While many fans of the National Football League will ho-hum their way through the preseason, there are must-watch match ups for fans to catch on Saturday.
The Dallas Cowboys will take part in the first game of the day when they travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. In the later games, the New York Jets will be home to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Denver Broncos will finish out the night on the road against the Seattle Seahawks.
Despite the obvious stature of some of these teams in the league—whether good or bad—there are other story lines that make these games a must watch.
Check local listings for exact channels.
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals: 4:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network
In their last preseason game, the Cowboys offense struggled, primarily in the red zone. Tony Romo made his preseason debut and went 6-for-8 for 88 yards, but failed to get into the end zone.
In two trips into the red zone for Dallas' first-team offense, Romo and company could only muster up three points. Anyone who says the preseason isn't important just isn't telling the truth because Dallas clearly needs these games to get its offense in rhythm.
On the defensive end, the Cowboys looked stellar in their preseason game against the Oakland Raiders and that same defense will look to continue that success against Arizona. The Cowboys finished No. 19 and No. 22 against the pass and run, respectively, so that's an area in need of improvement before the season begins.
For the Cardinals, there isn't many expectations for this squad outside of Arizona. The Cards sit in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL and will be picked by many to finish last.
However, new faces at the quarterback position in Carson Palmer and rookie running back Stepfan Taylor will be interesting to watch. Palmer threw just six passes in his last outing, so look for more work for Palmer, while Taylor got 20 carries last game and is trying to become this team's No. 1 back in his rookie season.
Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets: 7:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Jacksonville and New York will be two of the worst teams in the NFL this season, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take a peek. That is, if you enjoy complete and utter dysfunction on a football field.
While you might not catch another butt fumble (don't hold me to that), you will catch one of the most talked about quarterback controversies in the league today. Sanchez started off his preseason by throwing a pick six on his first drive, but finished strong after completing 10-of-13 passes for 125 yards and a score.
Rookie quarterback Geno Smith looked decent in his first career preseason game after completing 6-of-7 passes for 47 yards, but he didn't really throw the ball down field. While that's something to look for in his next game, his status still remains unclear for Week 2 after suffering an ankle injury in his inaugural game.
The Jaguars just might be as hopeless, if not more so than the Jets. The Jags got spanked in their first preseason game by the Miami Dolphins, 27-3.
It's still unclear who will start behind center for Jacksonville, but it's wide open with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne the most likely candidates to take the job. Either way, it doesn't figure to be pretty for the Jags.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 draft, offensive lineman Luke Joeckel, has been battling injuries this preseason, so it isn't clear if he'll play on Saturday.
Running back Maurice Jones-Drew will make his preseason debut on Saturday night. He's the single bright spot for Jacksonville this season as the team's star player, but there are even questions surrounding him after coming back from a Lisfranc injury last season.
Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks: 10:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
The Broncos and Seahawks were two of the better teams in the NFL last season and the same is expected to be true in 2013.
Seattle's offense is looking to improve this season in order to accommodate its elite defense, so the progression sophomore quarterback Russell Wilson makes with his receiving corps is important.
Also, with Percy Harvin banged up for much of the season, it'll be interesting to see who steps up to become a favorite target for Wilson aside from Sidney Rice. Wilson threw just six passes last game, so look for him to get some more action in this one.
Denver is intriguing because of the great Peyton Manning, but there are other things to discuss, too.
For starters, there will be a running back battle for the Broncos this preseason with sophomore Ronnie Hillman and rookie Montee Ball at the forefront. Knowshon Moreno has remained injured throughout the preseason thus far, so he continues to fall further down the depth chart.
Von Miller's problems may leave him suspended for the first four games of the season and that has left Denver and its fans wondering who will step up to take his place if Miller loses his appeal.
On offense, the Broncos' centers have been dropping like flies during camp, so keep on eye on who snaps the ball to Peyton Manning the majority of the time. That could be an inside look as to who the Broncos plan on putting there this season.
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