For the first time in forever, New England Patriots fans have a reason to pay attention to what their team does in the preseason.
In years past, the preseason consisted of early reps for also-rans, fans waiting for a real Tom Brady sighting until Week 1. But with their newly-minted rivals in town (at least, Philly thinks so), Christmas is coming early in New England.
According to sources, Brady is expected to play most, if not all, of the first half in New England's matchup with the defending Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tom Brady is expected to play a good portion, if not all, of the first half tonight, per source. Barring some type of last-minute change in plans, as always.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 16, 2018
Starting quarterbacks typically don't get this much time until Week 3 of the preseason, so it's a bit of a bold move by Bill Belichick to give Brady so much burn early on.
Perhaps this is Belichick's master plan to exact revenge on a team who crushed their dreams on the biggest stage. Perhaps Belichick got tired of Lane Johnson's criticisms and wants to shut him up to the tune of a 49-0 first half lead courtesy of seven Brady touchdown passes.
Or maybe he was tired of watching Brian Hoyer's utter mediocrity and needed to see what his actual offense is slated to look like. Hoyer and Danny Etling are the only other quarterbacks on the depth chart and its pretty clear neither are the future after Brady.
Jalen Ramsey's short list of QBs who don't suck:— Jake (@SeedsofJake) August 15, 2018
This also could've been Brady begging Belichick to let him back up the claim by Jalen Ramsey that he doesn't, in fact, suck.
Regardless, the only thing that matters from Thursday night's game is whether Brady makes it out physically unscathed.