Archives for category: Preseason football

 

 

It’s time to get ‘Back to Football’ and NFL Network remains the go-to destination to do so, with seven live games and re-airs of every Week 1 preseason game.

NFL Network’s Week 1 preseason live schedule begins tonight when Carolina hosts Houston at 7:30 p.m. Editions of NFL Total Access air at 7 p.m., during halftime of Texans-Panthers and postgame, with host Dan Hellie, David Carr and Heath Evans.

On Thursday, August 10, NFL Network’s Week 1 preseason live schedule continues with the Denver Broncos traveling to face the Chicago Bears at 8 p.m. Editions of NFL Total Access air at 7 p.m., during halftime of Broncos-Bears and postgame, with Hellie, Reggie Wayne and Willie McGinest.

On Friday, August 11, NFL Network provides a doubleheader of live preseason games, starting at 7 p.m. with the New York Giants hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers. At 10 p.m., the Kansas City Chiefs host the San Francisco 49ers (joined live in progress). Editions of NFL Total Access on air at 6:30 p.m. during halftime of Steelers-Giants and 49ers-Chiefs and following the conclusion of 49ers-Chiefs with Wayne, Kurt Warner and Cole Wright.

NFL Network’s Week 1 live schedule continues Saturday, August 12 when Dallas travels to face the Los Angeles Rams at 9 p.m. Editions of NFL Total Access air at 7:30 p.m., during halftime of Cowboys-Rams and postgame with Wright, Evans, Warner and Terrell Davis.

NFL Network’s Week 1 live schedule concludes Sunday, August 13 with two games, starting at 1:30 p.m. with Indianapolis hosting Detroit. At 8 p.m., NFL Network carries the Los Angeles Chargers hosting Seattle live in the Chargers’ first game back in Los Angeles. Editions of NFL Total Access air at 1 p.m., during halftime of Lions-Colts and postgame, at 7:30 p.m., during halftime of Seahawks-Chargers and postgame, with Hellie, Wright, Evans and Davis

Additionally, NFL Network provides complete game re-airs of every Week 1 preseason game.

All NFL Network programming – including 16 LIVE preseason games and re-airs of all 64 preseason games – can also be streamed on the NFL Mobile from Verizon app (NFL.com/mobile) and via Watch NFL Network on tablet (NFL Mobile and Watch NFL Network apps), PC (NFL.com/watch), Xbox One and Xbox 360 (NFL on Xbox app) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV, Playstation 4, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV). Access through Watch NFL Network is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers.

NFL Game Pass provides fans in the United States with another opportunity to watch live out-of-market preseason games, as well as other exclusive content, for $99.99 for the 2017 season. For complete information regarding NFL Game Pass, visit  http://www.NFL.com/GamePass.

***Please note that all live games on NFL Network are subject to local blackouts***

Below is NFL Network’s Week 1 broadcast schedule.

NFL NETWORK 2017 WEEK 1 PRESEASON GAMES SCHEDULE

(ALL TIMES EASTERN AND ALL GAMES IN HIGH DEFINITION)

Wednesday, August 9
Houston vs. Carolina, 7:30 p.m. (LIVE)
Arizona vs. Dallas, 11 p.m.
Houston vs. Carolina, 2 a.m.
Arizona vs. Dallas, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 10
Houston vs. Carolina, 10 a.m.
Arizona vs. Dallas, 1 p.m.
Houston vs. Carolina, 4 p.m.
Denver vs. Chicago, 8 p.m. (LIVE)
Jacksonville vs. New England, Midnight
Minnesota vs. Buffalo, 4 a.m.

Friday, August 11
New Orleans vs. Cleveland, 10 a.m.
Jacksonville vs. New England, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Green Bay, 4 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. New York Giants, 7 p.m. (LIVE)
San Francisco vs. Kansas City, 10 p.m. (LIVE)
Tampa Bay vs. Cincinnati, 1 a.m.
Pittsburgh vs. New York Giants, 4 a.m.

