NFL Preseason Schedule 2012: Week 2's Most Intriguing Matchups
As we head into Week 2 of the NFL's preseason this year, there have already been some interesting developments, including the impressive display by Andrew Luck against the St. Louis Rams and the ugly display by Tim Tebow against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Which teams are worth monitoring as we look forward to the 2012 NFL season? Which preseason battles should provide fireworks?
Here's a look at some of the most intriguing matchups of Week 2 of the preseason, complete with schedule information.
The Lions soared last season as expected behind young quarterback Matthew Stafford and an emerging defense.
The Ravens were dominant as usual, capturing the AFC North with a 12-4 record and holding opponents to 16.6 points per game in the process.
The Lions averaged 29.6 points per game last season, fourth in the NFL. They were able to get away with a pass-heavy offense with just 356 rush attempts on the season (second fewest in the league).
On the other hand, the Ravens allowed just 196 passing yards per game and held opposing quarterbacks to 53.8 percent passing (second-best mark in the NFL).
This should be a great test for both teams as they try to mold their respective squads for the upcoming season.
The defending champion New York Giants head into the season with a lot of confidence and a quarterback in Eli Manning who has grown out of the shadow cast by his older brother Peyton.
The Giants barely sneaked into the playoffs in a weak NFC East division last season, but turned it on when it mattered most. They destroyed the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card round, shocked the Green Bay Packers in the divisional playoffs, edged the upstart San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game and pulled off a squeaker against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
It was a different story for the in-city rival Jets, however.
After once again promising a Super Bowl in the preseason, Rex Ryan saw his squad stagger to an 8-8 record, failing to even make the playoffs. There are still questions about quarterback Mark Sanchez, as well as the receiving corps beyond Santonio Holmes.
Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots: Monday, August 20 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox
There is no questioning the Eagles' level of talent.
They still boast quarterback Michael Vick, running back LeSean McCoy, receiver DeSean Jackson and a wealth of playmakers on defense, including defensive ends Jason Babin and Trent Cole and cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
The question is, will this talent ever come together?
Which preseason game are you most excited to see?
Some are comparing the Eagles to the NBA's Miami Heat, given they have the pieces to make a run at the title, but had issues living up to the hype in the revamped roster's first season together.
As for the Patriots, they are always in the mix for the Lombardi Trophy, but have lost the Super Bowl to the Giants twice in the past five years. They still have quarterback Tom Brady, as well as his favorite receiver in the whole wide world, Wes Welker, and a two-headed monster at tight end with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
The defense is where the Giants separated themselves from the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, however. Not only did the Pats' secondary suffer, it wasn't helped by a pass rush that ranked 14th in sacks during the season (40).
On the other hand, the Patriots just drafted former Clemson standout defensive end Chandler Jones, who could make an impact off the edge right away in the pros.
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