We’re still a couple weeks away from the start of the regular season, but we’ve made it to the most exciting week of the preseason, as week 3 is usually the week when the starters play the most, giving us the best indication of what to expect during the regular season. With that in mind, here are several NFL games to watch during week 3 of the preseason:
Seattle at Green Bay, Friday – With starters expected to play a lot this weekend, this game could be quite telling, with both teams expected to be contenders in the NFC. Even more interesting will be watching the matchup of Green Bay’s offense against Seattle’s defense. The first half of this game could be an interesting preview of what to expect atop the NFC this season.
Buffalo at Washington, Saturday – Both teams have some quarterback issues to work through. E.J. Manuel all but locked up the Bills’ starting job after two preseason games, but his status for the start of the regular season is in jeopardy after minor knee surgery. Buffalo has to try to get Kevin Kolb ready just in case Manuel is ready to go, although undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel could push Kolb for the spot behind Manuel on the depth chart. Meanwhile, the Redskins have gotten real thin at quarterback, with Robert Griffin III still uncertain for the regular seasons and Kirk Cousins spraining his ankle. If Cousins doesn’t play on Saturday, it’ll be interesting to see how Rex Grossman and Pat White do playing alongside the starters.
Cleveland at Indianapolis, Saturday – The Browns are off to a 2-0 start this preseason, and with the Colts giving their starters extended time this week, it’s an opportunity for Cleveland to show that their fast start is no fluke. It’ll also be pertinent to watch how Brandon Weeden plays after being named the starter, and whether he’s complacent, or if he’ll continue to look sharp.
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Jets at Giants, Saturday – The two New York teams facing off is always going to be interesting to watch. This game has the added benefit of watching the Jets’ quarterback competition play out. Mark Sanchez had his good and bad moments last week, and this week should be Geno Smith’s last chance to get an extended look and make his case for being the starter. If Smith struggles, it could give the job to Sanchez by default, but if Smith plays well, things could get even more interesting.
St. Louis at Denver, Saturday – The Broncos might as well get used to playing without Von Miller since they’ll be without him for the first six games of the season. This is the time for Denver to figure out who their top pass rushers will be, especially since they may also be without Derek Wolfe for an extended period of time. For the Rams, we’re still waiting for their revamped offense to show something after adding all that speed during the offseason, and this game should be a good indicator of what they’re capable of doing.
New Orleans at Houston, Sunday – If you want offensive fireworks, even in the preseason, this is the game to watch. The Texans offense has really clicked this preseason, showing an embarrassment of riches at the quarterback position and at the skill positions. As for the Saints, their offense was good last year and could be even better this season with Sean Payton back on the sidelines. With the starters getting extended playing time this week, there could be a lot of points on the scoreboard by the time this game is over.