With training camps commencing around the league, hype around the 2014 NFL season has grown exponentially of late. Even though players have yet to dress in full pads, the chance to watch top-tier veterans mix it up with promising rookies during 11-on-11 drills gives NFL fans a much-needed taste of football.
Of course, with training camp comes the preseason.
Starting with the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, 65 exhibitions over five weeks will serve as a great prelude to the kickoff of the 2014 NFL season.
Each year, the league tinkers with the idea of making adjustments to in-game rules. Well, this year is no different, as spectators will witness extra points being kicked from the 20-yard line—equivalent to a 38-yard field goal—in an effort to make those kicks more enticing to watch.
We'll see how that goes, but for now, here's a look at the dates and times—along with any released TV information—for each preseason game this year.
|2014 NFL Preseason Schedule|
|Date||Matchup||TV Info (ET)|
|Hall of Fame Game|
|Sun., August 3||NY Giants vs. Buffalo||8 p.m., NBC|
|Thu., August 7||Indianapolis at NY Jets||7 p.m.|
|Thu., August 7||San Francisco at Baltimore||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu., August 7||New England at Washington||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu., August 7||Cincinnati at Kansas City||8 p.m.|
|Thu., August 7||Seattle at Denver||9 p.m.|
|Thu., August 7||Dallas at San Diego||10 p.m.|
|Fri., August 8||Miami at Atlanta||7 p.m.|
|Fri., August 8||Buffalo at Carolina||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri., August 8||Tampa Bay at Jacksonville||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri., August 8||Philadelphia at Chicago||8 p.m.|
|Fri., August 8||Oakland at Minnesota||8 p.m.|
|Fri., August 8||New Orleans at St. Louis||8 p.m.|
|Sat., August 9||Cleveland at Detroit||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat., August 9||Pittsburgh at NY Giants||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat., August 9||Green Bay at Tennessee||8 p.m.|
|Sat., August 9||Houston at Arizona||8:30 p.m.|
|Thu., August 14||Jacksonville at Chicago||8 p.m., ESPN|
|Fri., August 15||Philadelphia at New England||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri., August 15||Tennessee at New Orleans||8 p.m.|
|Fri., August 15||Detroit at Oakland||10 p.m.|
|Fri., August 15||San Diego at Seattle||10 p.m.|
|Sat., August 16||Green Bay at St. Louis||4 p.m.|
|Sat., August 16||NY Jets at Cincinnati||7 p.m.|
|Sat., August 16||Baltimore at Dallas||7 p.m.|
|Sat., August 16||NY Giants at Indianapolis||7 p.m.|
|Sat., August 16||Buffalo at Pittsburgh||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat., August 16||Miami at Tampa Bay||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat., August 16||Atlanta at Houston||8 p.m.|
|Sat., August 16||Arizona at Minnesota||8:30 p.m.|
|Sun., August 17||Denver at San Francisco||4 p.m.|
|Sun., August 17||Kansas City at Carolina||8 p.m., Fox|
|Mon., August 18||Cleveland at Washington||8 p.m., ESPN|
|Thu., August 21||Pittsburgh at Philadelphia||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri., August 22||Oakland at Green Bay||8 p.m., CBS|
|Fri., August 22||Jacksonville at Detroit||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri., August 22||Carolina at New England||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri., August 22||NY Giants at NY Jets||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri., August 22||Chicago at Seattle||10 p.m.|
|Sat., August 23||Tampa Bay at Buffalo||4:30 p.m.|
|Sat., August 23||Dallas at Miami||7 p.m.|
|Sat., August 23||Tennessee at Atlanta||7 p.m.|
|Sat., August 23||Washington at Baltimore||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat., August 23||New Orleans at Indianapolis||8 p.m., CBS|
|Sat., August 23||St. Louis at Cleveland||8 p.m.|
|Sat., August 23||Minnesota at Kansas City||8 p.m.|
|Sat., August 23||Houston at Denver||9 p.m.|
|Sun., August 24||San Diego at San Francisco||4 p.m., Fox|
|Sun., August 24||Cincinnati at Arizona||8 p.m., NBC|
|Thu., August 28||Atlanta at Jacksonville||6 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||Detroit at Buffalo||7 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||Indianapolis at Cincinnati||7 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||Kansas City at Green Bay||7 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||St. Louis at Miami||7 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||NY Jets at Philadelphia||7 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||New England at NY Giants||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||Carolina at Pittsburgh||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||Washington at Tampa Bay||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||Chicago at Cleveland||8 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||Denver at Dallas||8 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||San Francisco at Houston||8 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||Baltimore at New Orleans||8 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||Minnesota at Tennessee||8 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||Seattle at Oakland||10 p.m.|
|Thu., August 28||Arizona at San Diego||10 p.m.|
Each preseason game can be streamed with NFL Preseason Live.
