Welcome to the third week of the 2017 NFL preseason. It’s still the preseason, the one time of year we’re forced to watch the likes of Christian Hackenberg and
Paxton Lynch
do their best NFL quarterback impressions, but finally some somewhat meaningful football is on the horizon. 

This week, teams will undergo their dress rehearsals for the regular season. For most starters, it’s their last real chance to knock off the rust. For most fans, it’s their first glimpse at what their favorite team might look like in the upcoming season. For Fantasy footballers, it might be their last glimpse at the players they’re targeting in their drafts. For everyone, it’s somewhat meaningful football. 

That might not seem like much, but well, it’s all we’ve got for now. And we’ll take it. 

Below, you’ll find all the information you need to tune in as the action unfolds this week. Let’s get to it …

TV, stream info for Week 3

TV note: All preseason games will be shown on local TV, so check your local listings. Six games will be shown on national television. Those games will be highlighted below.

Streaming note: All Week 3 games that aren’t nationally televised can be streamed online via NFL GamePass, which is available for $99.99. You can purchase it with a one-time payment or four installments. Also of note: You can sign up for a free trial and cancel at any point during that trial. Remember, by purchasing NFL GamePass, you’ll be able to re-watch regular season games too.

Thursday, Aug. 24


Miami Dolphins
at
Philadelphia Eagles
, 7 p.m. ET, NFL Network:
This might be the most important game of the week and luckily, it’ll be broadcast on national television. It’s important because new Dolphins quarterback
Jay Cutler
is trying to pick up and grow comfortable within Adam Gase’s offense. That’s the biggest reason to watch: How will Cutler look in his dress rehearsal? He shook off the rust a week ago. Now, it’s time for him to show if he’s ready for the regular season. An added bonus: Cutler will reunite with
Alshon Jeffery
. From the Eagles’ perspective, they’ll be hoping
Carson Wentz
continues his dominant preseason. He’s 10 of 13 for 112 yards and a touchdown so far.


Carolina Panthers
at
Jacksonville Jaguars
, 7:30 p.m. ET, NFL GamePass:
Suddenly, there’s a quarterback competition in Jacksonville. It might not be an exciting one, but we’ll take it. So, who will prevail? Will it be the incumbent,
Blake Bortles
? Or the long-time backup,
Chad Henne
? Exciting stuff. For the Panthers, all of the excitement should still surround rookie running back
Christian McCaffrey
, who dazzled us last week. He looks legit.

Friday, Aug. 25


New England Patriots
at
Detroit Lions
, 7 p.m. ET, NFL GamePass: 
The Patriots have a crowded backfield, so it’ll be interesting to see which running back can grab a hold of the starting job.
Mike Gillislee
appeared to be the favorite, but he sat out last week’s game with a hamstring injury, which handed
Rex Burkhead
an opportunity. Burkhead didn’t do much on the ground against the
Houston Texans
, but he caught three passes for 50 yards and a score. Can Burkhead continue to carve out a more significant role than expected? That’s something to watch for in this game.


Kansas City Chiefs
at
Seattle Seahawks
, 8 p.m. ET, CBS:
This might be a bigger game for
Alex Smith
than he expected. Though the Chiefs drafted
Patrick Mahomes
in the first round, 2017 was always supposed to be Smith’s season. But after Mahomes’ great start to the preseason, Smith could use a solid outing on Friday to quell the whispers calling for Mahomes. On the flipside, if Smith struggles and Mahomes lights it up again, the Chiefs could enter the season with a mini controversy. For the Seahawks, this game is all about the offensive line. After losing starting left tackle George Fant, the Seahawks need to get their new-look line some valuable reps together so that
Russell Wilson
can survive the upcoming season.  

Saturday, Aug. 26


Buffalo Bills
at
Baltimore Ravens
, 7 p.m. ET, NFL GamePass:

Tyrod Taylor
isn’t getting much help —
Sammy Watkins
was traded and
Anquan Boldin
retired — but he could use a good game to silence his critics. Taylor’s been a mess this preseason, completing 50 percent of his passes, averaging 3.8 yards per attempt, and throwing two picks. We’ll see if he can get back on track against the Ravens, who are still without
Joe Flacco
.


New York Jets
at
New York Giants
, 7 p.m. ET, NFL GamePass:
This is the game that will determine the Jets’ quarterback competition. The favorite is veteran
Josh McCown
, who has looked solid in the preseason. The underdog is the young, but erratic
Christian Hackenberg
. All signs point toward McCown winning the job, but Jets coach Todd Bowles said that he’ll make his final decision after watching film from this game.


