The New England Patriots made a splash in free agency acquiring DT Albert Haynesworth and WR Chad Ochocinco. The Haynesworth trade, along with other defensive line acquisitions, has New England folks buzzing that the team is switching back to a 4-3 defense so that's going to be the first thing to keep an eye on Thursday when the Patriots meet the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium for the first preseason game of the year.
The Jaguars are also facing quite a bit of change as they have a new quarterback of the future in the house. QB Blaine Gabbert is expected to start on Thursday night against New England with QB David Garrard nursing an injury. Gabbert has a tough test for his first NFL game, even if it is just preseason.
If you're into gambling on preseason games, the Patriots are a 3.5 point favorite but that's a difficult line to place because we don't really know either team will react to this short offseason. Veterans that signed new contracts couldn't practice until Aug. 4 so there's a good chunk of players that will be working on less than one week of practice. Will they play on Thursday night? If so, how much? Those are a couple of the questions we need answered.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, August 11; 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusettes
New England: WBZ-TV
San Diego: CBS-47
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Patriots: 98.5 The Sports Hub