NFL Preseason Football: Week Two Preview

Official NFL Release

WEEK 2 OF NFL PRESEASON FEATURES SIX NATIONAL TV GAMES

Football is back. Last week, 16 games kicked off the return of the NFL. Now, it's on to Week 2 of the preseason and the schedule is full of excitement. Six games will be featured on national TV, starting with the Philadelphia Eagles visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night (August 18, 8:00 PM ET, FOX) and concluding with the New York Giants hosting the Chicago Bears in primetime on Monday (August 22, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN).

DATE

GAME

TIME (ET)

NETWORK

Thursday, August 18

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh

8:00 PM

FOX

Friday, August 19

Atlanta at Jacksonville

8:00 PM

FOX

Saturday, August 20

New Orleans at Houston

8:00 PM

NFLN

Saturday, August 20

Minnesota at Seattle

11:00 PM*

NFLN

Sunday, August 21

San Diego at Dallas

8:00 PM

NBC

Monday, August 22

Chicago at New York Giants

8:00 PM

ESPN

                        *Joined live in progress (game starts at 10:00 PM ET)

 

Some of the highlight games in Week 2 of the NFL preseason:

  • PHILADELPHIA at PITTSBURGH (Thursday, FOX, 8:00 PM ET): Week 2 of the preseason kicks off with bragging rights for the state of Pennsylvania on the line as the Steelers host the Eagles at Heinz Field.

Philadelphia opened the preseason with a 13-6 win over Baltimore. Eagles quarterback MICHAEL VICK completed four of six passes for 74 yards and a touchdown as he led the team on an 80-yard scoring drive to start the game.

"It felt good to get back out there and play against somebody else," says Vick. "We definitely have something special and this is one of the best teams that I ever felt that I've been a part of. I enjoy each and every teammate that I have in the locker room."

The defending AFC champion Steelers returned to the field last week in Washington and have their sights set on returning to the Super Bowl.

"It feels great," says running back RASHARD MENDENHALL. "We are working toward trying to go to another Super Bowl. We'll come back, get some more work in and try and do it again next week."

 

  • ATLANTA at JACKSONVILLE (Friday, FOX, 8:00 PM ET): The defending NFC South champion Falcons will travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars in a primetime interconference showdown.

Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN completed six of 10 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown last week against Miami, including two passes of more than 20 yards to rookie wide receiverJULIO JONES, the team's first-round pick (No. 6 overall) out of Alabama.

            "I thought Julio did a good job," says Ryan about Jones. "He was on top of the gameplan. If he continues to do that the rest of the way, he's going to do a great job for us."

Jaguars rookie quarterback BLAINE GABBERT made his NFL debut last week, getting his first career start. The No. 10 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft completed nine of 16 passes for 85 yards.

"I think he showed a little poise leading the team down," says Jacksonville head coach JACK DEL RIO. "I know one thing, it's great exposure for him and it's great experience."

 

  • NEW ORLEANS at HOUSTON (Saturday, NFLN, 8:00 PM ET): Two of the NFL's most potent offenses will take the field at Reliant Stadium on Saturday night.

Led by quarterback DREW BREES, the Saints added two running backs to their high-powered offense in the offseason - veteran DARREN SPROLES and rookie MARK INGRAM (first round, No. 28 overall). Last week, in his NFL debut, Ingram rushed for 23 yards on six carries, including a dazzling 14-yard touchdown run.

"Just being able to get in the end zone for the first time being a NFL player is special for me," says the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama. "I just have to thank the line for blocking great. That's what really allowed me to get in. All I had to do was make one guy miss."

The Texans boast an impressive trio on offense - quarterback MATT SCHAUB, 2010 NFL rushing leader ARIAN FOSTER and wide receiver ANDRE JOHNSON. Last week, the team got a boost from running back CHRIS OGBONNAYA, who scored two touchdowns in Houston's 20-16 win over the New York Jets.

"Hats off to Chris," says Texans head coach GARY KUBIAK. "He's had a great camp. He's been a real warrior for us."

 

  • MINNESOTA at SEATTLE (Saturday, NFLN, 10:00 PM ET; joined live in progress at 11:00 PM ET): New Seahawks quarterback TARVARIS JACKSON and wide receiver SIDNEY RICE will face their former team for the first time. 

Jackson, a second-round pick (No. 64 overall) by the Vikings in 2006, started his first game with Seattle last week and completed three of his five passes in the Seahawks' 24-17 victory at San Diego.

"I was just trying to get comfortable, just trying to get familiar with everybody," says Jackson.

Making his first start for the Vikings at Tennessee last week, quarterback DONOVAN MC NABB completed six of 11 passes for 40 yards.

"It felt good," says McNabb. "I thought we had a great flow with the offense. Our timing and chemistry were where we needed them to be. That's where you want to start in the preseason."

 

  • SAN DIEGO at DALLAS (Sunday, NBC, 8:00 PM ET): Two teams with playoff aspirations will meet at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday night when the Chargers visit the Cowboys.

San Diego quarterback PHILIP RIVERS was sharp in his first action of the preseason, completing five of six passes for 87 yards and a touchdown during his only series.

"That's kind of what we wanted to accomplish, but there are certainly things to clean up," says Rivers. "That can give you a false impression of how easy it is to score. We still have a long way to go."

Dallas rallied for a 24-23 win last week, scoring a touchdown and two-point conversion with 15 seconds remaining. Cowboys rookie wide receiver DWAYNE HARRIS, a sixth-round pick (No. 176 overall) out of East Carolina, had five catches for 127 yards and two TDs, including the game-winning touchdown and two-point conversion.

"Big-time players make big-time catches in big-time situations," says Harris. "That's what happened."

 

  • CHICAGO at NEW YORK GIANTS (Monday, ESPN, 8:00 PM ET): The Giants will host the defending NFC North champion Bears on Monday night in a game featuring teams coming off 10+  win seasons (Chi. 11, NYG 10).

The Bears opened the preseason at home last week with a 10-3 victory over Buffalo at Soldier Field.

"It's fun to get back out there and play football again," says Chicago linebacker BRIAN URLACHER

New York's first-team defense got a 56-yard interception-return touchdown from linebacker MICHAEL BOLEY and two sacks from defensive end JASON PIERRE-PAUL in New York's preseason opener at Carolina.

"This is a very important week for us to ascend and I think that good things take time," says Giants head coach TOM COUGHLIN.

 

THIS WEEK'S NFL SCHEDULE (AUGUST 18-22)

(All times local)

Thursday, August 18

Saturday, August 20 cont'd

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, 8:00 PM (FOX)

Tennessee at St. Louis, 7:00 PM

New England at Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM

Oakland at San Francisco, 5:00 PM

Buffalo at Denver, 6:30 PM

Friday, August 19

Minnesota at Seattle, 7:00 PM (NFLN)*

Atlanta at Jacksonville, 8:00 PM (FOX)

Washington at Indianapolis, 7:00 PM

Sunday, August 21

Kansas City at Baltimore, 7:30 PM

San Diego at Dallas, 7:00 PM (NBC)

Detroit at Cleveland, 7:30 PM

Cincinnati at NY Jets, 7:00 PM

Carolina at Miami, 7:30 PM

Arizona at Green Bay, 7:00 PM

Monday, August 22

Chicago at NY Giants, 8:00 PM (ESPN)

Saturday, August 20

 

New Orleans at Houston, 7:00 PM (NFLN)

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