There are three nationally televised NFL preseason games remaining on Week 2's schedule for fans to enjoy.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will give their woeful pass defense from 2012 a major test against the New England Patriots on Friday night. On Saturday, the Jacksonville Jaguars will get to play their part in the New York Jets' highly publicized QB competition.
The two mediocre AFC teams play on the NFL network.
Finally on Monday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers will go into the nation's capital to take on the Washington Redskins—minus Robert Griffin III. Before anyone got their hopes up, head coach Mike Shanahan has said there is no chance his star QB will suit up during the preseason, per Tarik El-Bashir of CSN Washington.
Even without RG3 in action, there is still something appealing about the Steelers and Redskins clashing. Perhaps it is all about tradition, or football fans starving for Monday Night Football.
In any case, this game will be on ESPN.
Here are the times for every game on the Week 2 preseason schedule. Games with an asterisk are the nationally televised contests. A closer look at those matchups is just below the table.
|FRI, AUG 16||TIME (ET)||TV||LOCATION|
|Minnesota at Buffalo||7 p.m.||Ralph Wilson Stadium|
|San Francisco at Kansas City||8 p.m.||Arrowhead Stadium|
|Tampa Bay at New England*||8 p.m.||FOX||Gillette Stadium|
|Oakland at New Orleans||8 p.m.||Mercedes-Benz Superdome|
|SAT, AUG 17||TIME (ET)||TV||LOCATION|
|Dallas at Arizona||4:30 p.m.||U of Phoenix Stadium|
|Tennessee at Cincinnati||7 p.m.||Paul Brown Stadium|
|Jacksonville at NY Jets*||7:30 p.m.||NFL Network||MetLife Stadium|
|Green Bay at St. Louis||8 p.m.||Edward Jones Dome|
|Miami at Houston||8 p.m.||Reliant Stadium|
|Denver at Seattle||10 p.m.||CenturyLink Field|
|SUN, AUG 18||TIME (ET)||TV||LOCATION|
|Indianapolis at NY Giants||7 p.m.||MetLife Stadium|
|MON, AUG 19||TIME (ET)||TV||LOCATION|
|Pittsburgh at Washington*||8 p.m.||ESPN||FedEx Field|
Per ESPN.com and NFL.com
Bucs at Patriots
The major story in this game is Tom Brady's availability. Brady suffered what appears to be a minor knee injury in practice on Wednesday, but per Ed Werder of ESPN, Brady will play on Friday.
Sources say Tom Brady attended meetings last night and intends to practice today and play Bucs in preseason game, pending re-examination— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) August 15, 2013
The Boston Globe's Zuri Berry offered visual proof that Brady was at practice on Thursday, albeit in a brace.
It goes without saying, the Patriots can ill-afford to be without their future Hall of Famer. That concept is even more obvious when you consider how much transition the offense is already going through.
In the first preseason game, Brady and the first unit looked great against the Philadelphia Eagles. Brady completed seven of eight passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.
If he's on the field, it'll represent a significant challenge for the Bucs' first-unit defense. In 2012, no team allowed more passing yards than Tampa Bay.
Jags at Jets
Rex Ryan's quarterback circus will make its second appearance on Saturday night. Every week it seems rookie Geno Smith and veteran Mark Sanchez take turns as the player in the lead for the starting job.
This week, Sanchez appears to have the upper hand. As Smith battles through the effects of an ankle injury, he had what Ryan described as a "brutal" day of practice on Thursday, per USA Today. Smith threw four interceptions with three coming in 11-on-11 drills.
As long as Sanchez didn't cough up another butt fumble, you'd have to think he won the day by default.
Will Brinson of CBSSports.com reports Smith may even sit out this game in an effort to heal the ankle and to spare himself a more high-profile instance of embarrassment.
The Jaguars have their own QB battle taking place with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne vying for the starting spot. Needless to say, all eyes will be on the signal-callers in this game.
Steelers at Redskins
With Shanahan already assuring everyone RG3 won't suit up during the preseason, the focus now goes to Kirk Cousins' continued development as a quality backup quarterback.
He completed six of seven passes for 52 yards and a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans. If RG3 has to miss any time, the Skins should feel pretty good about their backup option.
Pittsburgh hopes to stay healthier than it was last season and to continue to develop its exciting young players.
Rookie Jarvis Jones had two tackles and a fumble recovery in the preseason opener. We'll see how he and other members of the Steelers' younger and faster defense perform in the nation's capital.
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