The Patriots Are Sitting Everyone Tonight

Aug 9, 2012; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on the side line during the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

The Eagles may be treating tonight as a "dress rehearsal" for the regular season, but the Patriots are doing anything but.

Albert Breer of NFL.com is reporting that Tom Brady, Jerod Mayo, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker & Rob Gronkowski will all not be playing tonight.

This basically means that the Eagles first teamers will be facing a team of mostly backups for up to three quarters tonight. Any big tests we were hoping to see vs the likes of Brady, Welker or Gronk won't be happening. Given that this is supposed to be the game where the starters play the most, this potentially means the first unit won't really be tested against other starters until week one against Cleveland.

They could play a quarter next week, but as we saw against PItt, that could potentially be only a series or two.

All that said, there's still a lot worth watching tonight. We're not really concerned about seeing the Eagles overwhelm people with their talent in preseason. It's the fundamentals we want to see. Tackling well, shedding blocks, no blown overages etc. These were things the defense struggled with last week even against the Steelers backups. So if we see improvement there, even against a weakened Pats team, it will still be something positive to take.

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