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Storylines and more for each NFL preseason Week 1 game

All 32 teams are in preseason action this weekend

Carolina Panthers Training Camp Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

After months of waiting, NFL fans have an entire weekend slate of football ahead of them.

Well, that is technically true.

After the amuse-bouche that was the Hall of Fame Game last weekend, all 32 teams are in action this weekend, with 16 games starting on Thursday night and running through Sunday afternoon.

Here is the schedule for Week 1 of the NFL preseason, along with television information and what to keep an eye on in each game.

Thursday, August 10

Houston Texans at New England Patriots

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium
TV: NFL Network / Local broadcasts
Odds: Houston -3

The full Week 1 slate starts with the Texans and the Patriots from Gillette Stadium. This will be the first chance for Texans fans to see quarterback C.J. Stroud in action, as new head coach DeMeco Ryans announced on Monday that the rookie would get the start. It may also offer the first chance for Houston fans to see WR John Metchie III in action. He was listed as WR3 on the team’s first depth chart after missing the entire 2023 season due to a diagnosis of acute promyelocytic leukemia.

As for the Patriots, Bill Belichick has been his typical coy self regarding playing time, so it remains unclear if Mac Jones will see much action. But Patriots fans will get to catch a glimpse of Bill O’Brien’s offense, as well as promising rookie wide receiver Demario Douglas. New England fans are well accustomed to falling for a late-round rookie WR each year, but Douglas might just be the real deal.

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks

Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Location: Lumen Field
TV: NFL Network / Local broadcasts
Odds: Seattle -4.5

In this matchup of playoff teams from a season ago, the biggest storyline might be a pair of rookie wide receivers. Jaxon Smith-Njigba for the Seahawks, and Jordan Addison for the Vikings. Minnesota fans can also expect to see a healthy dose of Jaren Hall, the team’s fifth-round quarterback out of BYU.

Friday, August 11

Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Paycor Stadium
TV: NFL Network / Local broadcasts
Odds: Green Bay -4.5

The big story in Green Bay? Year one, post-Aaron Rodgers. While Jordan Love’s first year as the full-time starting quarterback is a massive story, it is unclear how much action he will see Friday night. Another emerging story out of Packers Land? Rookie tight end Luke Musgrave. Will the second-round pick live up to the hype coming out of Green Bay?

As for the Bengals, Joe Burrow’s calf strain is a situation to monitor, so it might be worth a long look at the options behind him, should he not be ready for Week 1. Those options? Trevor Siemian, Jake Browning, and Reid Sinnett.

New York Giants at Detroit Lions

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Ford Field
TV: Local broadcasts
Odds: New York -3

Can the New York Giants build on their surprising 2023 season? Can the Detroit Lions live up to the weighty expectations in front of them? Those questions will be answered over the next few months, but on Friday keep an eye on all the talent Detroit added in the early rounds: Sam LaPorta and Jahmyr Gibbs on offense, along with Brian Branch and Jack Campbell on defense.

Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium
TV: Local broadcasts
Odds: Atlanta -2.5

Both Desmond Ridder and Tua Tagovailoa will be under a microscope this season, but on Friday night the Falcons will start sorting out their secondary. Jeff Okudah suffered an ankle injury that might leave him on the shelf until the start of the season, and rookie cornerback Clark Phillips III was carted off on Tuesday. Who will emerge opposite A.J. Terrell in the secondary?

Over with the Dolphins, a similar situation is unfolding. With Jalen Ramsey recovering from a meniscus injury, how will that secondary look come Week 1?

Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium
TV: Local broadcasts
Odds: Tampa Bay -1

The big story in Tampa? Who wins the ballyhooed quarterback competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask. They were both listed as starters by the team heading into this game, and how Friday unfolds may see a leader emerge.

While the Steelers may not play their offensive starters that much, pay attention to their personnel packages regardless of who is in the game. Pittsburgh may be one of the teams in the NFL this year — New England is another — that could lean heavily into two tight end packages, given Pat Freiermuth and Darnell Washington.

Washington Commanders at Cleveland Browns

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Cleveland Browns Stadium
TV: Local broadcasts
Odds: Cleveland -3

Whether Deshaun Watson settles into the offense in his second year under Kevin Stefanski will go a long way towards whether the Browns live up to their preseason expectations. Watson did not dress for Cleveland in the Hall of Fame Game, and it remains to be seen if he will play Friday night.

As for the Commanders, how will that offense look in Eric Bieniemy’s hands? Especially given recent reports of how some players are “concerned” by the new OC’s “intensity” during practice.

Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals

Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Location: State Farm Stadium
TV: NFL Network / Local broadcasts
Odds: Denver -5.5

If Sean Payton sees just one freakin’ “Gilligan hat” on the sidelines, the Broncos players are going to be in trouble.

The new coach does want to see some tempo, however, which will be worth looking for.

When it comes to the Cardinals, expectations are low. But some exciting is building around fifth-round pick Clayton Tune, with a healthy majority of fans hoping Tune starts Week 1 over Colt McCoy if Kyler Murray cannot be ready by then.

