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Five preseason games to watch

The NFL announced its preseason matchups way back on April 9. Nearly four months later, we have live football to get ready for. The full schedule can be seen here

Here are five games that caught our fancy:

2014 preseason national TV schedule (all times ET)
Date
Game
Network (time)
Thursday, Aug. 7
NFL Network (7:30 p.m.)
Thursday, Aug. 14
ESPN (8 p.m.)
Sunday, Aug. 17
NFL Network (4 p.m.)
Sunday, Aug. 17
Fox (8 p.m.)
Monday, Aug. 18
ESPN (8 p.m.)
Thursday, Aug. 21
NFL Network (7:30 p.m.)
Friday, Aug. 22
CBS (8 p.m.)
Saturday, Aug. 23
CBS (8 p.m.)
Sunday, Aug. 24
Fox (4 p.m.)
Sunday, Aug. 24
NBC (8 p.m.)

1. Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos, Aug. 7, 9 p.m. ET: The Seahawks and Broncos have played in four consecutive preseasons, so this isn't a surprise. The Broncos will have to wait until the teams' regular-season matchup in Week 3 for a chance to enact any sort of meaningful revenge. Keep an eye on whether Ronnie Hillman can back up his strong camp.

2. Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins, Aug. 18, 8 p.m. ET: This will be the first extended look at Jay Gruden's take on a Robert Griffin III offense. (Plus it's on ESPN, so we can hear Jon Gruden try not to get overexcited about DeSean Jackson on his bro's team.) More importantly, it should be Johnny Manziel's chance to truly win the team's starting job. Brian Hoyer gets the team's first start on NFL Network this Saturday.

3. Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings, August 16, 8:30 p.m. ET: The Vikings have showered Teddy Bridgewater in hype all offseason. This is his chance to show fans his growth and potentially solidify the team's starting job before Week 1.

4. Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots, Aug. 22, 7:30 p.m. ET: The third week of the preseason includes the best action. Starters often play into the second half, and viewers get the longest look at new players. We should get a good sense of how Cam Newton looks coming off ankle surgery with a revamped receiver group. Darrelle Revis should be matched on Carolina's top wideout ... Jerricho Cotchery.

5. New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles, Aug. 28, 7 p.m. ET: The fourth week of the preseason usually is a snoozer, but this has spice. Michael Vick returns to Philly and Mark Sanchez faces the Jets. We'll take it. 

The latest Around The League Podcast debates which offense will be the NFL's most prolific and dives into the quarterback battles in Cleveland and Minnesota.

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