NFL Preseason Football: Week Three Preview

Official NFL Release

FOUR NATIONAL TV GAMES HIGHLIGHT WEEK 3 OF NFL PRESEASON

Week 3 of the NFL preseason features four games on national TV.

The action starts on Thursday night, August 25, when the Washington Redskins visit the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium (8:00 PM ET, ESPN). On Friday, CBS will bring NFL fans a matchup between the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts from Lucas Oil Stadium (8:00 PM ET). The Detroit Lions will host the New England Patriots on Saturday night (8:00 PM ET, CBS) at Ford Field. And the week concludes in Oakland on Sunday when the Raiders host the New Orleans Saints (8:00 PM, NBC).

DATE

GAME

TIME (ET)

NETWORK

Thursday, August 25

Washington at Baltimore

8:00 PM

ESPN

Friday, August 26

Green Bay at Indianapolis

8:00 PM

CBS

Saturday, August 27

New England at Detroit

8:00 PM

CBS

Sunday, August 28

New Orleans at Oakland

8:00 PM

NBC

 

Some of the highlight games in Week 3 of the NFL preseason:

  • WASHINGTON at BALTIMORE (Thursday, ESPN, 8:00 PM ET): The Redskins improved to 2-0 in the preseason last week with a 16-3 win at Indianapolis. Quarterback JOHN BECK got the start for Washington and completed 14 of 17 passes for 140 yards as the Redskins scored 16 points in the first half. REX GROSSMAN, who started at QB for Washington in Week 1 of the preseason and threw for 207 yards, completed seven of 12 passes for 88 yards against the Colts.

"I know the coaches are confident in Rex and I hope they're confident in me," says Beck. "I don't know how it's going to play out. I can only worry about me, and I just try to focus on that and be the best that I can."

Washington rookie running back ROY HELU (fourth round, No. 105 overall) rushed for 101 yards on 14 carries (7.2 yards per carry) and veteran running back TIM HIGHTOWER carried the ball six times for 70 yards (11.7 average) and a touchdown.

The Ravens notched their first victory of the 2011 preseason by knocking off Kansas City last week 31-13. Baltimore running back RAY RICE had a 26-yard touchdown run to cap a six-play, 81-yard drive.

"You work hard and you want to see it pay off," says Rice. "We're looking forward to hitting the season in stride."

Wide receiver LEE EVANS, who was acquired in a trade with Buffalo, helped set up Rice's TD with a 43-yard reception.

"I felt good," says Evans. "I was able to come out and understand the calls. For the most part, I felt I played effectively. I look forward to building off of it."

 

  • GREEN BAY at INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, CBS, 8:00 PM ET): The defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay

Packers will visit the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, the site of Super Bowl XLVI. Green Bay opens

the regular season on Thursday, September 8 at Lambeau Field in the spotlight Kickoff 2011 game and hopes to end the year by raising the Lombardi Trophy at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Packers quarterback AARON RODGERS has looked sharp this preseason, completing 15 of 20 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Last week against Arizona, he completed nine of his 12 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown to wide receiver GREG JENNINGS.

Wide receiver CHASTIN WEST had five catches for 134 yards, including a 97-yard touchdown for Green Bay.

"I'm very happy for Chastin," says Rodgers about West, who spent last year on the Packers' practice squad. "It's nice when you've got a guy like him making those big-time plays."

Last week, the Colts' defense forced a pair of fumbles, registered four sacks and had an interception against Washington.

"We were able to get pressure on the quarterback," says Indianapolis head coach JIM CALDWELL.

Now, the Colts begin preparation for the defending Super Bowl champions.

"We've got a week where we're really going to focus in on our preparation exactly like a regular-season ballgame," says Caldwell. "We'll prepare for our opponent. We'll take a look at all the details. I think we'll see some improvement. We're putting together a good football team here."

 

  • NEW ENGLAND at DETROIT (Saturday, CBS, 8:00 PM ET): Two of the most impressive teams so far during the 2011 preseason will meet on Saturday night at Detroit's Ford Field. Both teams are undefeated and lead the league in point differential (NE +52, Det. +33).

Seeing his first action of the preseason, quarterback TOM BRADY completed 11 of 19 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns in one half of work in the Patriots' 31-14 win at Tampa Bay.

"I'm glad we put some points on the board," says Brady. "But obviously, there are a lot of things we can do better."

New England running back BEN JARVUS GREEN-ELLIS added two touchdowns on the ground.

"We accomplished a few things," says head coach BILL BELICHICK. "One thing we wanted to do was get off to a good start."

The Lions improved to 2-0 with a 30-28 win at Cleveland last week. Quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD completed six of 10 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. He leads the NFC this preseason with a 138.7 passer rating, completing 12 of 17 passes for 156 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

"We've done a good job moving the ball and getting points on the board," says Lions wide receiver NATE BURLESON, who has a touchdown reception in each of the team's games. "For us, it's really just taking what we've got in practice and translating that to gameday."

 

  • NEW ORLEANS at OAKLAND (Sunday, NBC, 8:00 PM ET): For the second consecutive week, the Saints got contributions from two talented rookies. First-round running back MARK INGRAM (No. 28 overall) out of Alabama rushed for a touchdown for the second consecutive week. 

"I'm just trying to get better every day," says Ingram. "I'm just trying to help the team get better."

Undrafted rookie free agent JOSEPH MORGAN from Walsh had a 56-yard TD catch, his second preseason score. In Week 1, Morgan had a 78-yard punt-return touchdown.

"He's a talented guy," says quarterback DREW BREES of Morgan. "I'm excited for him."

Raiders first-year head coach HUE JACKSON seeks his first career victory and hopes to notch it on national TV in primetime.

"We're still knocking some rust off," says defensive tackle RICHARD SEYMOUR. "It is good to get out here and work with our teammates, but we still have a lot of work to do."

 

THIS WEEK'S NFL SCHEDULE (AUGUST 25-28)

(All times local)

Thursday, August 25

Saturday, August 27 cont'd

Washington at Baltimore, 8:00 PM (ESPN)

NY Jets at NY Giants, 7:00 PM

Carolina at Cincinnati, 7:00 PM

Atlanta at Pittsburgh, 7:30 PM

Cleveland at Philadelphia, 7:30 PM

Miami at Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM

Dallas at Minnesota, 7:00 PM

Friday, August 26

Houston at San Francisco, 5:00 PM

Green Bay at Indianapolis, 8:00 PM (CBS)

Chicago at Tennessee, 7:00 PM

St. Louis at Kansas City, 7:00 PM

Seattle at Denver, 7:00 PM

San Diego at Arizona, 7:00 PM

Saturday, August 27

New England at Detroit, 8:00 PM (CBS)

Sunday, August 28

Jacksonville at Buffalo, 7:00 PM

New Orleans at Oakland, 5:00 PM (NBC)

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