FOXBORO (CBS) – On Thursday night, there will be football at Gillette Stadium.

Here are some items to look for in tonight’s Patriots-Saints game:

Brady To Lloyd

If Tom Brady plays — and I’m against that — it will be interesting to see his connection with receiver Brandon Lloyd.  The two have hooked up on many long balls in camp and it would be nice if the Pats could establish and true deep threat.  How are they going to perform when the lights are on?  Hopefully tonight gives us a glimpse.

Stevan Ridley

Ridley will get the bulk of the carries, and how does he responds to being the Patriots number one back will be key.  I get the feeling the Pats knew they had something with Ridley last season, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis was more reliable (he never fumbled with the Patriots, whereas Ridley fumbled twice in a two-game stretch last season). But the “Law Firm” is now a Bengal, and it’s now Ridley’s rock.  He has to hold on to it, and he knows it.

Read: Ridley Getting More Comfortable

Jones and Hightower

We have seen a lot of New England’s duo of first-round picks — Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower — in camp and they both have been impressive. Can they bring that same intensity to the game field?  The Pats went defense in the draft and these two players come in with some fanfare.  It will be huge if they can impress from the get-go.

Read: Four Stories To Watch For

All Those Athletes

As a fan, even though it’s just preseason, there will be plenty of great athletes on the field tonight.  Brandon Lloyd, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Chandler Jones, Darren Sproles, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Roman Harper just to name a few.  For a pre-season game, it will be fun to watch.

Follow Levan Reid on and on Twitter @LevanReid all Patriots’ season long! 


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