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Four incredibly early thoughts on Patriots 2014 preseason schedule

04.09.14 at 3:43 pm ET

The Patriots unveiled their 2014 preseason schedule on Wednesday afternoon. While the specific dates and times have yet to be announced for all four games, here are four thoughts on how things shape up at this point:

— The Patriots have held joint practices at least twice a year three of the last four years (the lockout in 2011 prevented scheduling those types of get-togethers that season), and so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see joint practice scheduled with the Eagles prior to their Week 2 game in Foxboro. Pals Bill Belichick and Chip Kelly worked together in Philly prior to last year’s preseason opener, and so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see then run it back again this summer.

— The matchup with the Redskins will be the first preseason contest for New England against Washington since 2009 when Albert Haynesworth fell on Tom Brady, crunching the quarterback’s shoulder. This time around, the Week 1 will feature the most high-profile offseason additions on either side of the ball — Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson against New England cornerback Darrelle Revis.

— The third game of the preseason is always the one where the starters will go extra minutes, and provide the best chance to see how the No. 1 offense and defense look with the regular season looming. This time around, that will be against the Panthers in Foxboro. The Carolina offense has lost a lot this offseason, and that third game should be a good measuring stick to see if it will be able to replicate the success it had in 2013, despite losing so many offensive options around quarterback Cam Newton. (Also, if the NFL had a sense of humor, it would assign Clete Blakeman to work the game.)

— It wouldn’t be the last weekend of the preseason if the Patriots and Giants didn’t play. This marks the 10th consecutive year that the Patriots and Giants will meet in the preseason, and the 24th preseason meeting in all between the two teams. Last year, the Patriots beat the Giants, 28-20 — the game was marked as Tim Tebow‘s last game in New England. He played the entire second half, and went 6-for-11 for 91 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to rookie wide receiver Quentin Sims.

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