Thursday’s NFL preseason games will be the first action for all the teams, except for Atlanta and Denver. Those two played in last week’s Hall of Fame game.
The other 20 teams, though, will be making the 2019 preseason debut on the field. As usual, don’t expect to see a lot of starters, but back ups will be jockeying for position on the depth chart.
We take a look at some of the battles, questions and issues that should arise on Thursday.
How will Daniel Jones do?
The probable backup to Eli Manning doesn’t have a lot to gain depth chart wise, but he needs to win over the notoriously tough New York Giants fans. If Jones does well, he shouldn’t have a problem, but if he struggles, the impending boos could wreck his confidence. Also the Jets fans will be on him early, and often.
The Jets are 1.5-point favorites.
Who wins Backup QB Battle in Green Bay?
The Green Bay Packers have to know that they will be in a world of trouble if Aaron Rodgers gets injured again and misses any significant time. The Packers have DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle and Manny Wilkins to choose from, and not one of them can take Rodgers’ place.
Green Bay faces Houston and opened as a three-point favorite, but the line has moved to two.
Will John Harbaugh Keep Streak Alive?
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh likes winning preseason football games. He hasn’t lost one since 2016, winning his last 13. Being victorious for the 14th straight game will depend on how well his defense handles Jacksonville’s back up quarterbacks.
Oddsmakers certainly believe in Harbaugh. The line jumped from 2.5 to 4.5 in the Ravens favor. The QBs for Baltimore will be Joe Callahan and Trace McSorley, since Robert Griffin is out with a hand injury.
How Will Kyler Murray’s Debut Go?
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft makes his debut on Thursday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Murray said he is treating it like a real game, and will be prepared.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury is confident his rookie quarterback is ready, but how long he will play him hasn’t been disclosed.
The Cardinals are 2.5-point favorites.
Which Chicago Kicker gets Leg Up on Job?
The Chicago Bears weren’t sure if they were going to have a quality kicker for the 2019 season. Not it appears they have two. Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro have been battling for the job, and both have been impressive.
Now coach Matt Nagy will see how the two do in a live game. Making field goals in practice is one thing, making them in a game is another. This contest probably won’t be decided against Carolina, but it could produce an early favorite.
The Bears are three-point favorites.
Which Patriot receiver will impress?
With Julian Edelman and rookie N’Keal Harry established at the wide receiver position, the New England Patriots have others that will be competing for roster spots.
Phillip Dorsett, Maurice Harris, Braxton Berrios, Dontrelle Inman will all see significant action against the Detroit Lions. One advantage Berrios has, is that he can also be utilized as a punt returner.
The Patriots are favored by a point.