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NFL Preseason Week 2 Features 6 National TV Games

Football is back. All 32 teams have played at least one game. Now it’s on to Week 2 of the preseason and the schedule is full of excitement.

Six games will be featured on national TV, starting with the Cincinnati Bengals visiting the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night (August 16, 8:00 PM ET, FOX) and concluding with the New England Patriots hosting the Philadelphia Eagles in primetime on Monday (August 20, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN).





Thursday, August 16

Cincinnati at Atlanta

8:00 PM


Friday, August 17

Detroit at Baltimore

8:00 PM


Saturday, August 18

New York Giants at New York Jets

7:00 PM


Saturday, August 18

Dallas at San Diego

10:00 PM*


Sunday, August 19

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

8:00 PM


Monday, August 20

Philadelphia at New England

8:00 PM


*Joined live in progress (game starts at 9:00 PM ET)

  • DETROIT at BALTIMORE (Friday, FOX, 8:00 PM ET): The Lions opened up the preseason at home against Cleveland, falling 19-17 to the Browns. Detroit quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD passed for 51 yards, including a 27-yard strike to wide receiver CALVIN JOHNSON. Last season, Stafford had a team-record 5,038 passing yards and Johnson led the NFL with 1,681 receiving yards.

"Any time you get to compete, go out there and play against somebody other than your teammates, it’s nice," says Stafford. "We’ve now got to have a good week and look forward to the next one. We’ll learn from this."

The Ravens scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to defeat Atlanta 31-17 in their 2012 opener.

"Obviously, it was a night of opportunity and competition to see where we are as a football team," says Baltimore head coach JOHN HARBAUGH. "We had some good things and we had some not-so-good things. We have lots to look at and lots to improve upon. We want to win every game, every drill and every series. There was good and bad, but this was the first preseason game and we will improve."

(Click on the 'Jump' to read about the other NFL preseason games this weekend)

Some of the highlight games in Week 2 of the NFL preseason:

  • CINCINNATI at ATLANTA (Thursday, FOX, 8:00 PM ET): The Bengals kicked off the preseason with a 17-6 home win over the New York Jets behind two touchdowns by running back CEDRIC PEERMAN.

Peerman recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown right before halftime and scored on a one-yard TD run in the third quarter.

"I’m thankful to be a part of this team and to have teammates that care about you and respect you," says Peerman. "It really is a great thing. They’ve done a great job of bringing in guys that are team guys and guys that just want to win. That’s what a great team is full of."

The Falcons’ offense started 2012 by driving 80 yards in eight plays resulting in a touchdown pass from MATT RYAN to JULIO JONES. Jones, who set a franchise rookie record with 959 receiving yards last year, had six catches for 109 yards on the night.

"I thought it was a good start for us offensively," says Ryan, who passed for a club record 4,177 yards last year. "We executed pretty well. I’m pleased with what we’ve worked on in practice and how we were able to take that and apply it in the game. I thought it was a good start for us."

  • NEW YORK GIANTS at NEW YORK JETS (Saturday, NFLN, 7:00 PM ET): The Giants and Jets will meet in primetime on Saturday night with New York bragging rights on the line. Both clubs will be looking to improve on losses in their preseason openers.

"We’ve got to play much better," says Jets head coach REX RYAN about the team’s 17-6 loss in Cincinnati. "We play the world champs next. We’ve got to make improvements to get to where we want to be on opening day."

The Super Bowl champion Giants got off to a good start and built a 24-7 lead last week in Jacksonville before ultimately falling to the Jaguars 32-31.

"I thought there were some good things," says Giants quarterback ELI MANNING. "There are still a lot of things we can do better. There will be plenty to look at on the tape to see how we can improve. I thought guys executed well. They were in the right place, did the right things. That’s what you want to see your first time out."

  • DALLAS at SAN DIEGO (Saturday, NFLN, 9:00 PM ET; joined live in progress at 10:00 PM ET): The Cowboys started the 2012 preseason with a 3-0 victory at Oakland. Dallas’ defense held the Raiders to 253 total net yards and recorded two interceptions.

"I like the preseason," says Dallas cornerback BRANDON CARR. "These games are what you make of them. I get a chance to get a feel for my teammates in live game action. I get a feel for the coaches and how they coach and call plays. For me, it’s an opportunity to go out there and brush up on my skills and get ready for the opener on September 5."

The Chargers began the preseason with a 21-13 victory over Green Bay. Linebacker MELVIN INGRAM, San Diego’s first round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft (No. 18 overall), made an immediate impact by pressuring the quarterback and forcing an interception.

"Words can’t explain how gratifying it is," says Ingram. "When you work hard and put pressure on a quarterback, even though you don’t get the sack, you’re helping to force a turnover. It’s an exciting feeling to have the opportunity to play with some of the highest-caliber players."

  • INDIANAPOLIS at PITTSBURGH (Sunday, NBC, 8:00 PM ET): Colts quarterback ANDREW LUCK, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, made his NFL debut last week and completed 10 of 16 passes (62.5 percent) for 188 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s 38-3 win over St. Louis. And Luck’s first play of his NFL career? A 63-yard touchdown pass to running back DONALD BROWN.

"One play, one touchdown," says Indianapolis linebacker ROBERT MATHIS. "You can’t beat that."

Steelers quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER started off the preseason by completing seven of eight passes (87.5 percent) for 49 yards.

"When you evaluate from a first preseason standpoint, there were some positives and some things to build upon," says Pittsburgh head coachMIKE TOMLIN on the team’s 24-23 loss at Philadelphia. "We didn’t get the job done. Our intention every time we step into a stadium is to win the football game. We’ll deal with it. There were some positive things and I like the effort overall of the group. But we have a lot of work to do and we will be diligent at getting about it."

  • PHILADELPHIA at NEW ENGLAND (Monday, ESPN, 8:00 PM ET): Two of the most successful teams of the past 10 years will meet in New England on Monday night. Since 2002, the Patriots own the NFL’s best record (123-37, .769) and the Eagles have the best mark in the NFC (99-60-1, .622).

Both teams won their openers last week. New England knocked off New Orleans 7-6 and Philadelphia defeated Pittsburgh 24-23.

"There are a lot of things we have to work on, but we’re underway," says Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK. "We’ll just keep plugging along. Hopefully we can build on it this week, have a good next week and start piling things up so we’ll be ready to go in the opener."

The Eagles started 2012 with a victory, beating the in-state rival Steelers on ALEX HENERY’s 51-yard game-winning field goal with 12 seconds remaining.

"It’s definitely good to get out there and just get on the field again," says Eagles running back LE SEAN MC COY, who last year led the league with a franchise-record 20 total touchdowns (17 rushing, three receiving).