Five National TV Games Highlight Week 3 Of NFL Preseason

Week 3 of the NFL preseason features five games on national television.

The action starts on Friday night when the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Detroit Lions (8:00 PM ET, CBS).

On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Steelers will visit the Buffalo Bills at 4:00 PM ET on NFL Network. That night, the San Diego Chargers will host the Seattle Seahawks at 8:00 PM ET on CBS.

The week concludes with back-to-back nationally-televised games on Sunday as the Houston Texans visit the New Orleans Saints (4:00 PM ET, FOX) and the Arizona Cardinals travel to face the Oakland Raiders (8:00 PM ET, NBC).

Friday, August 28 Detroit at Jacksonville 8:00 PM CBS
Saturday, August 29 Pittsburgh at Buffalo 4:00 PM NFLN
Seattle at San Diego 8:00 PM CBS
Sunday, August 30 Houston at New Orleans 4:00 PM FOX
Arizona at Oakland 8:00 PM NBC


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A closer look at the nationally-televised games in Week 3 of the NFL preseason:


Detroit’s first-team defense had a strong showing last week against the Washington Redskins. The Lions’ defensive starters played three series and limited the Redskins to 10 total yards on 11 plays.

“They were around the ball early on,” says Detroit head coach JIM CALDWELL about the first-team defense. “They did a pretty nice job.”

Last season, the Lions led the NFL in rushing defense (69.3 yards per game) and ranked second in the league in overall defense (300.9 yards per game).

Jacksonville quarterback BLAKE BORTLES led three scoring drives last week against the New York Giants. Entering his second season, Bortles has completed 61.3 percent of his passes (19 of 31) this preseason.

“Overall, I think we did some really good stuff,” says Bortles about the team’s offensive performance.


Steelers quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER completed 11 of 14 passes (78.6 percent) for 100 yards with a touchdown in last week’s 24-19 win over the Green Bay Packers. Roethlisberger, who played into the second quarter of the game, connected with wide receiver MARKUS WHEATON on a five-yard touchdown pass.

“We’ve done a ton of red-zone work and that’s one of the plays we’ve been working on,” says Wheaton about the touchdown play. “We got the look we wanted.”

The Bills staged a late rally in Cleveland to pull out an 11-10 victory over the Browns last week. Buffalo quarterback EJ MANUEL threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver ANDRE DAVIS on fourth down with 1:31 remaining in the game to bring the Bills within one at 10-9. On the ensuing two-point conversion attempt, Manuel connected with running back BRONSON HILL for the game-winning points.

The Bills have yet to announce the team’s starting quarterback for Kickoff Weekend. Head coach REX RYAN rested veteran MATT CASSEL against the Browns as TYROD TAYLOR (seven of 10 passing for 65 yards; 41 rushing yards) and Manuel (nine of 14 for 111 yards with one touchdown) split the snaps under center.

“I was proud of both of those quarterbacks,” said Ryan about Taylor and Manuel after the Cleveland game. “Both of them did a nice job for us.”


Seattle linebackers BOBBY WAGNER and K.J. WRIGHT had impressive showings last week against the Kansas City Chiefs. Wagner, who was selected to his first Pro Bowl last season, had a 25-yard interception-return touchdown while Wright, who led the Seahawks with 106 tackles in 2014, recorded six tackles, including two for a loss.

“K.J. was all over the field,” says Wagner. “It seemed like every play, K.J. made the tackle.”

Wagner’s interception-return touchdown was the first NFL TD of his career and his first touchdown since he played tight end in high school.

“I just sat back and read his eyes,” says Wagner about the INT-TD. “I’ve never had a pick-six in my life. It felt amazing.”

The Chargers had six sacks in the team’s 22-19 win at Arizona last week. San Diego linebacker MELVIN INGRAM recorded two sacks in an impactful performance.

“I felt good,” says Ingram. “When you finally get into a game and get a couple of sacks, that’s a good feeling.”


First-year linebacker KOURTNEI BROWN, who was signed to Houston’s practice squad in December 2014, had a 69-yard interception-return touchdown last week against the Denver Broncos.

“It’s a blessing,” says Brown. “You never know when your time is up and you’ve got to make the most of your opportunity whenever you get a chance. I’m just thankful for the Texans giving me the chance to play.”

Brown, who entered the NFL in 2012 with San Francisco but has yet to play in a regular-season game, has had a strong preseason as he registered two sacks in the team’s opener against the 49ers.

“He’s done a good job,” says Texans head coach BILL O’BRIEN about Brown. “He’s made a lot of improvement in his game. He’s in a very competitive position but he’s certainly made a lot of plays.”

Saints wide receiver BRANDIN COOKS caught four passes for 117 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown from DREW BREES, in last week’s game against the New England Patriots.

“He obviously can do a lot of great things,” says Brees about the dynamic Cooks. “With the complement of all the guys that we have here, we think we’re going to give defenses a lot to worry about.”


Cardinals rookie running back DAVID JOHNSON, the team’s third-round selection (No. 86 overall) from Northern Iowa, rushed for 66 yards and added two catches for 15 yards in his NFL debut last week against the San Diego Chargers.

“As the game started progressing, I felt better,” says Johnson. “It started slowing down a little bit more for me. I started reading the holes and helping out the offense.”

Raiders rookie wide receiver AMARI COOPER, the club’s first-round selection (No. 4 overall) from Alabama, had a 40-yard reception to set up a touchdown in Oakland’s game last week against Minnesota. This preseason, Cooper is averaging 15.5 yards per catch (four catches, 62 yards).

“The guy gets better at something every day,” says Raiders second-year quarterback DEREK CARR about Cooper. “He’s doing great things and there are little things he’s getting better at.”