Saturday, August 12
Washington vs. Baltimore, 7 a.m.
ATLANTA vs. Miami, 9:30 a.m.
Denver vs. Chicago, Noon
San Francisco vs. Kansas City, 2:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. New York Giants, 5 p.m.
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams, 9 p.m. (LIVE)
Oakland vs. Arizona, 1 a.m.
Philadelphia vs. Green Bay, 4 a.m.

Sunday, August 13
Tennessee vs. New York Jets, 7 a.m.
Jacksonville vs. New England, 10 a.m.
Detroit vs. Indianapolis, 1:30 p.m. (LIVE)
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams, 5 p.m.
Seattle vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 8 p.m. (LIVE)
San Francisco vs. Kansas City, 11:30 p.m.
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams, 2 a.m.
ATLANTA vs. Miami, 4:30 p.m.

Monday, August 14
Washington vs. Baltimore, 10 a.m.
New Orleans vs. Cleveland, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Green Bay, 4 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. New York Giants, 8 p.m.
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams, Midnight
San Francisco vs. Kansas City, 4 a.m.

Tuesday, August 15
Tennessee vs. New York Jets, 10 a.m..
Tampa Bay vs. Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Jacksonville vs. New England, 4 p.m.
Denver vs. Chicago, 8 p.m.
Oakland vs. Arizona, Midnight
Detroit vs. Indianapolis, 4 a.m.

Wednesday, August 16
Minnesota vs. Buffalo, 10 a.m.
ATLANTA vs. Miami, 1 p.m.
Houston vs. Carolina, 4 p.m.
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams, 8 p.m.
Seattle vs. Los Angeles Chargers, Midnight
New Orleans vs. Cleveland, 4 a.m.

Thursday, August 17
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams, 10 a.m.
Denver vs. Chicago, 1 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. New York Giants, 4 p.m.

(Please note that all live games on NFL Network are subject to local blackouts)

The following broadcast teams will be calling each Week 1 matchup on NFL Network:

Game  – Play-by-Play, Analyst (Sideline)
Texans vs. Panthers – Mick Mixon, Mike Rucker (Kevin Donnalley)
Vikings vs. Bills – Rob Stone, Steve Tasker (Mike Catalana)
Falcons vs. Dolphins – Dick Stockton, Bob Griese, Nat Moore (Kim Bokamper)
Redskins vs. Ravens – Gerry Sandusky, Brian Billick (Evan Washburn)
Jaguars vs. Patriots – Dan Roche, Christian Fauria (Matt Chatham & Steve Burton)
Broncos vs. Bears – Sam Rosen, Jim Miller (Lou Canellis)
Saints vs. Browns – Mike Patrick, Solomon Wilcots (Andy Baskin)
Eagles vs. Packers – Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon (Lance Allen)
Steelers vs. Giants Bob Papa Carl Banks Howard Cross & Bruce Beck
Buccaneers vs. Bengals Brad Johansen Anthony Munoz Mike Valpredo
49ers vs. Chiefs Carter Blackburn Trent Green BJ Kissel
Titans vs. Jets Ian Eagle Greg Buttle Otis Livingston
Cowboys vs. Rams Andrew Siciliano Marshall Faulk Jill Arrington & Dani Klupenger
Raiders vs. Cardinals Dave Pasch Ron Wolfley Paul Gerke
Lions vs. Colts Don Fischer Rick Venturi Caroline Cann
Seahawks vs. Chargers  Spero Dedes Dan Fouts Alex Flanagan

ABOUT NFL MEDIA

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Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, fans turn to NFL Network to receive information and insight straight from the field, team headquarters, league offices and everywhere the NFL is making news. Launched in 2003, NFL Network gives fans unprecedented year-round inside access to all NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Playoffs, regular season, preseason, Pro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, league meetings, minicamps and training camps.

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can also be streamed live on smartphones through NFL Mobile from Verizon, as well as other digital platforms such as TuneIn.com and through Watch NFL Network on tablet (NFL Mobile, Watch NFL Network and NFL on Windows 10 apps), PC (NFL.com/watch), Xbox One and Xbox 360 (NFL on Xbox app) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV). Watch NFL Network access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to NFL.com/nflnetwork.

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Back to work!

