New England Patriots Preseason Week Three: What to Watch for

New England Patriots Preseason
Spread the love

The New England Patriots have won their first two preseason games this season and have gotten some great performances from unlikely places. The third test for the Patriots in this 2019 preseason will come on Thursday against the Carolina Panthers. With two weeks left until the regular season, the final roster is starting to take shape, but there will still be plenty of things to watch for Thursday night.

What to Watch for in New England Patriots Preseason Week Three

Will Tom Brady Play?

Two weeks of the preseason have come and gone, and there has yet to be a GOAT sighting on the field. Tom Brady has recorded zero snaps so far this preseason, as have a majority of the starters. My assumption is that will change this week, but you never know. Per usual, Bill Belichick is not tipping his hand and gave no comment when asked if Brady would play. Brady, however, did express that he hopes to see some playing time this week.

Typically, Week Three of the preseason is when we start to see more of the starters seeing game action. So expect to see TB12 out there on Thursday for at least a little while, and look out for ridiculous overreactions if he throws a few incompletions.

The Backup Quarterback Battle

When the season starts, Brady will be the starting quarterback for the Patriots, but who his backup will be is in question. Rookie Jarrett Stidham has made it very difficult for the Patriots to cut him with his performances in the first two preseason games. Veteran Brian Hoyer, on the other hand, did not play well at all on Saturday against the Tennessee Titans.

Hoyer was originally expected to continue as the backup, but Stidham has been very impressive in his on-field action so far and is giving Hoyer a run for his money. There is a chance that the Patriots decide to keep both and carry three quarterbacks, but I doubt that will happen because that roster spot could be more valuable elsewhere.

If Brady does indeed start on Thursday, it will be very interesting to see who comes in directly after him. If Stidham relieves Brady instead of Hoyer, it may be an indication that Stidham has moved up the depth chart, so look out for that.

Jakobi Meyers

Jakobi Meyers has been the most pleasant surprise out of the Patriots camp this season. The undrafted rookie out of NC State has led the team in receptions and yards in both of the preseason games so far. His production thus far has been that of a man among boys, and it begs the question, “How did he not get drafted?”

The return of Josh Gordon hurts the chances of Patriots receivers who are on the roster bubble, but I think Meyers has played well enough to earn a spot even with Gordon. It will be intriguing to see how many snaps he gets with the starters, assuming they play. If he puts together another stat line like the last two weeks, it will almost cement his roster spot.

The Cornerbacks

On the defensive side of the ball, the deepest position for the Pats is cornerback. As a result, they have played a bunch of guys there in the first two preseason games. Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones, and Jason McCourty are likely to see their first action this week. They are obvious roster locks along with J.C. Jackson, but the rest of the spots are up for grabs. There are around five guys vying for two spots, and it is anyone’s guess at this point who will make the cut.

Rookie Joejuan Williams has looked really good so far this preseason, as has Keion CrossenDuke Dawson Jr. and Ken Webster are in the mix as well, but there aren’t enough spots for everyone. So definitely keep an eye on the Patriots secondary to see if anyone makes a splash on Thursday night. That may be all it takes to win a spot in this loaded field of players.

Embed from Getty Images