The Hall of Fame Game has come and gone, so the preseason is officially underway! With the new changes to the schedule, 30 teams will play three games in the preseason, with the remaining two playing four and being featured in the Hall of Fame Game that happened last week. Week 1 of the preseason gets started on Thursday, August 11, as the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots.
The new preseason format of three games for most teams makes it harder to gauge how much we will see of the star players. While most veterans will see limited action, this is a time for teams to test out rookies and see what their depth could look like as they get into the season. Rookie quarterbacks were scrutinized in the NFL Draft as they were touted as top picks, and only one was chosen within the first two rounds. This weekend should give us our first game action look to see how they look in the NFL.
Here are some of our favorite games to watch in the Week 1 of the 2022 NFL preseason. Be sure to check out the complete schedule for Week 1 of the 2022 NFL preseason.
Date: Thursday, August 11
Start time: 7:30 p.m. ET
What to watch: You likely won’t see Titans running back Derrick Henry, and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and tight end Mark Andrews have already been declared out. So why should you tune in? Malik Willis was a consensus top-five pick as we headed into the 2022 NFL Draft, but fell all the way to the 22nd pick in the third round. Also, the Titans used their first-round pick they acquired by trading away AJ Brown to select Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks who should debut Thursday.
On the Baltimore side of things, keep an eye on how their wide receivers are used as they search for a new No. 1 after trading away Marquise Brown during the NFL Draft.
Date: Friday, August 12
Start time: 6 p.m. ET
What to watch: Keeping with the theme of rookie quarterbacks that should debut, Atlanta should roll out Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder. He was the second quarterback taken and fell to the third round after being mocked in the top-15. Wide receiver Drake London was selected with the eighth overall pick and leads a revamped Atlanta receiving corps.
On the Detroit side of the ball, we should get our first glimpse of Michigan defense end Aidan Hutchinson in a Lions uniform.
Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Commanders
Date: Saturday, August 13
Start time: 1 p.m. ET
What to watch: The Ron Rivera revenge game! For the Panthers, they have a question mark at quarterback heading into the season. They traded for Baker Mayfield, still have Sam Darnold because of his contract and drafted Matt Corral in the third round. Wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. was a preseason standout for Carolina last season, and they could use him to have another impressive outing.
Washington likely won’t play Carson Wentz much, so we should see the majority of the game split between Taylor Heinicke and Sam Howell, who was drafted in the fifth round this year. The Commanders’ first-round pick Jahan Dotson should see some playing time as he begins his pro career. When it comes to depth for the season, keep an eye on how Alabama running back Brian Robinson adjusts to the NFL on Saturday, as he could be in line for some carries in the regular season.