Will they or won't they?
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick refused to tip his hand this week when pressed for details about how he plans to use his starters in Wednesday's preseason finale against the
The Patriots employed a similar pattern during the 2011 preseason -- limited action for the starters in the first game, sat the second, extended action in the third -- and Tom Brady and the first-team offense played four series in the finale, also against the Giants.
If that trend holds true, we'll be keeping an eye on things like the developing relationship between Brady and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd and how Wes Welker looks after missing Wednesday's game to attend a funeral.
If not, here's a list of a few other things worth keeping an eye on:
RB/KR Jeff Demps: The Olympic silver medalist flashed a little game-breaking ability Friday night against Tampa Bay in limited action. Now it's time for New England to find out what he can really do. Look for Demps, who signed last weekend, to be given an extended look as he continues to familiarize himself with the playbook.
The offensive line: We should find out if all the concerns raised about the underperformance of the offensive line were justified. Guard Logan Mankins, who was recently activated from the physically unable to perform list after undergoing offseason ACL surgery, looks to be on track for Week 1 after playing a handful of snaps Friday night. But right tackle Sebastian Voller, who was also recently activated following a back injury, has yet to touch the field. It may be time to dust off those panic buttons if Vollmer remains sidelined against the Giants.
TE Daniel Fells: If you need a reason to watch after the starters leave the field, assuming they play at all, keep an eye on Fells. He's fighting for a spot at tight end behind Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and remains somewhat of a question mark after being sidelined for most of camp. He should have plenty of opportunity to show what he brings to table.