NFL Preseason Schedule 2012: When and Where to Watch Top Exhibition Games

Chris Hummer@chris_hummerAnalyst IAugust 5, 2012

ASHBURN, VA - JULY 26:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins throws a pass during training camp at Redskins Park on July 26, 2012 in Ashburn, Virginia.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The NFL preseason schedule kicks off on Sunday with the NFL Hall of Fame game, and with it, the floodgates for the NFL season open up.

There are a number of engaging storylines that make this year's preseason slate especially interesting, as the games will be people’s first opportunity to see players like Peyton Manning with their new teams.

It's certainly going to be weird to see Manning out of Colts blue, and it will be interesting to see how veterans like Randy Moss look on different squads.

So, let's take a look at when and where to watch some of this year’s most compelling exhibition games.

For a complete preseason schedule, check out


Arizona vs. New Orleans

When: Sunday, August 5

Time: 8 p.m. ET

TV: NFL Network

The preseason opener isn't usually considered must-see TV, but this season it has extra intrigue, as the Saints play their first game without head coach Sean Payton.

Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Payton, along with a number of other Saints this offseason, stemming from the Bountygate fiasco that dominated the news this offseason.

The New Orleans players have consistently stated their innocence, and the team showed solidarity during camp when they put up a giant picture of Payton to overlook the practice facility.

This will be the Saints’ first opportunity to prove that they’ll still be fine post bounty scandal, and you can expect them to come out ready to play on Sunday evening.

To make matters even more interesting, Goodell will be watching in Canton. Expect Drew Brees and company to make a statement.


New York Jets vs. New York Giants

When: August 18

Time: 7 p.m. ET

TV: NFL Network


This game is a matchup between the defending Super Bowl champions and, of course, Tim Tebow.

Well, not really, but that's what it seems like will happen every time the Jets play this season, because the only football player being discussed on that team is the former Gator.

That's perfectly OK for the Giants, though. They're happy for the Jets and their quarterback "controversy" that's not really a controversy. It takes all of the pressure off them.

They've even been taking a number of entertaining shots at their in-state rivals. Notably, when Eli Manning suggested that backup QB David Carr run shirtless through the rain in jest of Tebow's already famous water-soaked jog.

Still, you can tell there is some underlying tension between both of these teams, and it will be entertaining for them to square off in the preseason.

Plus, if that wasn't enough, everyone gets to see Tebow!

If you hear a faint groan in the background, don't worry, that's just America rejoicing.


Indianapolis at Washington

When: Saturday, August 25 

Time: 4 p.m. ET

TV: NFL Network


We may not be able to see Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck square off this regular season, but we do get the treat of seeing them battle it out during the preseason.

The matchup of this year’s No. 1 and No. 2 overall draft picks will take place Week 3. This is great news, because the third preseason game is always the game when the starters see the most playing time.

These two signal-callers will be compared against one another their whole careers. This is the game in which the comparisons will begin.

It may not matter in the win column, but this contest will set a tone for both QBs' rookie years.

Expect an awesome battle between two of the most exciting prospects to hit the NFL in years.