Top Televised Games
New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills
The Hall of Fame game marks the first time we'll see two NFL teams square off against each other in full pads. While it isn't much of a contest—starters play on a very limited basis—it's still a great way to evaluate young players, and it signifies the start of football, after all.
Both of these teams come into the season looking to get the proper pieces in place to right the ship from lackluster showings last year.
For the Bills, all eyes will be on second-year quarterback EJ Manuel and rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
Manuel is expected to take significant steps forward this season, and Watkins should be instrumental in that process. Early in training camp, talk about Watkins has been extremely positive.
Check out this incredible grab by the first-year wide receiver, courtesy of Bleacher Report:
As for the Giants, Eli Manning and Co. will be looking to rebound from a dismal offensive showing last season.
Manning will see a big change at wide receiver this season, as Hakeem Nicks departed to Indianapolis, Mario Manningham returned from San Francisco and rookie Odell Beckham Jr. was added in the first round of this year's draft.
Unfortunately, Beckham hasn't practiced much yet due to a tweaked hamstring, but Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network seems to be expecting big things:
We'll see if these promising rookies can kick off the preseason with some showstopping grabs.
Kansas City Chiefs at Carolina Panthers
Week 2 of the preseason features a matchup between two teams looking to return to the postseason again this year.
Kansas City ended its playoff run last season after allowing the Indianapolis Colts to come back from a severe deficit late in the game, while the Panthers couldn't keep up with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Chiefs will be looking to keep pace with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos once more this season, and the team will rely on explosive offensive firepower to do so.
Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star has already been impressed by the rookie:
Quarterback Cam Newton isn't in an entirely favorable situation entering the new season.
The Panthers lost wide receivers Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn Jr. during the offseason and replaced them with veterans Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant, along with rookie Kelvin Benjamin.
While Cotchery and Avant feature solid hands and Benjamin is an enormous target, there will be far less speed on this offense than in years past. Although, Tom Sorensen of The Charlotte Observer has big expectations:
This contest will give us a glimpse of how these teams have begun to adjust since departing early from the playoffs.
New Orleans Saints at Indianapolis Colts
This matchup should be full of fireworks.
Week 3 of the preseason is widely heralded as the dress rehearsal for the regular season. Starters from both sides generally play at least the first half of the game in a regular season-esque simulation.
The speedy Kenny Stills has one year of experience under his belt and should be expected to take a larger role in the offense. Darren Sproles has departed to Philadelphia, and first-round pick Brandin Cooks should see a fair amount of reps in his place.
According to the Saints' official Twitter account, Cooks is already lighting it up in training camp:
Luck is in the same situation with the Colts.
He will have the exciting T.Y. Hilton back on the field once more this season, but the big news from Colts camp is the return of a now-healthy Reggie Wayne.
Wayne made his presence felt at training camp immediately, via Fox Sports Live:
Luck will also have Da'Rick Rogers in the fold with another year of experience under his belt, and the addition of Hakeem Nicks should go a long way to nicely round out this wide receiver corps.
Expect a high-flying aerial attack in what promises to be an exhilarating preseason showdown.