The preseason schedule is out and just seeing where these games fit on the calendar makes me even hungrier for football. Despite not counting in the standings, preseason TV and radio ratings are humungous. And the action gives you plenty to talk about and look forward to. Here's a primer for the 2018 preseason slate.
Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium
One thing I love about this right off the bat is Deshaun Watson vs Patrick Mahomes. Ok, so let's not overhype this, as these two guys might only be on the field for a quarter. But you have to like getting a quickie snapshot of two quarterbacks that were picked as their teams made aggressive deals to move up in the 2017 draft. It's the third-ever preseason visit for the Texans to Arrowhead Stadium and only the fifth overall. With all the new facilities, this is one of the older gems that leaves your ears echoing and becomes a character in the drama being played out on the turf. It'll be a good test to have a look at a diverse offense that's bound to be a lot different with Alex Smith now playing in Washington.
San Francisco 49ers, NRG Stadium
We all remember what Jimmy Garoppolo did last year. Even though preseason is no time for revenge, if it's indeed a dish served cold then this will make a fine hors d'oeuvres at any temperature. What better demonstration for the defense to show it's on the right track than to make life tough for Jimmy as the Texans return from the Greenbrier and the starters stay on the field a little longer.
L.A. Rams, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
This one might see a host of Traveling Texans join the team as it heads west for its first ever preseason game in Southern California. Will Bill O'Brien lobby for practice time with the Rams? We'll see. In any case, the Coliseum, although well past its prime, has tremendous history as one of the most iconic stadiums in the country. And the loaded Rams are bound to make a terrific preseason foe in the most important game of the preseason.
Dallas Cowboys, NRG Stadium
I don't care if it's here, there, with second stringers or the ticketing staff. There's something special about playing the Cowboys. Before you get all whiny about it being game four and the starters not playing, let me remind you that Dallas visits during the regular season. So you don't want starters going up against them twice. Remember what happened in 2010 when the Texans beat them soundly in the preseason only to lose the game that counted. Let's all just enjoy this matchup for a good look at rookies and players fighting for their careers. I've always been a fan of game four because jobs are on the line and there's plenty of great drama if you take a close look.