Now that we are in the final week of August, the start of the NFL season feels closer than ever.
However, there is still another week of preseason contests before the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos kick off the 2013 campaign on Sept. 5
You aren’t going to want to miss the final tune-up game, as there will be plenty of desperate, last-minute attempts to impress coaching staffs before the final roster cuts, and the quality of play should be outstanding for the preseason.
Keep reading to find out when and where to catch all the action and some notes on both nationally televised contests during Week 4.
A complete schedule of contests for Week 4 can be found here.
New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
These two bitter rivals will face off in another showdown, although it won’t have the same weight as the 2011 or 2007 Super Bowls.
Regardless, fans in New England will want to see their team get the best of the G-Men, as they captured two Lombardi Trophies at the expense of the Patriots.
Expect to see a lot of Tim Tebow in this one, as the beleaguered backup didn’t receive a snap in the Pats’ blowout loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 3.
He’s going to need to work a miracle to make the 53-man active roster, as head coach Bill Belichick usually keeps just two quarterbacks.
Considering second-stringer Ryan Mallett’s job is secure, Tebow will have to show some promise as a passer and impress on the ground if he’s going to have any value as a third-string signal-caller.
On the flip side, Big Blue will be looking to evaluate a number of positions—but no longer running back.
Unless the latter breaks out with an incredible performance against New England, Wilson should be the main option in the Big Apple.
San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers
Both of these California-based teams are nearly ready for the 2013 season and have only minor positional battles to sort out in this final contest.
The 49ers aren’t likely to keep their starters out there for long, as the team is hoping to finally capture a Super Bowl ring after finishing just short last season and faltering in the NFC Championship Game the year prior.
Colin Kaepernick has proven his worth as an elite signal-caller who is capable of taking this squad to the top, but his receiving corps is quite thin this year.
Kyle Williams and Marlon Moore will be duking it out to start across from Anquan Boldin, while Jon Baldwin—who should make the roster regardless—Quinton Patton, Kassim Osgood, Austin Collie, Lavelle Hawkins, Chad Hall, Ricardo Lockette and Chuck Jacobs all fight for a spot on the team.
On the flip side, the Bolts are hoping to have figured out who is start at left tackle and helping to protect quarterback Philip Rivers’ blind side.
King Dunlap has emerged as the overwhelming favorite, although Max Starks is challenging him and Mike Harris is a dark horse in the battle.
Dunlap had an injury scare in Week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals, but he was able to get back in the game and now seems to have a stranglehold on the position if he can stay healthy.
Considering O-line play was one of San Diego’s biggest issues last year, Chargers fans have to be hoping that Dunlap is the answer at left tackle.