4 Stories To Watch In Patriots-Saints

August 9, 2012 12:00 AM
4 Stories To Watch In Patriots-Saints
" BOSTON (CBS) - The New England Patriots get their preseason schedule underway Thursday night, hosting the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium.

Sure, it’s only preseason. But there are plenty of story lines to keep an eye on with the regular season just one month away. Here are four to watch for Thursday night:

How Much Of The Starters?

Last year, Tom Brady didn’t play a single down in the Patriots’ preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Neither did Wes Welker or Rob Gronkowski.

This year, they might actually see some time in their first game since the Super Bowl loss to the Giants. After tonight’s game, the Patriots won’t play again for another 10 days. Then they’ll play three games in 10 days, including two in four days.

Still, don’t expect much out of Brady, Welker, or Brandon Lloyd Thursday night (especially Brady, with the Patriots offensive line mostly injured). They will likely see the field for one drive, if that. Expect plenty of both Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett under center. This will be a big preseason for Hoyer, who is an unrestricted free agent after this season "

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