NFL Preseason Schedule 2012: Showcasing Most Important Final Preseason Games
It's the final week of the NFL preseason, and as a result, many (if not most) of the players we're going to be seeing in the regular-season openers a week later will be out of commission for the final piece of the preseason puzzle.
But that doesn't mean that none of these games matter.
It may be harder to get yourself amped for games that won't make a difference in the long run, but some of these contests (read: Super Bowl rematches) will be games that you don't want to miss. Here's a look at a few of them. You can see the entire preseason schedule here.
This is going to be a hard one for Patriots fans to swallow. Most of us don't want to look at Eli Manning for at least a few more months.
But as it stands, the Pats will face the team that destroyed their Super Bowl dreams in their final exhibition game, and if nothing else, they'll be playing for pride. Since 2007, Manning and his Giants have clearly proven that they have New England's number, and any time the Pats can shut them down matters, exhibition or otherwise.
One star we should be seeing on Wednesday is Hakeem Nicks, who led all receivers in Super Bowl XLVI with 10 receptions for 109 yards. This week, Nicks told the Associated Press (via The Washington Post) that he's recovering nicely from a broken right foot, sustained during OTAs, and that a few live snaps could be in the cards for him this week.
The verdict is in: Andrew Luck is going to be just fine this season, if his preseason play has been any indication.
The heir to Peyton Manning's throne has been ultra-impressive during Indianapolis' preseason slate, and even though he and the Colts couldn't come out on top of Robert Griffin III and the Redskins in last week's game, Luck still had another great game, going 14-for-23 for 151 yards and a touchdown.
With one game remaining in exhibition play, there are a couple of reasons why this is a game to watch: One, Luck has been one of the most fun quarterbacks to watch in the preseason, and two, this is one last opportunity for a tune-up before the games actually start counting and the pressure will truly be on.
At first glance, you might wonder, why would anybody want to watch a Bills exhibition game? Do Bills fans even watch Bills exhibition games? This is a team that hasn't made a playoff appearance since 1999.
But Thursday's game could be an exciting one for one reason: Tarvaris Jackson.
Which team needs one last exhibition win the most?
To many, this was a confounding move on the part of the Bills, who traded a 2013 draft pick to the Seahawks in exchange for Jackson and subsequently cut an unimpressive Vince Young. And as far as backup quarterbacks go, it's questionable whether or not Jackson is an upgrade over Young: Last season, he started 13 games and went 7-7, throwing for 3,091 yards and 14 touchdowns.
But those numbers aren't terrible. Should anything happen to Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jackson gives the Bills at least an OK option. And most importantly, we could get a glimpse of what he's capable of against the Lions on Thursday.
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