Back to sweating in the summer heat, learning playbooks that are so big they make “War and Peace” look like a comic book.

Back to rookies fighting for their first NFL jobs, free agents fighting to stay on an NFL roster, fighting with teammates on the field as things get heated, along with the weather.

Back to sleeping in dorms for the first time since they were in college.

It’s back to work for all 32 NFL teams. For New England, it’s the hunter now becoming the hunted, as the defending Super Bowl champs. For the other 31 teams, it’s their chance to replace them as the NFL’s king of the mountain, so to speak.

NFL clubs will begin their on-field preparations for Kickoff 2017 this week, starting Wednesday, July 19 as rookies for the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints are scheduled to report.

The Arizona Cardinals, who will take on the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game (Thursday, August 3 on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern), will be the first team with a full squad in camp when their rookies and veterans report on Friday, July 21. By Saturday, July 29, every NFL team will be in camp.

This year, more than half the league (21 of 32, 66 percent) will be “staying home” for training camp. Teams considered to be “staying home” hold training camp at their respective practice facility, home stadium or at a site within 10 miles of their team headquarters. In 2000, only 10 of 31 (32 percent) teams stayed close to home.

“Our entire organization is excited to be returning to hold training camp at our facility in Metairie in 2017,” Saints owner Tom Benson told the Mobile Register and WKRG-TV. “This will be a great opportunity for our passionate fans from throughout the Gulf South to be able to experience the fun, excitement and interaction of Saints training camp as our team prepares for what we expect to be a very exciting season.”

The numbers may prove that training at home is a popular league-wide trend but there are still teams employing the “old-time” philosophy of holding camp away from their facilities.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the teams that “come together” away from home, holding camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for the 52nd consecutive year.

“There’s some intrinsic value to being here, some things that you can’t measure,” says Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on holding training camp at St. Vincent College. Tomlin told KDKA-TV, “Those are things that I think about when I think about training camp and those are the things that make me really excited about bringing a team to an environment like this.”

The NFL training camp longevity king? The Green Bay Packers, who return for their 60th consecutive summer at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.

Here’s a look at the number of NFL teams that stayed home for training camp since 2000:

YEAR – NFL TEAMS WITH HOME TRAINING CAMPS (PCT.)

2000 – 10 of 31 (32%)
2001 –  9 of 31 (29%)
2002 – 10 of 32 (31%)
2003 – 14 of 32 (44%)
2004 – 15 of 32 (47%)
2005 – 17 of 32 (53%)
2006 – 15 of 32 (47%)
2007 – 16 of 32 (50%)
2008 – 15 of 32 (47%)
2009 – 17 of 32 (53%)
2010 – 17 of 32 (53%)
2011 – 19 of 32 (59%)
2012 – 19 of 32 (59%)
2013 – 20 of 32 (63%)
2014 – 20 of 32 (63%)
2015 – 21 of 32 (66%)
2016 – 20 of 32 (63%)
2017 – 21 of 32 (66%)
Overall – 295 of 574 (52%)

*Teams considered to be “staying home” hold training camp at their practice facility, home stadium or at a site within 10 miles of their team headquarters.

The longest active NFL training camp tenures:

TEAM – TRAINING CAMP, CITY (YEARS)
Green Bay Packers – Saint Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin (60)
Minnesota Vikings – Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, Minnesota (52)
Pittsburgh Steelers – Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania (52)

Veterans will be looking to keep their jobs, while rookies and free agents fight for that coveted roster spot. That spot means a paycheck. It’s going to be hot. They’ll be sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, they’ll fight heat, humidity, bugs and in some cases each other.

The playbooks will be bigger than the textbooks they used in college, making “War and Peace” look like a comic book. Meetings with coaches in their positions, pre-season games that will determine their futures will take place and in the end, they’ll either be on a roster or they’ll get that knock on the door from a coach or support staff member and the dreaded words “Coach wants to see you and bring your playbook.” That usually means you’re getting cut.

Some camps will have their rookies come in first to get used to being in camp, while others will have everyone come in at one time. For some, it will be like riding a bike. For others, it’s sort of like learning to walk again. It’s not easy. Most teams will play four pre-season contests (Dallas and Arizona will play five because they are playing in the Hall of Fame Game). Some say the pre-season is too long and needs to be cut back to one or two games, like our CFL neighbors to the north.

