The National Football League unveiled the 2013 preseason schedule Wednesday, quenching the thirst of millions of NFL junkies clamoring for any news they can get regarding their favorite sport. The NFL preseason schedule will feature some games of note during the four-week prelude to the regular season.
The most intriguing among them is a rematch of the 2014 Super Bowl that saw the Seattle Seahawks pound the Denver Broncos 43-8. The two teams will meet in the first week of the preseason at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver and even though Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson be long gone by the time second quarter starts the NFL will charge the same fees for this preseason game as it will for a regular season affair.
If NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has done anything right during his eight years as at the helm of the worlds biggest sports league it is keeping the NFL in the news cycle the entire year. Not so long ago after the Super Bowl was over the NFL would go away until the draft came along in early April. Then it would take until the beginning of training camp or the NFL preseason before professional football was in the headlines again. Not anymore. Kim Kardashian has nothing on Goodell when it comes to garnering news and quenching the thirst of NFL fans.
So be it.
Time to indulge.
Other highlights of NFL preseason week one features New England at Washington as fans get to see if Robert Griffin III is finally healthy and how well he gets along with new head coach Jay Gruden. Experts will be examining RG3’s body language and interactions with Gruden as much as they will be watching how well he rolls out all preseason but this will be the nation’s first look at RG3 since he was on the sidelines in street clothes to end the 2013 season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants will also get after it in NFL preseason week one featuring two of the elite franchises in the league that both missed the playoffs last season. The game also features two of the only three quarterbacks in the league that have multiple Super Bowl rings in Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning.
The highlights of NFL preseason week two will be Chip Kelly taking the Philadelphia Eagles to New England to meet the Patriots and Bill Belichick . The two coaches are friends as Belichick sought consultation from Kelly while he was at Oregon on the no-huddle offense that made Kelly famous. Another week two matchup to watch will be the Broncos again as they travel to San Francisco for the first ever game at Levi’s Stadium, the new home of the 49’ers.
Week three is always the highlight of the NFL preseason because it most closely resembles a regular season game with the starters usually playing into the third quarter. The best matchups for game three across the NFL will be feature regional rivals as the Giants and New York Jets square while the Baltimore Ravens host the Redskins and the Eagles host the Steelers.
As most fans know week four in the NFL preseason schedule is usually the least watchable of the NFL’s summer calendar. It is a game that is usually used to settle the final few roster spots and again features less use of starters but again fans will be charged regular season price for it. The one highlight would be the Patriots visiting the Giants and whether or not Belichick even has Tom Brady suit up for the game.
It is what it is. Goodell’s headline grabbing and timely release of the NFL preseason schedule is another tool the commissioner uses keep NFL thirsting for more. Now when is the draft again?
Commentary by Mick Varner