Saturday, August 12

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Highmark Stadium
TV: Local broadcasts
Odds: Indianapolis -5.5

In Indianapolis, all eyes will be on rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson this season. The dynamic talent might have landed in an ideal spot under new head coach Shane Steichen, and while reports out of practice from Tuesday indicated that Richardson struggled for the first time in a few days, it seems momentum is building that he emerges as the Week 1 starter.

For the Buffalo Bills, what will we see from Damar Hamlin. The safety has returned to the field after his terrifying cardiac incident last season, and is battling for a spot behind Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. How will he fare in his return to live game action?

Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Soldier Field
TV: NFL Network / Local broadcasts
Odds: Chicago -3.5

Will Levis versus Malik Willis is one battle to keep an eye on, as the Titans look to solidify their QB room behind Ryan Tannehill, and perhaps sort out their succession plan at quarterback. Also keep an eye on Terrell Williams, as head coach Mike Vrabel announced that the assistant head coach/defensive line coach will be serving as the head coach against Chicago:

Speaking of the Bears, the team released their first unofficial depth chart and rookie running back Roschon Johnson was listed as RB3. Johnson was stuck behind Bijan Robinson at Texas, but there are some who believe that the fourth-round pick could emerge this season.

New York Jets at Carolina Panthers

Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium
TV: NFL Network / Local broadcasts
Odds: New York -3.5

Will we finally see Aaron Rodgers taking snaps in a Jets uniform?

On the other side of the field, Panthers fans will get a look at Bryce Young. Head coach Frank Reich announced on Sunday that the first-overall pick will get the start under center for Carolina.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys

Time: 5:00 p.m.
Location: AT&T Stadium
TV: Local broadcasts
Odds: Jacksonville -4

The summer of Calvin Ridley is well underway in Jacksonville, as the wide receiver prepares to return to action after being suspended for the 2022 season. But the biggest concern in Jacksonville? The pass rush. Who will emerge behind Josh Allen and Travon Walker on the edge for the Jaguars?

On the other side of the field, do not expect to see Dak Prescott Saturday, and maybe at all this preseason. The organization is “leaning” towards sitting Prescott the entire preseason, and he has not played in a preseason game since 2019. Sorting out the running back room is on the to-do list in Dallas, so keep an eye on rookie Deuce Vaughn, who might emerge as the “change of pace” back for the Cowboys.

Philadelphia Eagles at Baltimore Ravens

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: M&T Bank Stadium
TV: NFL Network / Local broadcasts
Odds: Baltimore -6

According to our friends at Bleeding Green Nation, Nolan Smith has been one of the stars of camp for the Eagles. Will that continue this weekend? What about fellow Bulldogs Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis on the interior? Davis has been tapped as a potential breakout star for Philadelphia, but what can we expect from the rookie DT alongside him?

While Saturday might offer a steady dose of Tyler Huntley, Josh Johnson, and Anthony Brown under center, how will the Ravens offense look in Todd Monken’s hands? What about rookie Zay Flowers, who has been turning heads in training camp. One more storyline? Patrick Ricard. Ricard was just cleared from the Non-Football Injury list, and the defensive tackle-turned fullback was seen practicing with the ... offensive line? Monken’s offense is not expected to utilize a fullback — a chance from year’s past — which could see Ricard make yet another position switch.

Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams

Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Location: SoFi Stadium
TV: NFL Network / Local broadcasts
Odds: Rams -3

Similar to the Baltimore Ravens, what does the Chargers offense look like under new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore? Word out of camp is that the Chargers are pushing the ball downfield more, at least in practice. Will that be an increased focus this season?

As for the Rams, rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua is making a name for himself during training camp. And, fine, I’ll admit it: I want to see Stetson Bennett getting some NFL reps.

Sunday, August 13

Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Caesars Superdome
TV: NFL Network / Local broadcasts
Odds: New Orleans -3

When it comes to the Chiefs, two areas of potential concern are the focus this training camp. First, who emerges out of the wide receiver room? Second, what will the pass rush look like? Sunday will offer a clear picture at how those questions get answered.

As for the Saints, the big story entering the season is whether Derek Carr can be the difference-maker the Saints need him to be in 2023. Will we see Carr on Sunday, and if so, how does the offense look in his hands?

San Francisco 49ers at Las Vegas Raiders

Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium
TV: NFL Network / Local broadcasts
Odds: San Francisco -4

Sam Darnold! Trey Lance! Who emerges as QB2 in San Francisco behind Brock Purdy, the anticipated starter?

Over in Las Vegas, while Jimmy Garoppolo is the presumed starter, sorting out the QB depth behind him is a storyline this summer. Brian Hoyer likely has the edge, but Raiders fans are starting to believe that rookie Aidan O’Connell will at least get one start this regular season.

Nothing like capping off a week watching a battle between Hoyer, O’Connell, and Chase Garbers.