Football is back. All 32 teams have played one game. And, in the first week of the preseason, two games were decided on a two-point conversion attempt with no time remaining.
In Kansas City, Seattle earned a 17-16 victory after scoring a touchdown as time expired and then converting the two-point conversion. And in Buffalo, Indianapolis held on for a 19-18 win as the Colts stopped the Bills on a two-point conversion attempt after Buffalo scored a touchdown as time expired.
Now it’s on to Week 2 of the preseason with Kickoff Weekend rapidly approaching.
Six games will be featured on national TV, starting with two contests on Thursday, August 18, continuing with one matchup on Friday, August 19 and concluding with three games on Saturday, August 20.
|Thursday, August 18||Philadelphia at Pittsburgh||7:00 PM||NFLN|
|Thursday, August 18||Minnesota at Seattle||10:00 PM||NFLN|
|Friday, August 19||Miami at Dallas||8:00 PM||NFLN|
|Saturday, August 20||New York Giants at Buffalo||4:00 PM||NFLN|
|Saturday, August 20||Baltimore at Indianapolis||7:00 PM||NFLN|
|Saturday, August 20||Kansas City at Los Angeles||10:00 PM*||NFLN|
*Joined live in progress (game starts at 9:00 PM ET)
This week, the NFL will again experiment with eight officials on the field of play. The league tested the use of an eighth official during Week 2 of last year’s preseason.
The league has utilized seven-person officiating crews since 1978 when the side judge was added to the crew.
During this week’s experiment, the eighth official – called the “MJ” or “middle judge” – will help further the goal of trying to reduce the amount of times an official is responsible for multiple areas of the field that may not be in proximity to each other.
“We want to see if we can further improve our coverage of the field and take advantage of having another set of eyes out there,” says NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating DEAN BLANDINO. “So we’ll use this experiment to gather more information and continue to study it.”
The eighth official will line up approximately 20 yards downfield from the line of scrimmage. From there, the middle judge will focus on the center and two guards, with a particular emphasis on spotting defensive holding penalties.
Some of the highlight games in Week 2 of the NFL preseason:
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (Thursday, NFLN, 7:00 PM ET)
- Philadelphia scored two first-quarter touchdowns en route to a 17-9 win in the team’s preseason opener against Tampa Bay last week.
- Eagles DT FLETCHER COX set up the team’s second touchdown by recording a sack, forcing a fumble and recovering the ball to give Philadelphia possession at the Buccaneers’ nine-yard line.
- Pittsburgh opened the preseason at home last week with a 30-17 loss to Detroit.
- Steelers second-year CB DORAN GRANT, who was selected in the fourth round (No. 121 overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft, had a 39-yard interception-return touchdown against the Lions. Grant appeared in three games for Pittsburgh last season as a rookie.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (Thursday, NFLN, 10:00 PM ET)
- The Seahawks defeated the Vikings 10-9 in last season’s Wild Card matchup.
- Minnesota won its preseason opener last week with a 17-16 win at Cincinnati.
- Vikings QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER completed six of his seven pass attempts last week, including a 49-yard touchdown to WR CHARLES JOHNSON.
- Seattle won in thrilling fashion at Kansas City last week as three undrafted rookies played a big role in the 17-16 comeback victory. QB TREVONE BOYKIN threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to WR TANNER MC EVOY as time expired and RB TROYMAINE POPE ran for the game-winning two-point conversion.
MIAMI DOLPHINS at DALLAS COWBOYS (Friday, NFLN, 8:00 PM ET)
- Miami forced four turnovers and won its preseason opener 27-10 at the New York Giants.
- Second-year WR MATT HAZEL (51 yards) and rookie TE THOMAS DUARTE (16 yards) each had a touchdown catch for the Dolphins last week.
- Dallas scored 24 first-half points last week at Los Angeles but dropped a 28-24 decision to the Rams.
- Rookie QB DAK PRESCOTT, who was selected in the fourth round (No. 135 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft, completed 10 of 12 passes for 139 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in his debut.
NEW YORK GIANTS at BUFFALO BILLS (Saturday, NFLN, 4:00 PM ET)
- The Giants opened the preseason at home last week, losing 27-10 to Miami.
- New York had a strong first quarter, scoring 10 points led by RB RASHAD JENNINGS’ touchdown run.
- Buffalo was stopped on the game’s final play – a two-point conversion after the Bills scored a touchdown as time expired – and fell short in a 19-18 loss to Indianapolis last week.
- Rookie QB CARDALE JONES, who was selected in the fourth round (No. 139 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft, passed for 162 yards and a touchdown in his debut.
- Baltimore defeated the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers 22-19 in last week’s preseason opener.
- Ravens third-year RB TERRANCE WEST rushed for two touchdowns in the win over Carolina.
- Indianapolis stopped Buffalo’s two-point conversion attempt with no time remaining to secure a 19-18 victory over the Bills last week.
- The Colts scored two touchdowns on passing plays against Buffalo. On the first TD, QB SCOTT TOLZIEN connected with RB JORDAN TODMANon a screen pass that went 42 yards for a score. Later in the game, QB STEPHEN MORRIS connected with rookie WR CHESTER ROGERS on a 57-yard score.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at LOS ANGELES RAMS (Saturday, NFLN, 9:00 PM ET, joined live in progress)
- The Chiefs and Rams will kick off at 9:00 PM ET (6:00 PM PT) on Saturday night. The game will be joined live in progress on NFL Network at 10:00 PM ET after the conclusion of the Baltimore-Indianapolis contest.
- Kansas City dropped a 17-16 decision at home to Seattle in the club’s preseason opener last week.
- Chiefs QB ALEX SMITH played the first series against the Seahawks, completing three of four passes for 36 yards and leading Kansas City to a touchdown. RB SPENCER WARE capped the opening drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
- The Rams returned to Los Angeles last weekend and, in front of 89,140 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, notched a 28-24 victory over Dallas.
- Los Angeles second-year QB SEAN MANNION, who was selected by the Rams in the third round (No. 89 overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft, threw three touchdown passes in the opener as LA outscored the Cowboys 21-0 in the second half.