NFL Preseason Schedule 2013: Intriguing Contests Worth Monitoring

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NFL Preseason Schedule 2013: Intriguing Contests Worth Monitoring
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

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

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

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

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

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday, August 18 TIME (ET) TV
Indianapolis at NY Giants 7 p.m. Check local listings 
Monday, August 19 TIME (ET) TV
Pittsburgh at Washington 8 p.m. ESPN
Thursday, August 22 TIME (ET) TV
New England at Detroit 7:30 p.m.  Check local listings
Carolina at Baltimore 8 p.m. ESPN
Friday, August 23 TIME (ET) TV
Seattle at Green Bay 8 p.m. CBS
Chicago at Oakland 10 p.m. Check local listings 
Saturday, August 24 TIME (ET) TV
Philadelphia at Jacksonville 7:30 p.m. Check local listings 
Buffalo at Washington 4:30 p.m. Check local listings 
Cleveland at Indianapolis 7 p.m. Check local listings 
NY Jets at NY Giants 7 p.m.  Check local listings
Kansas City at Pittsburgh 7 p.m.  Check local listings
Tampa Bay at Miami 7:30 p.m.  Check local listings
Cincinnati at Dallas 8 p.m.  Check local listings
St. Louis at Denver 8 p.m. CBS
Atlanta at Tennessee 8 p.m. Check local listings 
San Diego at Arizona 10 p.m.  Check local listings
Sunday, August 25 TIME (ET) TV
New Orleans at Houston 4 p.m. FOX
Minnesota at San Francisco 8 p.m. NBC
Thursday, August 29 TIME (ET) TV
Philadelphia at NY Jets 7 p.m. Check local listings 
Detroit at Buffalo 7 p.m.  Check local listings
Indianapolis at Cincinnati 7 p.m. Check local listings 
New Orleans at Miami 7:30 p.m. Check local listings 
Jacksonville at Atlanta 7:30 p.m. Check local listings 
NY Giants at New England 7:30 p.m. Check local listings 
Washington at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m. Check local listings 
Pittsburgh at Carolina 7:30 p.m.  Check local listings
Cleveland at Chicago p.m. Check local listings 
Houston at Dallas p.m. Check local listings 
Green Bay at Kansas City p.m.  Check local listings
Baltimore at St. Louis p.m. Check local listings 
Tennessee at Minnesota p.m. Check local listings 
Arizona at Denver 9 p.m.  Check local listings
San Francisco at San Diego 10 p.m.  Check local listings
Oakland at Seattle 10 p.m. Check local listings 

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