We have arrived to the last week of the preseason. Folks, it is almost time for the regular season. I know each week I say the 2022 season is nearly here, but this time I really mean it.
Before we can get to games that count, we must first play out the third week of preseason.
Players get their final chance to show coaches their value as the teams evaluate how their season will pan out.
There are some solid matchups for the final week of the preseason, including an offensive coordinator facing his old team and a Super Bowl rematch.
Here is a look at three games to watch in the final week of the preseason:
Friday, Aug. 26 at 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: Check local listings Stream: FuboTV
The Patriots will be facing a familiar face, as they go against their former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is now the head coach of the Raiders.
The Patriots were asked about the upcoming matchup after their home game against the Carolina Panthers, and many players noted that while they are going against old members of the team, it will not be a family reunion, and they will be focused on taking care of business.
Coming from the Patriots’ system, I would imagine McDaniels would have the same mindset, focused on the game rather than seeing old friends again.
The Raiders are arguably in the most difficult division in football and everyone seems to have varying opinions on where they will finish in the AFC West.
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A few months after Super Bowl LVI, we are getting a rematch. This game will be a lot different than the championship, when the Rams defeated the Bengals 23-20 to win the second-ever home Super Bowl in NFL history, but alas, it is still a rematch.
The teams will get familiar with each other ahead of Saturday’s matchup, as they will have joint practices at the Bengals’ facility on Wednesday and Thursday.
Rams head coach Sean McVay uses the joint practices to allow starters to get in reps, as they do not play during the preseason.
Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford is dealing with an elbow soreness, but has downplayed the severity of the issue. His practice has been limited due to the issue.
Sunday, Aug. 28 at 1 p.m. ET
TV: NFL Network Stream: FuboTV
The final game I am highlighting for this week includes teams with a lot lower expectations than the teams in the other matchups I mentioned.
Both teams are coming off of disappointing seasons and hoping offseason changes can help them not be the embarrassment of the league, for lack of a better term.
The 2022 regular season has not officially started, but both New York teams are already dealing with losing key players.
The Jets’ quarterback situation is less than ideal, with Zach Wilson going down with an injury in the preseason, leaving the team with Joe Flacco and Mike White to lead the offense. Jets head coach Robert Saleh is vocal about his support for Flacco, whom he believes should be a starter in the league.
Over on the other side, Giants first-round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux suffered an MCL sprain. The linebacker could miss Week 1 of the regular season.
Both teams call MetLife Stadium home, but this week, the Jets are the home team.