NFL Preseason Schedule 2012: Dissecting Most Intriguing Week 2 Games
For many NFL fans, the 2012 preseason schedule is relief from the football withdrawals they’ve fought through this summer.
For the rest, it’s so mind-numbingly boring that it only makes them long for the regular season even more. The latter, I feel your pain. But for those that dig in to each preseason storyline, here are the most enticing matchups to watch in Week 2.
3. Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When: Friday, August 17 at 7:30 p.m. EDT
Two of the most underrated storylines in the preseason will be featured in this matchup.
The Titans’ starting QB job is up for grabs, and unlike most teams that have battles at the position, they actually have two capable options. Matt Hasselbeck is their current starter, but he didn’t stand out in Week 1 throwing two interceptions (one was Nate Washington and/or Kendall Wright’s fault, though). If Jake Locker outplays him over the next three games, the job should be his.
On the other side, many believed the Buccaneers were a playoff-caliber club before last season began. Instead of fighting their way to the postseason, though, they imploded and went 4-12. Josh Freeman, LeGarrette Blount and Mike Williams’ ability to prove last year was a fluke will ultimately determine how far the Bucs go in 2012.
When: Saturday, August 18 at 9:00 p.m. EDT
Apparently there’s still a battle going on for the starting quarterback spot on the Seahawks. I don’t know why—you don’t pay a 27-year-old passer $26 million to hold a clipboard—but whatever. Matt Flynn’s “battle” with Tarvaris Jackson is enough to pay close attention to the 'Hawks this entire preseason (to see if Pete Carroll is actually dumb enough to give Jackson another shot).
Oh yeah, and that Terrell Owens guy could make his debut, too.
And speaking of debuts, Peyton Manning made his for the Broncos this past week, and it wasn’t too impressive. He went 4-of-7 with an interception. Of course, he hadn’t played in a year, so shaking off the rust and building chemistry with the Denver receivers will really be a key for Manning this month.
When: Saturday, August 18 at 7:00 p.m. EDT
In-state preseason matchups are always fun. New York vs. New York—or New Jersey vs. New Jersey, whichever you prefer—will be no different.
The Giants are the defending Super Bowl champs, and they’ll look to bounce back a bit after their defense struggled to slow down the Jacksonville Jaguars’ three-headed QB monster that is Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne and Jordan Palmer.
OK, it’s just the preseason, but you better believe they’d love to see an improvement, not only for their sake, but also because of how much they’d enjoy shutting down the Jets’ pair of signal callers.
#TebowTime has already trended on Twitter, and he hasn’t even taken the starting job from Mark Sanchez yet. That storyline will be shoved down fans' throats the entire year, so just get used to it now.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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