NFL Preseason Schedule 2013: Intriguing Contests Worth Monitoring

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 17:   Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets puts his hemet on the bench during their preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium on August 17, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Ah, the NFL preseason—a time when non-playoff teams stage quarterback battles, rookies and fringe veterans attempt to make a mark and earn a spot on the roster, a few stars always seem to go down with injury and fans pay obscene ticket prices to watch meaningless games. 

It's a strange time of year. 

But that doesn't mean it isn't worth watching. Let's be honest—we're all football junkies, and the preseason fix helps alleviate our offseason shakes. We love the roster battles, the small nuggets of insight we use to build our fantasy football draft strategy and the simple pleasure of watching football again.

So, with that in mind, I've highlighted three games you should make an effort to watch before the real football begins. It may just be the preseason, but there are still plenty of reasons to check these games out. 


Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers, August 23

It may only be the preseason, but c'mon—aren't you excited to see a rematch of the Fail Mary game?

Last year's terrible decision during the brutal replacement referee debacle ultimately cost the Packers a bye week in the playoffs, as the team finished 11-5, a half-game behind the San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1). And if you don't think a few Packers will be looking forward to laying the wood on wide receiver Golden Tate, you've got another thing coming. 

Throw in the fact that these two teams are legitimate Super Bowl contenders—and the game will be televised nationally on CBS—and you have a preseason game that for a quarter or two may have the feel of a midseason clash.


Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers, August 25

Generally speaking, the third week of the preseason slate is most worth watching. Teams play their starters the longest, sometimes up to a half. Much of the early-camp rust has cleared, and the season is just around the corner. 

So with the juicy matchup between the Vikings and 49ers on August 25—televised nationally on ESPN, to boot—you'll have at least a half of quality football to enjoy.

Adrian Peterson will likely get his preseason debut against the nasty 49ers defense. Colin Kaepernick scrambling about and making plays. Two playoff teams each with aspirations to reach the Super Bowl this season. New additions like Greg Jennings on the Vikings and Anquan Boldin on the Niners. 

This one should be fun, folks, so don't miss it. Well, at least don't miss the first half.


Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets, August 29

There are just so many storylines worth monitoring. 

Have you seen Chip Kelly's uber-fast option offense yet? Who will win the Eagles starting quarterback job, Michael Vick or Nick Foles

And don't even get me started on the Jets. Will Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith ultimately win the quarterback gig? Will Rex Ryan at some point spontaneously combust? Will the New York media be the reason? Can a once-proud defense return to prominence? 

Oh, and let's not forget about Sanchez's gnarly new look.

For two teams very unlikely to reach the playoffs, this preseason game seems plenty intriguing.


Remaining Preseason Schedule

Sunday, August 18TIME (ET)TV
Indianapolis at NY Giants7 p.m.Check local listings 
Monday, August 19TIME (ET)TV
Pittsburgh at Washington8 p.m.ESPN
Thursday, August 22TIME (ET)TV
New England at Detroit7:30 p.m. Check local listings
Carolina at Baltimore8 p.m.ESPN
Friday, August 23TIME (ET)TV
Seattle at Green Bay8 p.m.CBS
Chicago at Oakland10 p.m.Check local listings 
Saturday, August 24TIME (ET)TV
Philadelphia at Jacksonville7:30 p.m.Check local listings 
Buffalo at Washington4:30 p.m.Check local listings 
Cleveland at Indianapolis7 p.m.Check local listings 
NY Jets at NY Giants7 p.m. Check local listings
Kansas City at Pittsburgh7 p.m. Check local listings
Tampa Bay at Miami7:30 p.m. Check local listings
Cincinnati at Dallas8 p.m. Check local listings
St. Louis at Denver8 p.m.CBS
Atlanta at Tennessee8 p.m.Check local listings 
San Diego at Arizona10 p.m. Check local listings
Sunday, August 25TIME (ET)TV
New Orleans at Houston4 p.m.FOX
Minnesota at San Francisco8 p.m.NBC
Thursday, August 29TIME (ET)TV
Philadelphia at NY Jets7 p.m.Check local listings 
Detroit at Buffalo7 p.m. Check local listings
Indianapolis at Cincinnati7 p.m.Check local listings 
New Orleans at Miami7:30 p.m.Check local listings 
Jacksonville at Atlanta7:30 p.m.Check local listings 
NY Giants at New England7:30 p.m.Check local listings 
Washington at Tampa Bay7:30 p.m.Check local listings 
Pittsburgh at Carolina7:30 p.m. Check local listings
Cleveland at Chicagop.m.Check local listings 
Houston at Dallasp.m.Check local listings 
Green Bay at Kansas Cityp.m. Check local listings
Baltimore at St. Louisp.m.Check local listings 
Tennessee at Minnesotap.m.Check local listings 
Arizona at Denver9 p.m. Check local listings
San Francisco at San Diego10 p.m. Check local listings
Oakland at Seattle10 p.m.Check local listings 


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