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5 Things to Watch for in New England’s Preseason Finale Against the Giants

We’re not even going to talk about Super Bowl XLVI—because it has nothing to do with the 2012 season or more specifically a mere preseason game.

So there will be no talk of Super Bowl XLVI from here on out.

With this being the final week to the preseason, all I have to say is that the New England Patriots still have many questions to answer—as this has been  one of the most lackluster preseasons that I’ve seen out of this franchise in a while.

In that spirit, let’s take a look at five things to watch for in New England’s preseason finale against the New York Giants.

 

1. How long the starters will be: There has been no word if the starters will even play, but if I were Bill Belichick, I’d most definitely through them out there for a quarter or so.

Following the team’s pitiful performance last Friday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Belichick acknowledged that they have a lot of work to do:

“I think it was pretty obvious tonight that we got a lot of work to do. We have a long way to go. We really didn’t perform to the level that we need to, in any area. When you can’t score offensively, and give up a lot of points on defense, and don’t make any plays in the kicking game, then you don’t really have a good chance to win and that’s pretty much the way it was tonight.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Tom Brady and the starters play a decent amount Wednesday night.

 

2. The running backs: I think that it’s safe to say that Stevan Ridley will be New England’s featured running back entering 2012—but who will he be sharing the carries with?

Could it be Shane Vereen? Brandon Bolden? Or a mix of both?

Ultimately, we’ll have to see how well the undrafted rookie Bolden plays as he’s  most definitely on the roster bubble and still has a lot to prove.

 

3. Jeff Demps: Will he have a role on this team? I think so.

Demps has electrifying speed, something that we haven’t seen in New England for quite sometime.

Demps should find a role as one of New England’s return men in 2012 but could he be something more? Maybe a third down running back?

It’s possible.

Wednesday night will be another opportunity for Demps to show us what he’s got.

 

4. The offensive line: I have been saying this each and every week as New England’s offensive line has been just that putrid.

Tom Brady and New England’s coaching staff better be hoping that Nate Solder, Logan Mankins and the rest of their offensive line will improve their play greatly—as what we’ve seen in the first three games is rather ugly and extremely alarming.

 

5. Brian Hoyer vs. Ryan Mallet: Who’s going to be Tom Brady’s backup? Hoyer or Mallett?

With the playing time of Tom Brady unknown right now, we can only assume that Hoyer and Mallett will both get their fair share of playing time Wednesday night—considering that Brady hasn’t played for more than four series in the team’s final preseason game ever since being named starter.

As of right now, I’d have to give Mallett a slight edge in the quarterback competition but I wouldn’t be surprised if Hoyer is Brady’s backup by default.

 

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One Response to “5 Things to Watch for in New England’s Preseason Finale Against the Giants”

  1. FanG says:

    If I could I would like to give the NE fans a taste of what a Miami Dolphin fan thinks of the Patriots. No this isn’t going to be bashing of your favorite team.

    First off the Patriots are the team I want to see our Dolphins beat the most, but I also need to be honest with myself and say I don’t see that happening this year. The Patriots are still good enough to romp through the sorry AFC East.

    Many Dolphin fans can see that Brady is really effected by the pass rush, and because we saw the same thing when Marino played here we know that the end is near for Brady being at his best. He still has the ability to play at a very high level, but only if he has the time in the pocket to do so.

    Your TEs are some of the best in the league, but they are only as good as Brady is. If he can’t stay clean in the pocket he will have trouble getting them the ball. Your WRers are as bad as ours, and trust me that is really sorry. Like you all we have is Devon Bess, your version of Wes Welker. After that you are in trouble unless someone steps up.

    There isn’t anyone in Dolphin land worried about your defensive unit. That isn’t to slight them, that is simply the way most of us feel.

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