Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Football is finally back.
The real games are still a month away, but at this point, who cares? It’s been a long time since we last saw real, live gridiron action. On Thursday night, we’ll get just that with the, our first introduction to the new season.
It’s the Atlanta Falcons vs. the Denver Broncos to kick off the NFL‘s 100th season, and while starters figure to play sparingly in Canton ahead of this year’s Hall of Fame inductions, there’s no shortage of stories surrounding the matchup.
Atlanta is clearly the better of the two teams when it comes to recent track records, but with star wide receiver Julio Jones declaring he won’t play in any of the preseason and new (old) coordinator Dirk Koetter likely to keep things vanilla as he integrates new pieces to the Falcons’ offensive line, all eyes will be on Denver as it looks to take a big leap forward under first-year head coach Vic Fangio. The revered defensive mind, formerly of the Chicago Bears, won’t have his No. 1 quarterback, Joe Flacco, on the field Thursday, but he will get a good look at second-round draft pick and anticipated Flacco successor Drew Lock.
Oh, and did we mention: This is live football!
Ahead of Thursday’s game, here’s all you need to know to tune in:
How to watch
Date: Thursday, Aug. 1
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (Canton, Ohio)
Stream: fuboTV (try for free), NFL app, NFL Game Pass, NBC Sports app