Below is the training camp list of sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates. Check with your team for dates and if practices will be open to the public. Hydrate, stock up on that bug spray (the mosquitoes in the South have been known to carry off small children) and mind your manners and watch out for your cousin Connie. She’s been known to wipe out a Super Bowl party.

AFC
Baltimore – Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Buffalo – St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Cincinnati – Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati (Rookies report 7/25, Veterans report 7/27)
Cleveland – Cleveland Browns Training Complex, Berea, Ohio (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
Denver – University of Colorado Health Training Center in Englewood, Colorado, (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
Houston – The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/25)
Indianapolis – Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center in Indianapolis, Indiana (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/29)
Jacksonville – Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields in Jacksonville, Florida (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Kansas City – Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/27)
Los Angeles Chargers – Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa, California (Rookies and Veterans report 7/29)
Miami – Baptist Health Training Facility in Davie, Florida (Rookies report 7/20, Veterans report 7/26)
New England – Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/26)
New York Jets – Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey (Rookies and Veterans report 7/28)
Oakland – Napa Valley Marriott in Napa, California (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/28)
Pittsburgh – Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Tennessee – Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tennessee (Rookies and Veterans report 7/28)

NFC
Arizona – University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (Rookies and Veterans report 7/21)
Atlanta – Atlanta Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Carolina – Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina (Rookies and Veterans report 7/25)
Chicago – Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Dallas – Marriott Residence Inn in Oxnard, California (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/22)
Detroit – Detroit Lions Training Facility in Allen Park, Michigan (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/29)
Green Bay – St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Los Angeles Rams – University of California at Irvine (Rookies report 7/26, Veterans report 7/28)
Minnesota – Minnesota State University at Mankato (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
New Orleans – New Orleans Saints Training Facility in Metairie, Louisiana (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
New York Giants – Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Philadelphia – NovaCare Training Complex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
San Francisco – SAP Performance Facility in Santa Clara, California (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Seattle – Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington (Rookies and Veterans report 7/29)
Tampa Bay – One Buccaneer Place on Tampa, Florida (Rookies report 7/25, Veterans report 7/27)
Washington – Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Virginia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)

Note: The first official practice of training camp for each club at the site designated above is generally held the day after the veteran reporting date.

Okay, so it’s preseason.

But it’s still football, right? It’s your chance to work on those tailgating skills.

It’s also a chance to evalute your team to see what they need to either keep the Lombardi or get one of their own.

Football returns with a full schedule as all 32 NFL clubs will be in action this week.

Six games will be featured on national TV, including the return of NFL football to Los Angeles for the first time since the Clinton adminstration. On Saturday night, August 13 at 8 a.m. on ESPN, the Rams will host the Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Five other games will be broadcast live on NFL Network this week. The action starts with the New Orleans Saints visiting the New England Patriots on Thursday night (August 11 at 7:30 PM) and concludes with the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Houston Texans on Sunday (August 14 at 7 p.m.).

Thursday, August 11 – New Orleans at New England, 7:30 p.m. on NFLN
Friday, August 12 – Detroit at Pittsburghm 7 p.m. on NFLN
Friday, August 12 – Oakland at Arizona, 10 p.m. on NFLN
Saturday, August 13 – Seattle at Kansas City, 4:30 p.m. on NFLN
Saturday, August 13 – Dallas at Los Angeles, 8 p.m. on ESPN
Sunday, August 14 – Houston at San Francisco, 7 p.m. on NFLN

A closer look at some of the nationally televised games in Week 1 of the NFL preseason (all times are Eastern, records are from the 2015 season):

New Orleans (7-9) at New England (12-4), Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on NFLN. A soon-to-be Brady-less New England hosts the New Orleans Saints in Foxboro as gumbo squares off against clam chowder.

Saints QB Drew Brees led the NFL in passing yards (4,870) last season and is the only player to lead the league in passing yards six different times.

New Orleans selected DT Sheldon Rankins out of Louisville with the team’s first-round pick (No. 12 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft. Rankins had 14 sacks and 26.5 tackles for a loss over his final two seasons at Louisville.

