Tom Brady is expected to return to the field on Thursday night as the New England Patriots play their first preseason game of the year at Philadelphia.
Brady has not played since getting injured in the regular season opening game last season against Kansas City. While Brady and the starters should get some playing time it won’t be much. The Eagles are expected to play their starters much longer and that is one reason they are a three point NFL betting favorite on Thursday. The total for Thursday’s game is 33.
Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid has said his starters will play about a quarter and a half. That is a long time for starters to play in the first football betting preseason game since most of the time they only go a couple series. The Eagles have a very limited quarterback rotation for Thursday night since backup quarterback Kevin Kolb will not play. It will be Donovan McNabb followed by A.J. Feeley. Rookie Adam DiMichele might get some playing time in the fourth quarter. “I will see about Adam, maybe we’ll get him some action in the fourth quarter.” Head coach Andy Reid said, “He’s getting a cram course right now, a refresher course. He’s a real smart kid, but again, we’ll see how that goes into the fourth quarter. If not, A.J. will take those reps."
The spotlight on Thursday will be on Brady and he expects to get some playing time. "I’m expecting to play," Brady said. "There’s no reason why I wouldn’t. I’ve been out here and doing everything. It’ll be nice to get out there and play some football." The Patriots will spend the NFL betting preseason trying to determine if Kevin O’Connell is good enough to be Brady’s backup at quarterback. He will get tested by Andrew Walter who the Patriots picked up recently and rookie Brian Hoyer.
This is the fourth year in a row that the Patriots will start the preseason on the road. This is the 19th meeting between New England and Philadelphia in the preseason. The NFL betting series is tied 9-9 with the Eagles winning a 27-17 victory at New England last year in preseason action. Before that preseason victory, the Patriots had won six straight against the Eagles with five of the wins coming by 10 points or more in NFL betting.