Arizona Cardinals
at
Atlanta Falcons
, 7 p.m. ET, NFL GamePass:

Matt Ryan
been downright unstoppable this preseason. In his two drives, he’s gone 7 of 9 for 89 yards and a touchdown. Both drives reached the end zone. Let’s see if he can keep it up as he attempts to avoid a Super Bowl hangover. For the Cardinals, their receivers need to show signs of improvement after Bruce Arians called them out. Most importantly, PLEASE DON’T GET HURT,
David Johnson


Indianapolis Colts
at
Pittsburgh Steelers
, 7:30 p.m. ET, NFL GamePass:
Unfortunately,
Andrew Luck
and
Le’Veon Bell
won’t be participating in their dress rehearsals with Luck still hurt and Bell still absent. A couple important things to watch: Can
Martavis Bryant
shake off the rust? Will
James Conner
follow up his impressive debut with another solid outing to earn a spot behind Bell on the depth chart?


Cleveland Browns
at
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
, 7:30 p.m. ET, NFL GamePass:
It certainly sounds like
DeShone Kizer
has lost the quarterback competition to the very tall, but very bad
Brock Osweiler
, but Kizer could make Hue Jackson’s choice difficult with another elite performance. For Osweiler, this is his chance to fully cement his status as the starter. The Buccaneers don’t have too many important position battles at stake so for them this game is all about
Jameis Winston
getting into a rhythm with his new targets. So far, that hasn’t been an issue. Winston is 30 of 42 for 295 yards this preseason. Most importantly, he hasn’t been picked off.


Los Angeles Chargers
at
Los Angeles Rams
, 8 p.m. ET, CBS:
The battle for Los Angeles! This might be the first time anyone’s been able to say this since the Rams moved to L.A., but the most intriguing aspect of this game is the Rams’ offense. A year ago, top pick
Jared Goff
looked overwhelmed by the NFL. This preseason, in Sean McVay’s offense, Goff has been sharp. He’s 19 of 24 for 194 yards and a touchdown. Let’s see if he can keep the momentum rolling in his dress rehearsal. 

Texans at
New Orleans Saints
, 8 p.m. ET, NFL GamePass:

Deshaun Watson
needs to show signs of improvement. He’s been underwhelming so far this preseason, completing just 51.4 percent of his passes. At this point, it’s looking like the Texans’ starting job will go to
Tom Savage
. This is Watson’s last chance to put his name into the mix. For the Saints, let’s see if rookie running back
Alvin Kamara
can continue to make his case for more reps in a crowded backfield that already features
Mark Ingram
and
Adrian Peterson


Oakland Raiders
at
Dallas Cowboys
, 8 p.m. ET, NFL GamePass:
The Raiders’ defense has looked downright awful this preseason, so this will be a nice final preseason test for them. They’ve been so bad that their coach, Jack Del Rio, recently called them out. For the Cowboys, keep an eye on
Jaylon Smith
, who made his return last week, and how they handle their running back situation with
Ezekiel Elliott
suspended for the regular season.


Green Bay Packers
at
Denver Broncos
, 9 p.m. ET, NFL GamePass:
The quarterback competition in Denver is officially over, so this game is about
Trevor Siemian
working with the first team. Also keep an eye on
Jamaal Charles
, who will get his “shot” against the Packers, according to Vance Joseph. For the Packers, expect
Aaron Rodgers
to make another appearance. Last week, he went 6 of 8 for 37 yards and a touchdown that he threw to new tight end,
Martellus Bennett
.

Sunday, Aug. 27


Chicago Bears
at
Tennessee Titans
, 1 p.m. ET, Fox:
John Fox says there’s no quarterback controversy, but there should be one considering how much better
Mitchell Trubisky
has looked than
Mike Glennon
. On Monday, Fox refused to say if Trubisky would get reps with the first team, but Trubisky almost definitely should. This game holds plenty of intrigue because it’s Glennon’s final chance to show us why the Bears handed him the starting job after they drafted Trubisky.


Cincinnati Bengals
at
Washington Redskins
, 4:30 p.m. ET,
Fox: Can
Joe Mixon
continue to make his case to be the Bengals’ lead back? Can
Samaje Perine
do the same for the Redskins? Two rookie running backs square off.


San Francisco 49ers
at
Minnesota Vikings
, 8 p.m. ET, NBC:
Another rookie running back,
Dalvin Cook
, can keep proving he’s the Vikings’ best back. For the 49ers, they don’t have an open quarterback competition, but I’m most intrigued by rookie C.J. Beathard, who’s flashed potential this preseason. Also worth watching: how
Reuben Foster
looks after a great debut.


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