Football returned with the 2019 NFL Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 1, but the rest of the NFL joins the action this week with the dawn of Week 1 of the preseason.
Between Daniel Jones‘ New York Giants debut, Kyler Murray’s first snaps as an Arizona Cardinal and the Miami Dolphins‘ quarterback competition, there are plenty of things to keep an eye on as the preseason slate kicks into high gear.
Here’s everything you need to know about this week’s action:
How to watch
This year, you can watch all out-of-market preseason games live on NFL Game Pass! Just follow the link in order to start your free trial today, and stick around for access to condensed games, coaches’ film and more during the regular season.
Note: Nationally televised games are designated with an asterisk (*). All times Eastern.
Thursday, Aug. 8
*Jets at Giants, 7 p.m., NFL Network: The Big Apple Battle kicks off the week, and it’s easily one of the most intriguing Thursday night matchups. Daniel Jones will get his first crack at live throws against an NFL defense, and Adam Gase will make his debut as Jets coach. If Le’Veon Bell even suits up, he’ll likely be limited, but he’s still a big name to watch for Gang Green.
Colts at Bills, 7 p.m.: Indy travels to Buffalo to showcase their retooled offense led by Andrew … oh, wait, never mind. The drama surrounding the Colts quarterback’s health might overshadow this AFC clash, but at least the Bills have a running back competition to sort out, with Devin Singletary and T.J. Yeldon competing behind LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore.
Jaguars at Ravens, 7:30 p.m.: This might be the best actual football game on tap for Thursday, at least for the first quarter. Nick Foles is set to make his anticipated debut in Jacksonville, while the Ravens will kick off Year 1 with Lamar Jackson cemented as the starting QB out the gate. Will Baltimore dare call a designed run for Jackson to start the preseason?
Titans at Eagles, 7:30 p.m.: If Carson Wentz plays at all, it’ll likely be for just a few series. But it might not hurt for the Eagles to see him take a few snaps after missing the latter portions of both 2017 and 2018. A better thing to watch might be the team’s RB competition, with Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders projected to split carries at some point this season.
Falcons at Dolphins, 7:30 p.m.: Brian Flores will make his debut as the Dolphins coach, but all eyes will be on his QBs: Ryan Fitzpatrick apparently has the edge in the post-Ryan Tannehill competition, but Josh Rosen should have a chance to make a headline or two. For Atlanta, meanwhile, priority No. 1 might be confirming Devonta Freeman is ready to go as the lead RB.
Patriots at Lions, 7:30 p.m.: This would be a great one for the regular season, with Matt Patricia matched up against his old mentor in Bill Belichick. Neither side is likely to go beyond vanilla concepts on Thursday, though, with Detroit looking to jell after a busy offseason that saw them commit even more to a ground-and-pound, run-and-defend style of play.
Redskins at Browns, 7:30 p.m.: Cleveland might be among the most hyped teams entering 2019, and while preseason certainly won’t dictate whether they live up to those expectations, it’d be nice to see their new faces get a couple of nice reps in. Washington, meanwhile, has a QB competition to solve, with Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins looking to steal reps from Colt McCoy.
Texans at Packers, 8 p.m.: Aaron Rodgers without Mike McCarthy?! We haven’t seen that for a long time, but we’ll see it in Green Bay on Thursday, even if just for a little bit. Houston is a serious playoff contender if Deshaun Watson can stay upright, so this could easily be a preview of two future postseason teams.
Panthers at Bears, 8 p.m.: The opinions on both these teams are incredibly varied, it seems, but Chicago has a chance to take a first step toward another dominant defensive season by going up against a Cam Newton-less Panthers offense. The Bears will assuredly also get a look at David Montgomery, who’s been tasked with replacing Jordan Howard in the backfield.
Broncos at Seahawks, 10 p.m.: Denver got its first look at second-round QB Drew Lock in the Hall of Fame Game, but you have to think Vic Fangio will want to get him even more time here. Seattle, meanwhile, will get a shot to keep working on its pass rush ahead of Week 1, when it expects to have Ezekiel Ansah but could use all the front-four help it can get.
*Chargers at Cardinals, 10 p.m., NFL Network: Los Angeles will be without Melvin Gordon, but thankfully, Arizona should be bringing some fireworks to this late-night broadcast. Both Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury are set to make their Cardinals debuts at home, where the place should be rocking. Even if the concepts are vanilla, the talent should be something to watch.
Friday, Aug. 9
*Buccaneers at Steelers, 7:30 p.m., NFL Network: Bruce Arians will coach against his old team to headline Friday night’s two matchups, but more people might be interested in what’s happening on Pittsburgh’s sidelines, which are, of course, no longer home to Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Who will step up out wide? Will the defense look as promising, too?
Vikings at Saints, 8 p.m.: Kirk Cousins has a lot to prove in his second season with Minnesota, particularly in big games, but the focus Friday night will likely be on his supporting cast — Chad Beebe’s emergence as a new No. 3 wideout, Ameer Abdullah’s potential as the team’s return specialist, Irv Smith’s role as a Kyle Rudolph companion at tight end.
Saturday, Aug. 10
Rams at Raiders, 8 p.m.: The “Hard Knocks” boys will host the Rams in one of their final exhibitions before packing up for Vegas in 2020, and they’ve got a trio of first-round draft picks who will be important to watch. L.A., meanwhile, might want to see what it has in Darrell Henderson if concerns about Todd Gurley carry into the regular season.
Bengals at Chiefs, 8 p.m.: Zac Taylor didn’t exactly inherit a powerhouse when he took over for Marvin Lewis this offseason, so the Bengals will likely be looking to unearth some young gems as they open their preseason — and face one of the best young offenses in the game. The Chiefs, meanwhile, should be eyeing their competition at RB if Damien Williams can’t stay healthy.
*Cowboys at 49ers, 9 p.m., NFL Network: No Ezekiel Elliott, no problem? We’ll see. Speaking of RBs, the Niners might have the NFL’s deepest backfield, but someone’s got to take a clear step forward. Between Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida and the banged-up Jerick McKinnon, they need some clarity. They’ll get an anticipated look at Jimmy Garoppolo the following week.