Week 3 of the 2013 NFL preseason schedule features eight games on national TV.
The action starts on Thursday night when the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens host the Carolina Panthers (8:00 PM ET, ESPN).
On Friday, the Seattle Seahawks will face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on CBS (8:00 PM ET). Following the conclusion of that game, NFL Network will televise the Chicago Bears at the Oakland Raiders.
The Buffalo Bills will visit the Washington Redskins for a Saturday afternoon contest (4:30 PM ET, NFL Network). On Saturday night, the Denver Broncos will host the St. Louis Rams on CBS (8:00 PM ET). Following the conclusion of that game, NFL Network will bring fans the contest between the San Diego Chargers at the Arizona Cardinals.
The week concludes with back-to-back nationally-televised games on Sunday as the Houston Texans host the New Orleans Saints (4:00 PM ET, FOX) and the Minnesota Vikings travel to face the San Francisco 49ers (8:00 PM ET, NBC).
Week 3 – NFL Preseason Schedule:
Thursday, August 22
Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens 8:00 PM ESPN
Friday, August 23
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers 8:00 PM CBS
Chicago Bears at Oakland Raiders 10:00 PM* NFLN
Saturday, August 24
Buffalo Bills at Washington Redskins 4:30 PM NFLN
St. Louis Rams at Denver Broncos 8:00 PM CBS
San Diego Chargers at Arizona Cardinals 10:00 PM* NFLN
Sunday, August 25
New Orleans Saints at Houston Texans 4:00 PM FOX
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco Giants 8:00 PM NBC
*Joined in progress after conclusion of CBS national game
Some of the highlight games in Week 3 of the NFL preseason:
CAROLINA PANTHERS at BALTIMORE RAVENS (Thursday, ESPN, 8:00 PM ET)
Carolina dropped a 14-9 decision to Philadelphia in Week 2 of the preseason, but the team hopes to use the experience to help them when the regular season begins in a few weeks.
“It’s a big deal any time you take the field,” says Panthers tight end GREG OLSEN. “You want to play well and you want to win. But at the same time, it’s a learning experience against teams you haven’t really been game-planning for. This is the time that you want to find out what your weaknesses are so you can correct them. That’s what the preseason is all about.”
The defending Super Bowl champion Ravens improved to 2-0 with a 27-23 comeback victory over Atlanta. While head coach JOHN HARBAUGH was pleased with the victory, he still sees plenty of room for improvement if Baltimore hopes to repeat this season.
“When you play,” says Harbaugh, “you try to win. That’s why they keep score. So I’m happy about that. But there are things you can correct and they have to get done if we’re going to be the team that we hope to be.”
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS at GREEN BAY PACKERS (Friday, CBS, 8:00 PM ET)
Seattle extended its preseason winning streak to seven games with last week’s dominating 40-10 victory over Denver.
“I felt like we were doing things how we like to do them,” says Seahawks head coach PETE CARROLL about his team.
Seattle had two big scoring plays against the Broncos as JERMAINE KEARSE had a 107-yard kickoff-return TD and BRANDON BROWNER returned a fumble 106 yards for a touchdown.
AARON RODGERS completed 10 of 12 passes for 134 yards and rookie running back EDDIE LACY rushed for 40 yards on eight carries as the Packers notched a 19-7 win in St. Louis.
“As far as the overview of the game, I thought that the football team took a step forward,” says Green Bay head coach MIKE MC CARTHY. “But we obviously still have a lot to work on.”
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at HOUSTON TEXANS (Sunday, FOX, 4:00 PM ET)
DREW BREES led five scoring drives for the Saints in the team’s 28-20 win over Oakland. He was helped by the play of two young wide receivers – rookie KENNY STILLS and second-year pro NICK TOON.
“We asked them to do a lot,” says Brees about Stills and Toon. “They did a great job adjusting to that and played with a lot of confidence.”
Houston improved to 2-0 in the preseason with a 24-17 win over Miami. The game featured the first action of the 2013 preseason for linebacker BRIAN CUSHING and defensive end J.J. WATT, the 2012 AP Defensive Player of the Year.
“It felt good to be out there,” says Watt. “It felt great to be in front of these fans. It’s crazy how supportive they are. It was a packed house and so loud for the preseason. You’ve got to love it.”
MINNESOTA VIKINGS at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (Sunday, NBC, 8:00 PM ET)
When the Vikings visit San Francisco on Sunday night, running back ADRIAN PETERSON, the 2012 AP Most Valuable Player, will make his preseason debut.
“We want to be a balanced offense,” says Minnesota head coach LESLIE FRAZIER about his team. “But as anyone that follows us knows, our offense is going to be run through No. 28, Adrian Peterson.”
The defending NFC champion 49ers came away with a 15-13 win last week at Kansas City. San Francisco’s defense held the Chiefs to 170 total yards and registered seven sacks.
“It bodes well,” says 49ers head coach JIM HARBAUGH about his defense’s performance. “They’ve played consistently.”
The first-team offense only played one series against Kansas City, but running back FRANK GORE made the most of the opportunity by registering a 52-yard run.
“That was Frank being Frank,” says quarterback COLIN KAEPERNICK. “He’s a great running back. Our offensive line did a great job. They were downfield getting blocks and the receivers were getting blocks.”