New York’s D-line proves to be pretty strong as well.
If anything, an extra game in the preseason to protect Brady further down the line is worth it.
3. Tryouts begin as rosters get trimmed
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Rosters are set at 80 players per team. By the time Week 1 rolls around, they’ll be at 53. This does not include players on the PUP list, or players added to the practice squad.
Even so, there will be a ton of players playing for roster spots Thursday. A number of undrafted free agents will get the boot, but a few notable names will as well.
Darius Butler, Jermaine Cunningham and Brandon Tate haven’t had great camps, and need good showings. And there will certainly be a shakeup.