The Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos start the NFL preseason football schedule tonight in the Hall of Fame game. The Falcons-Broncos game kicks off at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC.
It marks the first NFL football game we have seen since the Super Bowl and officially starts the preseason. It will still be another week before the rest of the NFL begins as tonight’s Hall of Fame game is the only matchup until Thursday, August 8.
The game is expected to feature mostly rookies and players looking to make the final roster for each team. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn announced this week at training camp that the Atlanta starters would not play against the Broncos.
Broncos Rookie Quarterback Drew Lock Is Expected to Make His NFL Debut
Former Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is expected to make his NFL debut tonight against the Falcons. Kevin Hogan will start for the Broncos, while Lock serves as the backup quarterback, per CBS Denver.
“I’m just real excited,” Lock explained to CBS Denver. “We finally get to play against someone else that doesn’t have a Broncos helmet on. We get to go compete and get to see what the guys around you are all about. And watch them go make plays.”
Both the Broncos & Falcons Have Running Back Battles
One of the big position battles that will be worth watching tonight is the Falcons backfield. After missing the majority of 2018, Devonta Freeman is expected to get the bulk of the carries for the Falcons this season, and Tevin Coleman is no longer with Atlanta. Coleman received a good number of touches that Ito Smith, Kenjon Barner, Qadree Ollison and others will be competing to secure before the season starts.
Denver also has its own running back battle between Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. While both backs received carries in 2018, Lindsay was by far the more productive player, but Freeman has garnered some buzz during the offseason. Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported that the Broncos feel “really good” about Freeman.
“Broncos are feeling really good about RB Royce Freeman right now. To the point that they are hoping to finally establish the true split-touch situation that they envisioned between Freeman and Phillip Lindsay last season. They feel like that plan is fully on track for 2019,” Robinson tweeted.
After the Falcons-Broncos matchup, the NFL will have another week off before the first full week of preseason football begins. Here is a look at the upcoming NFL preseason TV schedule.
NFL Preseason Schedule: Week 1 Thursday, August 8
|Jets vs. Giants||7 p.m. NFL Network|
|Colts vs. Bills||7 p.m.|
|Jaguars vs. Ravens||7:30 p.m.|
|Titans vs. Eagles||7:30 p.m.|
|Falcons vs. Dolphins||7:30 p.m.|
|Patriots vs. Lions||7:30 p.m.|
|Redskins vs. Browns||7:30 p.m.|
|Texans vs. Packers||8 p.m.|
|Panthers vs. Bears||8 p.m.|
|Broncos vs. Seahawks||10 p.m.|
|Chargers vs. Cardinals||10 p.m. NFL Network|
NFL Preseason Schedule: Week 1 Friday, August 9
|Bucs vs. Steelers||7:30 p.m. NFL Network|
|Vikings vs. Saints||8 p.m.|
NFL Preseason Schedule: Week 1 Saturday, August 10
|Rams vs. Raiders||8 p.m.|
|Bengals vs. Chiefs||8 p.m.|
|Cowboys vs. 49ers||9 p.m. NFL Network|