NFL Preseason TV Schedule: Rundown of the Biggest Games You Need to Watch
Now that NFL free agency has changed the landscape of the league and preseason play is on the way, it is time to take a look at some of the top contests to watch once the games begin.
There are nine games that I believe you can not miss during this preseason (I would watch all of them if I could, who cares if it is the preseason. Football is football!) and some of them may surprise you.
Or at least one team will surprise you, I am certain of that.
Another team that finds itself on this list multiple times will come as no surprise (sorry Bills fans, it is not your team), and fortunately for football fans they have an impressive preseason schedule.
Here is a look at the top games that you have to see this preseason.
Week 1: Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers
This game may not be the most intriguing contest on this list, but there is a reason that it is the first game on this list.
It is the first nationally televised game of the season!
We are less than two weeks away from Chargers and Seahawks to start the preseason on ESPN.
Week 1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Kansas City Chiefs
This game is a matchup of the two best young teams in the league, or at least that is how ESPN feels.
The Chiefs and Bucs were ranked as the top two organizations in terms of talent under the age of 25 and what time is better than the preseason to see young players on display?
A fun matchup to watch will be Chiefs running back against the Buccaneers young and improving defensive line featuring top picks Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers.
The game will also feature a matchup of two rising quarterbacks in Josh Freeman and Matt Cassel who both put together outstanding 2010 seasons.
This game will also be nationally televised, so make sure you do not miss out on two of the top young teams in the league.
Week 1: Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles
Our first look at the new-look Eagles will come in a great matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.
Last week I made a comment in an article I wrote about free agents saying that I would not play Madden this year if Nnamdi ended up with Ravis and the Jets.
The good news is I can still play Madden, the bad news is I am not sure I want to. The Eagles are a ridiculously loaded team now that they have Nnamdi in addition to Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Oh yeah, they added defensive ends Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins too.
Everyone is going to play as the Eagles on Madden this year so much like the Miami Heat, they will be an easy team to hate.
Ray Lewis and the Ravens will be more than happy to put a hurting on Mike Vick and the rest of the Eagles offense. Too bad we won't see an entire game with starters playing, but the first half could be a potential Super Bowl preview.
Week 2: Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are becoming the Vikings lite after they continue to pillage the Minnesota roster of its talent (I use the term "talent" loosely until Tarvaris proves me wrong, not saying he will not, but I will be waiting).
Seattle signed Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to replace veteran Matt Hasselbeck and they brought in his top receiving threat in Sidney Rice.
New Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell also came over from the Vikings after spending the past four seasons in Minnesota.
While this game will not be a likely playoff preview, there will still be plenty of intrigue surrounding this game because of the jersey swapping between these two teams.
Week 2: Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers
The battle of Pennsylvania is another potential Super Bowl preview as the Steelers and Eagles square off.
How will Big Ben and the Steelers offense fare against the Eagles potentially dominating D? And can Mike Vick and the Eagles offense have success against the Steelers stifling D?
This game will likely be a smashmouth affair, at least for the first quarter that is.
Week 3: New England Patriots at Detroit Lions
I personally don't believe all of the Lions hype at this point (they will not make the playoffs this year, but they will be a tough team in 2012) but this game will still be intriguing for one reason; Tom Brady vs. the Lions defensive line.
Will the Patriots offense be able to contain Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley?
They better, because the Pats can't afford to let their franchise quarterback take too many hits against the Lions relentless interior defense.
Week 3: Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers
This is another potential Super Bowl preview in the preseason as one of the NFL's most explosive offenses in the Falcons takes on one of the NFL's best defenses in the Steelers.
The Steelers are a traditional power, but the Falcons are ready to make their mark in the NFL with established stars like Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, and Michael Turner leading their offense.
Atlanta gave up a ton to get receiver Julio Jones in the first round of this year's draft and his arrival should make life even better this season for quarterback Matt Ryan.
The Steelers pass defense is not elite, but they will provide a challenge for Ryan the Falcons nonetheless.
Week 4: Oakland Raiders at Seattle Seahawks
You are seeing this correctly, a third game involving the Seahawks.
Remember, it's just the preseason.
Even though it is just the preseason, new Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable has to want to stick it to his former team along with new Seattle guard Robert Gallery.
Seattle is also reportedly after the services of Raiders tight end Zach Miller and if they are able to land him via free agency, this game will become even more intriguing.
Week 4: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets
It's Nnamdi vs. Rex in the final week of the preseason as the Jets take on the Eagles in yet another potential Super Bowl preview.
The Jets failed to land the top free agent available in Asomugha, but the latest reports say that Rex Ryan and the Jets will still be able to field a football team this season.
As the Jets try to move on after their dream secondary was crushed, the Eagles will roll into the Big Apple with potentially one of the greatest secondaries of all-time.
This should be a fun game to watch especially considering the fact that it will be the final week of the preseason and most of the starters should see plenty of playing time.