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NFL preseason schedule: Lots of intriguing matchups

Hey, we haven't seen a football game in two months. We'll take our excitement where we can find it.

Perhaps the most intriguing preseason matchup will take place in Week 3 when the Seattle Seahawks travel to Green Bay for a nationally televised Friday night showdown with the Packers.

The game will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Seahawks' controversial victory over the Packers at the hands of the replacement referees last season. We'll see if Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers made serious offseason adjustments against the read-option offense that gave his defense fits in their NFC divisional round playoff loss to the 49ers.

The preseason kicks off with the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 4 on NBC, featuring two of 2013 Hall of Fame inductee Bill Parcells' former teams in the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins. That game will give us an early glimpse of the Dolphins' free-agent haul, including Mike Wallace, Dustin Keller and Brandon Gibson on offense and Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler and Brent Grimes on defense.

Week 1's only nationally televised game, between the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons, will be the first chance to see Steven Jackson and Osi Umenyiora in their new uniforms. The Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers also meet in a potential Super Bowl preview. The New England Patriots hit the road to play the Philadelphia Eagles in a track meet featuring two up-tempo offenses.

Week 2 could offer a chance for the entire country to gauge the progress of Robert Griffin III's surgically repaired knee, as the Washington Redskins host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first Monday Night Football game of the year. The Broncos continue their NFC West tour with another potential Super Bowl preview against the Seahawks.

It's always hard to muster up enthusiasm for Week 4 of the preseason. We can't say with a straight face that the Patriots can gain some measure of Super-Bowl revenge by knocking off the New York Giants.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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