The New England Patriots and Washington Redskins open up their 2018 preseason campaigns Thursday night in Foxboro. Watching preseason games can sometimes be a pain, but if you’ve gone the way of cutting the cable cord, there are still plenty of ways to watch the game live online.
The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, here’s a rundown of all your live stream options, depending on whether the game is in your market or not:
If The Game is Televised in Your Market
First, check to see what local channel the game is on in your area–it will be either ABC, CBS, CW, Fox or NBC. Then, if you sign up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services, you’ll be able to watch a live stream of one, some, or all of those channels, depending on the service.
Here’s a rundown of all the streaming services, what they include, and how to sign up and watch:
(Note that local channels are available live in select markets)
Local channels included: CBS
If you have Amazon Prime or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch all CBS content (both live and on-demand) via the CBS Amazon Channel, which also comes with a 7-day free trial.
Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the CBS channel, you can then watch a live stream of your local CBS channel on your computer via the Amazon website, or you can watch on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app.
Local channels included: ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC
In addition to its massive Netflix-like library of on-demand movies and TV shows, Hulu also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, which includes ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of any of those channels on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch the game live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
Local channels included: CBS, CW, Fox, NBC
A streaming service that is largely tailored towards sports fans, FuboTV includes CBS, CW, Fox and NBC. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can then watch a live stream of those channels on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch the game live, FuboTV also comes with 30 hours of Cloud DVR (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours), as well as a “72-Hour Lookback” feature, which allows you to watch games and shows up to three days after they air even if you forgot to record them. The main FuboTV channel package also comes with NFL Network, which will air a replay of every preseason game.
Local channels included: Fox, NBC
Fox and NBC are both included in the “Sling Blue” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch a live stream of either channel on your computer via the Sling website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on. “Sling Blue” also comes with the NFL Network, which will air a replay of every preseason game, so you can also watch that way if you miss it live.
If The Game is Not Televised in Your Market
You can watch every out-of-market preseason NFL game online via NFL Game Pass, which costs $99.99 for the season (or four installments of $29.99). Once signed up, you can watch games on your computer via the Game Pass website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the NFL app.
The first week of preseason typically means you’ll only see most of the starters play a series or two–if that. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to watch. Perhaps most notably, you have a handful of players making debuts with their new teams.
Washington has been especially active this offseason. They’ve got a new quarterback in former Chiefs signal caller Alex Smith. They have a new wide receiver in Paul Richardson, a free-agent signing from Seattle. And they have a new starting running back in rookie Derrius Guice, who has impressed during camp.
“I’m actually picking things up quicker than I thought I would,” Guice said. “I’m actually out there going full speed like the other guys. I’m not just going though the motions. The speed of the game changes, but if you know what’s going on, it actually slows itself down. It’s just fast when you don’t know what’s going on.”
Fans will have to wait, though, to see the debut of another exciting rookie, as defensive tackle Daron Payne, who was taken 13th overall in April, remains sidelined with an ankle injury.
As for the Patriots, the most noteworthy addition is one that was made just a week ago: Eric Decker.
The former Broncos, Jets and Titans wide receiver signed with the Pats to help bolster a receiving corps that lost Danny Amendola to free agency, lost Brandin Cooks to a trade, and will be without Julian Edelman for the first four games of the season. With such little time with the team, though, it’s unlikely he suits up for Thursday night’s game.
Of course, even if Decker doesn’t play, there’s still lots to watch at the position. After Edelman and Chris Hogan, the wide receiver depth chart is wide open for the Pats, as any one of Cordarrelle Patterson, Malcolm Mitchell, Phillip Dorsett and Kenny Britt could potentially carve out a role as the No. 3 wideout.
Patterson is one who has been turning some heads during training camp. He’s a dynamic player who can contribute in a variety of ways, and while play-calling in preseason games is usually pretty vanilla, it will be interesting to see how the Patriots give away any hints as to how they plan on using him this year.
“He’s a hard-working guy,” head coach Bill Belichick said. “He’s out there every single day. He’s improved every day. He has skills in offense and the kicking game in a number of different areas, return skills, coverage skills, blocking skills, catching skills. He’s got some experience, so he’s able to utilize that. He understands his skill set and how it matches up against different types of players.”
The Patriots defense also has a lot of new faces, including Adrian Clayborn, former Browns first-round pick Danny Shelton and Kyle Van Noy. All should be out there on Thursday, but again, it’s the first week of the preseason, so expect to see much more of the players battling for a roster spot.
For what it’s worth, the Patriots are favored by 4.5 points.