Football returns with a full schedule as all 32 NFL clubs will be in action this week.
Six games will be featured on national TV, including the return of NFL football to Los Angeles. On Saturday night, August 13 (8:00 PM ET, ESPN), the Rams will host the Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Five other games will be broadcast live on NFL Network this week. The action starts with the New Orleans Saints visiting the New England Patriots on Thursday night (August 11, 7:30 PM) and concludes with the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Houston Texans on Sunday (August 14, 7:00 PM).
|Thursday, August 11||New Orleans at New England||7:30 PM||NFLN|
|Friday, August 12||Detroit at Pittsburgh||7:00 PM||NFLN|
|Friday, August 12||Oakland at Arizona||10:00 PM||NFLN|
|Saturday, August 13||Seattle at Kansas City||4:30 PM||NFLN|
|Saturday, August 13||Dallas at Los Angeles||8:00 PM||ESPN|
|Sunday, August 14||Houston at San Francisco||7:00 PM||NFLN|
A closer look at some of the nationally televised games in Week 1 of the NFL preseason:
- Saints QB DREW BREES led the NFL in passing yards (4,870) last season and is the only player to lead the league in passing yards six different times.
- New Orleans selected DT SHELDON RANKINS out of Louisville with the team’s first-round pick (No. 12 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft. Rankins had 14 sacks and 26.5 tackles for a loss over his final two seasons at Louisville.
- New England won its seventh consecutive division title last season, tied for the longest streak in NFL history (Rams, 1973-79). The Patriots, who won five consecutive division titles from 2003-07, are the only team in league history to win 12 division championships in a 13-year span.
- Patriots QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO prepares to make his first career regular-season start in the NFL on Kickoff Weekend. Selected in the second round (No. 62 overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft, Garoppolo has appeared in 11 NFL regular-season games.
- Detroit QB MATTHEW STAFFORD has passed for at least 4,000 yards in each of the past five seasons, including 4,262 yards in 2015.
- The Lions signed CB DARIUS SLAY to a four-year contract extension in July. Slay has led the team in passes defensed in each of the past two seasons (17 in 2014, 13 in 2015).
- Steelers WR ANTONIO BROWN had 136 catches for 1,834 yards last season. He has 375 catches over the past three seasons, the most in any three-year span in league history.
- Pittsburgh QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER passed for 3,938 yards in 12 games last year (328.2 per game, the best mark in the NFL). He has 42,995 career passing yards, the most in franchise history.
- Raiders QB DEREK CARR passed for 3,987 yards with 32 touchdown passes last season while WR AMARI COOPER set club rookie records with 72 receptions and 1,070 receiving yards.
- Oakland DE KHALIL MACK ranked second in the NFL last season with 15 sacks and 23 tackles for a loss.
- Last season, the Cardinals won a franchise-record 13 regular-season games and advanced to the NFC Championship Game.
- Arizona topped the NFL in total offense (408.3 yards per game), led by QB CARSON PALMER, who set single-season franchise records for passing yards (4,671), touchdown passes (35) and passer rating (104.6).
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (Saturday, NFLN, 4:30 PM ET)
- Seattle has advanced to the postseason in each of the past four seasons, including two Super Bowl appearances and a win in Super Bowl XLVIII.
- The Seahawks have led the NFL in points allowed in each of the past four seasons and are one of only two teams (1953-57 Cleveland) in NFL history to accomplish the feat.
- The Chiefs went 11-5 last season and won their final 10 regular-season games. Kansas City won a Wild Card playoff game at Houston (30-0) before losing in an AFC Divisional contest at New England (27-20).
- Chiefs CB MARCUS PETERS, the team’s first-round selection (No. 18 overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft, had eight interceptions – including two touchdowns – and was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season.
DALLAS COWBOYS at LOS ANGELES RAMS (Saturday, ESPN, 8:00 PM ET)
- Cowboys WR DEZ BRYANT has 44 touchdown receptions since 2012, the second-most in the NFL (BRANDON MARSHALL, 45). Bryant has at least 85 catches, 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns in three of the past four years.
- Dallas selected RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT out of Ohio State with the team’s first round pick (No. 4 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft. Elliott was named the 2015 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.
- The NFL and the Rams return to Los Angeles for the first time since 1994.
- Fifth-year veteran QB CASE KEENUM will start the preseason opener for the Rams. He is competing for the team’s starting job with rookie QB JARED GOFF, who was selected No. 1 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. As a junior in 2015, Goff set Pac-12 single-season records for passing yards (4,719) and touchdown passes (43).
HOUSTON TEXANS at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (Sunday, NFLN, 7:00 PM ET)
- Houston signed QB BROCK OSWEILER in the offseason. Last season with Denver, Osweiler appeared in eight games (seven starts) and passed for 1,967 yards and 10 touchdowns.
- Texans WR DE ANDRE HOPKINS set career-highs in catches (111), yards (1,521) and touchdowns (11) last season. His 11 touchdown receptions are a single-season franchise record.
- 49ers QBs BLAINE GABBERT and COLIN KAEPERNICK are battling for the team’s starting spot. Each quarterback started eight games for San Francisco last year.
- San Francisco LB NA VORRO BOWMAN, who signed a four-year extension with the 49ers earlier this month, led the NFL with 154 tackles last season.
NFL CELEBRATES PLAY FOOTBALL MONTH IN AUGUST
The NFL, its teams and its players will celebrate youth and high school football athletes and coaches across the country during the preseason as part of Play Football Month.
Play Football Month salutes the talent, character, values and achievements of football players as they embark on a new season. The campaign kicked off on Thursday, August 4 with events at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio and will continue throughout the preseason.
As part of the celebration, all 32 NFL teams will host activities with youth football organizations and leagues in their local communities. In addition, Play Football programming will be highlighted in-stadium and during local and national television game broadcasts.
For more information on Play Football Month, visit playfootball.com