NFL Pre-Season Football at VietBet — Patriots and Eagles Play It For Real This Time
By Charles Jay
Friday night’s action in NFL pre-season football features a couple of teams that made the playoffs last season and have actually been scrimmaging against each other, so there are likely not going to be many mysteries, at least as it concerns personnel, as the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles tangle at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough at 7:30 PM ET.
The Eagles couldn’t have been all that pleased with their performance in the first exhibition contest, as they were beaten 34-28 by the Chicago Bears, whose first unit may have been a bit fired up after taking a 54-11 defeat on the chin from Philly last season.
The Patriots went through the motions in their 23-6 loss to the Washington Redskins last Thursday. Tom Brady was not in the lineup, but he will see action on Friday; in his words, “as much as Coach will let me.”
These teams held two joint practices this week, in full pads, although for the second practice, bad weather kind of “clouded” things and present the kind of conditions you’d be worried about putting starters into.
In the NFL pre-season football odds that are established at VietBet, the Patriots are the favorites:
New England Patriots -2.5 (-120)
Philadelphia Eagles +2.5 (+100)
Brady’s backup, Ryan Mallett, has had his repetitions in practice limited over the last few days and may not be used much in Friday’s contest (although he has declared himself ready to go), so it may come down to digging deeper into the depth chart for this game. That means rookie Jimmy Garoppolo, who was 9-for-13 with a TD pass against Washington. Unfortunately, that was the only score of the game for New England, despite the fact that they got 119 yards receiving from Brian Tyms, including the 53-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo.
Whoever is throwing the ball, VietBet patrons will find that the Pats might not be emphasizing the tight end all that much, because they have a few tight ends who have been limited in practice themselves and have just cut Ben Hartsock. Clearly Bill Belichick has something in mind, but he probably won’t take many chances here.
One thing the Eagles would like to see is for Nick Foles to get his timing down a little better. He was not effective against the Chicago Bears in the pre-season opener, completing just six of his nine throws, with two interceptions. As NFL pre-season football bettors know, Philadelphia plays offense at a very brisk pace, so there are some very real considerations for Foles or any other QB they may use.
Make no mistake – there was some production last Friday – the Eagles put 28 points on the board, including a couple of offensive TD’s in the second quarter. But for those VietBet customers who are taking a look ahead at the season, they have to wonder what the Eagles do if Foles can’t come close to repeating his incredibly efficient 2013 season, when he threw 27 TD passes with just two interceptions. For pre-season purposes, football bettors saw that GJ Kinne, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley all had their moments, so the battle to be the backup is spirited.
Of course, defense was another story for Chip Kelly’s team. They allowed all three Chicago quarterbacks to be effective, and that is an effort that has to improve.
Speaking of defense, the Pats acquired two new people this week for the interior line, Jerel Worthy and Ben Bass, but they would appear to be of limited use here. In fact, as of Thursday their physicals were still pending.
Also, linebacker Jerod Mayo has been held out of the joint practices between the teams. What will be intriguing is to see how much time Brady gets, because he will likely be working with two centers (Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly) will be battling for the job.
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