Games will be played every day from tonight until Monday. That's six days of action. Where was this when I was a kid? Another case of born too soon.....
From the NFL.....
PRESEASON IN FULL SWING AS ALL CLUBS SEE ACTION THIS WEEK; SEVEN GAMES ON NATIONAL TV
NEW MEADOWLANDS STADIUM OPENS MONDAY NIGHT WITH GIANTS FACING JETS
All 32 NFL clubs will hit the field this week as the first full slate of NFL preseason action takes place, bookended by nationally televised games on ESPN on Thursday and Monday nights and five nationally televised games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on NFL Network.
“The preseason is an important time for us to evaluate players," says head coach SEAN PAYTON of the Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints. “We have a lot of players that we need to see in live action, so number one is evaluation. The number two thing is that it’s the first chance we get to play a game against another opponent. That carries a lot of weight."
A look at a few of the matchups in Preseason Week 1:
NEW YORK GIANTS AT NEW YORK JETS (Monday, ESPN, 8:00 PM ET): New Meadowlands Stadium will host its first football game when the stadium’s two tenants – the New York Giants and New York Jets – face one another on Monday night, August 16 on ESPN.
Covering 13.5 acres, the 82,500-seat stadium is the only current facility to house two NFL teams. It offers an impressive array of amenities, including four massive HD video display boards, wider concourses, a myriad of food and shopping options, and the closest seats to the action in the entire NFL. The exterior of the stadium bowl, comprised of louvers and lights, will have the capability to change colors to reflect the home teams’ colors on gameday.
“With this stadium, we think that those on the field, and in the stands, will have the greatest place to play and watch the game in the country," says Giants President and CEO JOHN MARA. “It will be an extraordinary facility with a stadium design that will reward our fans for their enthusiasm, support and loyalty."
“Every aspect of a Sunday at the stadium will be radically different before fans even step foot inside," says Jets Chairman and CEO WOODY JOHNSON. “Once at the stadium, fans will enjoy enhanced tailgating opportunities and a new plaza filled with activities for fans of all ages."
The Giants and Jets will meet for the 42nd consecutive preseason. Last season, the Jets, who advanced to the AFC Championship Game, defeated the Giants 27-25.
This year’s contest will feature the New York debuts of several players from both teams, including the Jets’ LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON, SANTONIO HOLMES, ANTONIO CROMARTIE and JASON TAYLOR and the Giants’ ANTREL ROLLE and KEITH BULLUCK.
“I always wanted to live in New York and have the opportunity to play on this wonderful stage," says Tomlinson. “Obviously, now I have the opportunity and I’m excited about it."
CAROLINA at BALTIMORE (Thursday, ESPN, 8:00 PM ET): ESPN’s preseason schedule will kick off on Thursday night, August 12, when the Baltimore Ravens host the Carolina Panthers in a contest featuring two teams that love to pound the ball on the ground.
Last year, the Panthers led the NFC and ranked third in the NFL averaging 156.1 rushing yards per game. Led by running backs JONATHAN STEWART (1,133 yards) and All-Star DE ANGELO WILLIAMS (1,117), the team became the first in NFL history with two 1,100-yard rushers in the same season.
“There are a lot of football teams in the National Football League that would love to have the luxury that we have," says Williams. “Having two guys puts pressure on defenses and keeps them from knowing what to expect. The ability to keep defenses on their heels is something everyone wants."
The Ravens, who finished 9-7 and advanced to the AFC Divisional Playoffs a year ago, have also enjoyed success using multiple running backs. In 2009, Pro Bowl running back RAY RICE rushed for a career-high 1,339 yards and WILLIS MC GAHEE led the club with 12 rushing touchdowns. Led by All-Star fullback LE’RON MC CLAIN’s blocking, the Ravens ranked fifth in the NFL with 137.5 rushing yards per game.
“Willis, Le’Ron and I are not identical runners," says Rice. “We can all do things but we’re different. The more good guys you have, the better it is."NEW ORLEANS at NEW ENGLAND (Thursday, 7:30 PM ET): The New Orleans Saints take the field for the first time as Super Bowl champions when they visit the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Thursday.
“Each year you always look to improve," says Payton about the upcoming 2010 season. “There are benchmarks you look to accomplish and certainly all of us want to win another Super Bowl title. Those are goals that you set. You set those for your team. You also recognize how difficult the challenge is, especially having gone through that experience in the playoffs and Super Bowl. The goal is always to win."
Success has been no stranger to the Patriots, who won the AFC East last year. The club has won 112 regular-season games since 2000, the second-most in the NFL, and leads the league with four Super Bowl berths and three Super Bowl championships in the past decade.
“The Patriots are one of the teams of the decade," says Saints quarterback DREW BREES. “They’ve won three Super Bowls and they’ve been to the playoffs just about every year. Some would say they’re a dynasty. That’s the type of organization that we’re aspiring to be. We want to be a championship contender every year."BUFFALO AT WASHINGTON (Friday, NFL Network, 7:30 PM ET): Head coach MIKE SHANAHAN and quarterback DONOVAN MC NABB will make their Redskins debuts on Friday night when Washington hosts the Buffalo Bills at FedExField.
“I’m looking forward to getting started, that’s for sure," says Shanahan. “After being here for over six months and putting a football team together, you’ve got the draft, you’ve got free agency, evaluating your own football team, you’re always waiting for the season. And now it's time to go."
For Buffalo, it will mark the first game as a Bill for head coach CHAN GAILEY.
“He’s won everywhere he’s been, and there’s a good chance he’ll do it again," says Buffalo general manager BUDDY NIX of Gailey. “This guy is the guy to get us back to winning and get us where we want to go."
AMONG OTHER INTERESTING GAMES THIS WEEK:
TAMPA BAY at MIAMI (Saturday, NFL Network, 7:00 PM ET): DT GERALD MC COY, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 draft, will see his first NFL action as part of the Bucs defense, facing off against a Miami offense led by QB CHAD HENNE and WR BRANDON MARSHALL, who was acquired via trade this offseason.
TENNESSEE at SEATTLE (Saturday, NFL Network, 10:00 PM ET): PETE CARROLL returns to the NFL sidelines as Seahawks head coach, hosting QB VINCE YOUNG and the Tennessee Titans, who won eight of their last 10 games to close out the 2009 season.
SAN FRANCISCO at INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, NFL Network, 1:00 PM ET): MIKE SINGLETARY and JIM CALDWELL begin their sophomore seasons with their respective teams. Singletary’s 49ers feature a talented defense including All-Star LB PATRICK WILLIS and rookie S TAYLOR MAYS, while four-time AP NFL MVP QB PEYTON MANNING begins his 13th season with the defending AFC champion Colts.
DENVER at CINCINNATI (Sunday, NFL Network, 7:00 PM ET): Broncos head coach JOSH
MC DANIELS will continue to evaluate his trio of young QBs as KYLE ORTON, BRADY QUINN and rookie TIM TEBOW battle for a starting job against the Bengals defense (fourth in the NFL in 2009).