Not only are the Raiders led by long-time Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in his first year as their head coach, the two teams also spent time this week practicing alongside one another. The joint sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday were intense affairs, and gave New England an opportunity against a quality opponent in a structured setting.
Now, the two squads will meet again in a different environment — especially considering that the Patriots will reportedly give quarterback Mac Jones and the rest of their starters minimal playing time. This, in turn, might ultimately hurt their chances of coming away victoriously depending on what McDaniels and the Raiders will do.
As of right now, however, the oddsmakers believe the teams will be relatively even matched: New England is entering the game as 2-point underdogs, per DraftKings Sportsbook’ latest numbers.
So, who will win? That remains to be seen, but here are our best guesses:
At the end of the day, however, preseason success is not defined by winning and losing but rather by other factors. Who will stand out in the position battles? Will the rookie players continue to show some development? And, most importantly, will everybody stay healthy?
We will see the answers to those questions, but for now, let’s hand the ball off to you: Will the Patriots end preseason on a high note on Friday night?