We are one step closer to the return of football season with the NFL officially announcing the dates and times of all 65 preseason games today.
Preseason football doesn’t mean a ton in the grand scheme of things and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has already hinted that he thinks four preseason games are too many.
For most fans, however, preseason football is the first taste of NFL football we’ve gotten since the Super Bowl, and they eagerly await the first opportunity to watch their teams play live games.
The opponents and venues of the preseason games have been out there for a while, but the league officially announced the dates and times of all 65 preseason games today. Check out this tweet from NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano for full details.
The preseason begins in earnest with the Hall of Fame game in Canton on Thursday, Aug. 1, when the Atlanta Falcons take on the Denver Broncos, with the contest scheduled to be televised at 8:00 p.m. Eastern by NBC.
The rest of the league gets into action the following week, beginning on Thursday, Aug. 8, when 11 games kick off the first week of preseason action.
There are several nationally televised games in the preseason schedule, including two from ESPN in Week 2 (Raiders-Cardinals 8/15 at 8:00 p.m. ET and 49ers-Broncos at 8:00 p.m. ET 8/19).
CBS (Saints-Chargers at 4:00 p.m. ET on 8/18) and Fox (Seahawks-Vikings at 8:00 p.m. ET on 8/18) also have nationally televised games in the second week of preseason play.
Week 3 of the preseason begins on Thursday, 8/22 with a slate of six games. Fox (Jaguars-Dolphins at 8:00 p.m. ET on 8/22), CBS (Bills-Lions at 8:00 p.m. ET on 8/23), and NBC (Steelers-Titans at 8:00 p.m. ET on 8/25) all have nationally televised games in that week.
There is also an interesting wrinkle as well with Oakland “hosting” Green Bay in Week 3 of the preseason in Winnipeg. The odd scheduling is a result of the Raiders’ one year agreement with the city of Oakland, which limits them to only one preseason game at the Oakland Coliseum.
The preseason wraps up with Week 4, featuring all 16 games on Thursday, 8/29. That lines up everyone perfectly for the start of the regular season, which kicks off a week later featuring a matchup between the Packers and Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.