What is NFL Preseason and When Does it Start?

NFL Preseason: Every year, before the beginning of the “regular” season, the National Football League (NFL) clubs participate in a series of exhibition games that are not officially broadcast to the public. This time is known as the NFL preseason. 

Three weekends of exhibition games have been played in the National Football League (NFL) to this day, beginning with the game that is included in the Pro Football Hall of Fame at the beginning of August. The conclusion of the seventh and final week of training camp is inextricably linked to the beginning of the NFL preseason. Let’s learn everything about the NFL preseason below. (If you are interested in betting, then you should learn more about Orbit Exchange or Betting Exchange.)

Football Preseason Schedule

The Hall of Fame Game is the event that normally kicks off the exhibition season on the first weekend of August; however, there are certain years in which it may take place on the second weekend of August. When it comes to previous years, the American Bowl game has traditionally been played on the final weekend of July. 

The next weekend will consist of the first complete schedule of exhibition games that will be played. The majority of games are played on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday evenings, and there is one game that is broadcast on national television every single night of the week: CBS broadcasts a game on Friday nights, and NFL Network broadcasts games on any night when no other national television providers will broadcast a game. 

When it comes to the same week, Fox broadcasts a game on Sunday night (which is not the same night as NBC), NBC broadcasts the opening game on Thursday night, and ESPN broadcasts a game on Monday night. The opponents for the national exhibition games played by CBS and Fox are chosen independently of the league they belong to, in contrast to the regular season. There are three full weekends of games being played, and then there is a bye week for the whole league during the Labor Day weekend.

There is usually a conflict with the Major League Baseball season, a situation seen in the 2015 preseason when the Pittsburgh Steelers moved a Sunday evening game against the Green Bay Packers at Heinz Field to a traditional 1 p.m. kickoff to avoid parking conflicts with the Pittsburgh Pirates across their shared lot at PNC Park when the Pirates had a game moved to Sunday evening as part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

Postponed/Canceled Preseason games

Pic credit: Marca

Some NFL preseason games have been postponed or completely canceled on many occasions due to bad weather or other circumstances. Games that are stopped or canceled during the preseason are often not made up because of the exhibition nature of the games. 

As a result of Hurricane Charley in 2004, a game between Tampa Bay and Cincinnati was moved from Saturday to Monday so that it could be played. One of the NFL preseason games that was scheduled to take place between Philadelphia and Baltimore in 2001 was called off because of grass issues at Veterans Stadium. 

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As a result of similar worries over the turf, the league decided to cancel the Hall of Fame Game in 2016 at the very last minute. Due to the devastation that Hurricane Harvey caused in southeast Texas, the NFL preseason game between the Cowboys and the Texans in 2017 was initially originally slated to take place in Houston. 

However, it was ultimately moved to Arlington. It was decided to cancel the game the day before it was due to take place to provide the Texans with the opportunity to return to Houston and be with their families. The Texans had left Houston the previous Friday to play in New Orleans, and after the Saints game, they were allowed to travel to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

2023 NFL Preseason

The highlight of the 2023 NFL preseason was a full slate of 23 live games that were broadcast exclusively on NFL Network.

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Week 1

Ten games from Week 1 of the NFL preseason began airing live on Thursday, August 10 at 7 p.m. ET on NFL Network. In the first encounter, the Houston Texans, spearheaded by second-overall selection C.J. Stroud, ventured to take on the New England Patriots. At 10 p.m. ET, the Minnesota Vikings will host the Seattle Seahawks. 

Coverage of Week 1 of the preseason began on Friday, Aug. 11, with Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love and the Bengals taking on the Packers at 7 p.m. ET, and then the Cardinals playing the Broncos at 10 p.m. ET.

At 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 12, the Chicago Bears hosted the Tennessee Titans in the first of four live Week 1 NFL preseason games that broadcast on NFL Network. On Saturday, at 4 p.m. ET, the Carolina Panthers, who were the No. 1 overall pick, played home to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was making his debut with the New York Jets. At 7 p.m., the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles will travel to take on the Baltimore Ravens. The last game, between the Chargers and Rams, was broadcast at 9 p.m. ET.

On Sunday, August 13, NFL Network wrapped off its live coverage of Week 1 preseason with a doubleheader that kicked off at 1 p.m. ET. Kickoff was set at 4 p.m. ET with the Kansas City Chiefs, led by Super Bowl winner Patrick Mahomes and the reigning MVP, facing off against the New Orleans Saints. The San Francisco 49ers will next square off against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Week 2

Seven games from Week 2 remained on NFL Network’s live preseason schedule. On Thursday, August 17th, at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Philadelphia Eagles played the Cleveland Browns. On Friday, August 18, at 7 p.m. ET, the action resumed with the New York Giants facing the Carolina Panthers.

At 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 19, the Detroit Lions hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars as part of a quadruple-header of Week 2 preseason games that broadcast on NFL Network. In Saturday’s quadruple-header, the Texans of Houston took on the Dolphins of Miami at 4 p.m. ET, the Bears of Chicago took on the Colts of Indianapolis at 7 pm ET, and the Seahawks of Seattle took on the Cowboys of Dallas at 10 pm ET.

The Los Angeles Chargers hosted the New Orleans Saints at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 20, to wrap out NFL Network’s Week 2 NFL preseason live program.

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Week 3

With six games in Week 3, the NFL Network’s live preseason schedule came to a close. It all began on Thursday, Aug. 24, at 7:30 p.m. ET, when the Atlanta Falcons and the Pittsburgh Steelers met on the road.

On Friday, August 25, at 8:15 p.m. ET, NFL Network aired a doubleheader. At 10 p.m. ET, the New England Patriots hosted the Tennessee Titans, and then the San Francisco 49ers hosted the Los Angeles Chargers.

On Saturday, Aug. 26, a tripleheader capped up NFL Network’s live Week 3 preseason program. It all kicked off at 1 p.m. ET when the Cleveland Browns hosted the Kansas City Chiefs. New York Jets vs. New York Giants kicked off the triple-header on NFL Network at 6 p.m. ET, with the Los Angeles Rams vs. Denver Broncos following at 9 p.m. ET.

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