After a week of preseason NFL games, the anticipation for the regular season has only mounted. Fans who are eager for the real thing will have to wait for three more weeks of exhibition games to conclude.
Even though the slate of games won't determine positioning, there are still important things at stake for a few franchises. A few players stand to gain an advantage in high-profile position battles.
Here's a look at the entire schedule, viewing information for Week 2 and players whose performances could be major steps toward increased roles in the regular season.
|Thursday, Aug. 14||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|Jacksonville at Chicago||8 p.m.||ESPN||Preseason Live|
|Friday, Aug. 15||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|Philadelphia at New England||7:30 p.m.||NFL||Preseason Live|
|Tennessee at New Orleans||8 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live|
|San Diego at Seattle||10 p.m.||NFL||Preseason Live|
|Detroit at Oakland||10 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live|
|Saturday, Aug. 16||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|Green Bay at St. Louis||4 p.m.||NFL||Preseason Live|
|NY Giants at Indianapolis||7 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live|
|NY Jets at Cincinnati||7 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live|
|Baltimore at Dallas||7 p.m.||NFL||Preseason Live|
|Buffalo at Pittsburgh||7:30 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live|
|Miami at Tampa Bay||7:30 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live|
|Atlanta at Houston||8 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live|
|Arizona at Minnesota||8:30 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live|
|Sunday, Aug. 17||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|Denver at San Francisco||4 p.m.||NFL||Preseason Live|
|Kansas City at Carolina||8 p.m.||Fox||Preseason Live|
|Monday, Aug. 18||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|Cleveland at Washington||8 p.m.||ESPN||Preseason Live|
Johnny Manziel's Time Could Be Now
Most believed that Johnny Manziel would have to wait until some time during the season to be named the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.
As it turns out, Manziel might be ready to overtake Brian Hoyer as the man under center sooner than later. After an impressive debut last week in Detroit, Manziel has shown exceptional growth.
Sports Illustrated's Peter King chimes in:
"This looked clearly to be Hoyer’s gig, at least to start the season. Not anymore. The gap has closed significantly, and Saturday night was Exhibit A why."
Per King, Browns safety Donte Whitner says the locker room is split 50-50 between Manziel and Hoyer. What will matter in the end is what head coach Mike Pettine thinks.
After Manziel completed seven of 11 pass attempts for 63 yards and ran for 27 more, the NFL community was buzzing about Johnny Football's performance.
If he can play well against Washington on Monday, Manziel may force Pettine's hand.
Jimmy Clausen Can Become Jay Cutler's Backup
There's no question that if healthy, Jay Cutler is the Chicago Bears' starting quarterback. That said, Cutler has missed 12 games in the last three seasons. Because of his inability to remain healthy for an entire season, the Bears' backup quarterback position is of vital importance.
Before the preseason began, Jordan Palmer was believed to be Cutler's backup. After an impressive training camp and a solid performance against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 of the preseason, Clausen may have already become the No. 2 guy.
Per Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com, Bears head coach Marc Trestman said:
“Right now, we’re going to have Jimmy relieve Jay. He’ll have the shot whenever Jay comes out of the game, whenever that is. But both of them will play."
Clausen completed seven of 13 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Clausen's big arm and experience would seemingly make him a better option in the event Cutler goes down.