NFL preseason football continues with the Washington Football Team taking on the New England Patriots to kick off the preseason for both franchises. This is the first full week of preseason contests after the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers brought football back last Thursday, courtesy of the Hall of Fame Game.
Thursday night’s contest kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. EST inside Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. According to oddsmakers, Washington is a 2-point favorite, and the over/under for total points is 37.
What to Know – Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team won the NFC East division last season despite a losing record at 7-9. Winning the division got the WFT into the playoffs, where they eventually lost to Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round, 10-7. The Football Team has a win total over-under set at eight victories this season.
WFT has already announced it plans to play their starter for some time Thursday night. Fans will get to see projected starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in action for the first time in a WFT uniform. Both backup quarterbacks, Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen, should also see significant reps under center.
Last season, the defense was one of the top units in the league and brought back a slew of talent highlighted by NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young. The defensive end was a Pro Bowl selection and team captain by the end of the season. WFT’s defense ranked fourth in 2020 in total defense.
What to Know – New England Patriots
The New England Patriots took a step back last season and posted a losing record (7-9) for the first time since 2000, failing to make the postseason. New England’s offense suffered last season, so the Patriots were active in the offseason, adding pieces to help strengthen that side of the ball. This season the Patriots win total is projected at 9.
Cam Newton remains in Foxboro, but it’s uncertain if the veteran quarterback will see any action Thursday night. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones should see the field often as the future quarterback of the franchise. The Patriots acquired wide receiver Nelson Aghlor and tight end Hunter Henry in the offseason, but both might sit out the first preseason contest.
Like the WFT, New England had a top defensive unit in the league in 2020, and that should shine in the postseason with a good mix of veterans of youth returning. The Patriots’ secondary is stacked with veterans players, while the front seven is littered with budding stars. New England is always well-coached so expect another strong showing on defense by the Patriots.
The Pick is In
Washington has three quarterbacks on the roster with NFL experience, which is always crucial in preseason contests. During the first few weeks of the preseason, teams typically play guys to gauge if they will be on the 53-man roster come the start of the season. The offense usually takes the backseat throughout those contests, and we feel that won’t be any different in this one.
The Pick is In: Washington / New England UNDER 37