A year ago at this time, two quarterbacks no longer on the roster shined for the New England Patriots in the preseason despite helping them go a somewhat disappointing 1-3 straight up and 0-4 against the spread.
Now there will be two new signal-callers under center for the Patriots – one familiar face and a new one – when they host the Washington Redskins as small home favorites in the preseason opener for both teams on Thursday at Gillette Stadium.
New England is listed as a 3-point favorite versus Washington at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, a fairly common line for many home teams in the preseason. However, the Patriots will not have Jimmy Garoppolo or Jacoby Brissett slinging the pigskin to promising receivers hoping to make the team.
Instead, veteran Brian Hoyer is back in New England as Tom Brady’s backup following the Garoppolo trade to the San Francisco 49ers in the middle of last season, while rookie Danny Etling looks to impress his coaches after being selected in the seventh round of the NFL Draft.
Etling was a curious choice so late in the draft, considering how many other top quarterback prospects the Patriots could have picked earlier as the potential heir apparent to Brady. But he still will have an excellent opportunity to prove they were right in selecting him along with many others fighting for jobs at various positions.
For the Redskins, they lost their former starting quarterback Kirk Cousins via free agency to the Minnesota Vikings and replaced him by trading for Alex Smith. Like Brady, it is unknown how much Smith will play, if he does at all, with Colt McCoy serving as his backup and likely garnering most of the snaps here. Rookie running back Derrius Guice, who was a teammate of Etling’s at LSU, could also be showcased on offense.
Washington head coach Jay Gruden has led his team to an 11-5 preseason mark in four years, going 10-6 ATS in those games, including 2-2 SU and ATS in 2017. By comparison, Bill Belichick is 40-34 SU dating back to 2000 for New England and went 10-6 in the four years prior to 2017, which was his first losing preseason since 2012.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP