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Nine preseason games to watch

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We have our first peek at the 2015 NFL season.

The league announced its preseason matchups Thursday. The full schedule can be seen here, but it's not too early to take a closer look at some of the juicier tilts on the slate.

Here are nine games that caught our eye:

1. Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots, Week 1: Two cross-conference superpowers squaring off in a rematch of their classic showdown from Week 13. We won't see much from Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, but can we interest you in a little Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Scott Tolzien? Beyond the quarterbacks, we're watching to see how New England's Darrelle Revis-free secondary fares against Green Bay's frisky passing game.

2. Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks, Week 1: A Super Bowl XLVIII rematch and our first look at Peyton Manning after the Broncos quarterback finished last season in a funk. We don't expect Manning or Russell Wilson to see more than a drive or two, but we're hoping for clues on how Seattle's secondary will move forward without Byron Maxwell or the injured Jeremy Lane.

3. Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers, Week 3: The third week of preseason action brings the best games. Starters typically play deep into the second half, meaning we're in for a heavy dose of Rodgers vs. Sam Bradford -- assuming Bradford is still in Philly come August.

4. New York Jets at New York Giants, Week 3: Rex Ryan brought verve to this annual showdown for The Snoopy Trophy, but the mantel now passes to Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants wideout enters Year 2 as must-watch material. His matchup against Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Gang Green's Todd Bowles-led defense provides one of the preseason's better confrontations.

5. Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints, Week 3 (Fox): Coach Sean Payton has used the offseason to remake his pass-happy Saints offense into a ground-control attack centered around Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller running for daylight behind center Max Unger. Their first big test comes against a rugged Texans defense led by J.J. Watt, Vince Wilfork and a back-from-the-wilderness Jadeveon Clowney.

6. Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers, Week 2: New Niners coach Jim Tomsula is under plenty of pressure to reproduce Jim Harbaugh's past success. That won't be easy with half his defense and Frank Gore plucked off the roster. Dallas is bound to have a brand-new running back (or two) by August, but can the Cowboys match last year's heights minus DeMarco Murray?

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7. Denver Broncos at Houston Texans, Week 2: Another fun Houston matchup as the Texans take on their old coach. The more we get to see of Manning in Gary Kubiak's offense the better. Nobody knows that scheme better than Watt, though, so look for the quarterback-crushing behemoth to give Denver trouble.

8. Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns, Week 2 (ESPN): Browns coach Mike Pettine squares off against his mentor and friend, Rex Ryan. The Bills offer plenty to watch with a new coaching staff and the addition of LeSean McCoy in the backfield. For the Browns, the battle between Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel -- and Marcus Mariota? -- should provide another summer's worth of drama.

9. Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens, Week 3: Our first extended look at Joe Flacco in Marc Trestman's new offense. Depending on how the offseason shakes out in Washington, Robert Griffin III might need a big night against Baltimore's defense to keep his starting job.

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