This is the third straight year the Patriots have participated in multiple joint practices with another team during training camp. The Patriots (12-4 in 2013) are the clear favorites to win the AFC East for a 12th time (sixth in a row) since head coach Bill Belichick took over in 2000. The Patriots and the Denver Broncos are the two teams to beat in the admittedly weaker AFC.
This will mark Jay Gruden‘s first preseason game as head coach of the Redskins – Mike Shanahan was fired this offseason after a dismal 3-13 2013 campaign. It will be interesting to see how Jay handles his first preseason game.
The Redskins signed WR DeSean Jackson this offseason after he set career highs in receptions (82), receiving yards (1,332) and TDs (9–tied 2009) last season when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles. Jackson left Wednesday’s practice with an apparent ankle injury and his status for the preseason game is now in question.
This should hurt the ratings for the game against the Patriots, right? Nope. Jackson is definitely a star in the NFL, and whether you like him or not, you have to admit he’s fun to watch play, but the ratings won’t be effected by whether or not he plays. NFL fans are just happy that football is back and they can see their favorite teams in action. The starters always play for about a nano second in the first preseason game anyway, so it’s not like Jackson was going to play a whole lot.
It would have been really fun to see CB Darrelle Revis, who was acquired by the Patriots in the offseason, cover Jackson, but Revis has strictly been lining up on the left side, with Brandon Browner (also signed this offseason) lining up on the right. Revis used to cover the opposing team’s best wide receiver, so he would have covered Jackson, but with how the Patriots are using Revis, he may not have had a chance to go toe to toe with Jackson Thursday night anyway.
Jackson will be fine and he will ultimately have a great year for Washington, but it won’t matter if he misses one preseason game.