New England won its seventh consecutive division title last season, tied for the longest streak in NFL history (Rams, 1973-79). The Patriots, who won five consecutive division titles from 2003-07, are the only team in league history to win 12 division championships in a 13-year span. The Pats advanced all the way to the AFC Title game in Denver before falling short to the Broncos 20-18.

Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo prepares to make his first career regular-season start in the NFL on Kickoff Weekend. Selected in the second round (No. 62 overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft, Garoppolo has appeared in 11 NFL regular-season games.

Detroit (7-9) at Pittsburgh (10-6), Friday at 7 p.m. on NFLN. A Megatron-less Detroit Lions squad travels to the Steel City for a meeting with the Steelers in western Pennsylvania.

Detroit QB Matthew Stafford has passed for at least 4,000 yards in each of the past five seasons, including 4,262 yards in 2015. Stafford will have to find a new target to throw to after the retirement of WR Calvin Johnson this Spring.

The Lions signed CB Darius Slay to a four-year contract extension in July. Slay has led the team in passes defensed in each of the past two seasons (17 in 2014, 13 in 2015).

Steelers WR Antonio Brown had 136 catches for 1,834 yards last season. He has 375 catches over the past three seasons, the most in any three-year span in league history.

Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger passed for 3,938 yards in 12 games last year (328.2 per game, the best mark in the NFL). He has 42,995 career passing yards, the most in franchise history.

Oakland (7-9) at Arizona (13-3), Friday at 10 p.m. on NFLN. A much improved Raiders team takes to the road for a meeting in the desert with the Desert Angry Birds.

Raiders QB Derek Carr passed for 3,987 yards with 32 touchdown passes last season while WR Amari Cooper set club rookie records with 72 receptions and 1,070 receiving yards.

Oakland DE Khalil Mack ranked second in the NFL last season with 15 sacks and 3 tackles for a loss.

Last season, the Cardinals won a franchise-record 13 regular-season games and advanced to the NFC Championship Game.

Arizona topped the NFL in total offense (408.3 yards per game), led by QB Carson Palmer, who set single-season franchise records for passing yards (4,671), touchdown passes (35) and passer rating (104.6).

Seattle (10-6) at Kansas City, Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on NFLN. A pair of playoff teams with a pair of Super Bowls between them meet in the Show-Me State as Andy Reid and the Chiefs host Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks at Arrowhead.

Seattle has advanced to the postseason in each of the past four seasons, including two Super Bowl appearances and a win in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Seahawks have led the NFL in points allowed in each of the past four seasons and are one of only two teams (1953-57 Cleveland) in NFL history to accomplish the feat. The Seahawks advanced to the second round of the playoffs after holding off Minnesota 10-9 in the NFC Wild Card Game in the Twin Cities before falling to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in the Divisonal Playoffs in the Tar Heel State the following week.

The Chiefs went 11-5 last season and won their final 10 regular-season games. Kansas City won a Wild Card playoff game at Houston, shutting out the Texans 30-0 at Reliant/NRG Stadium, before losing in an AFC Divisional contest at New England 27-20.

Chiefs CB Marcus Peters, the team’s first-round selection (No. 18 overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft, had eight interceptions – including two touchdowns – and was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season.

Dallas (4-12) at Los Angeles (7-9), Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPN. A pair of teams that had struggles all last season will face off in pre-season action on the West Coast.

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant has 44 touchdown receptions since 2012, the second-most in the NFL (Brandon Marshall, 45). Bryant has at least 85 catches, 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns in three of the past four years.

Dallas selected RB Ezekiel Elliot out of Ohio State with the team’s first round pick (No. 4 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft. Elliott was named the 2015 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.

Hooray for Hollywood! The NFL and the Rams return to Los Angeles for the first time since 1994 and fifth-year veteran QB Case Keenum will start the preseason opener for the Rams. There is a QB battle in Tinseltown as he is competing for the team’s starting job with rookie QB Jared Goff, who was selected No. 1 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. As a junior in 2015, Goff set Pacific-12 single-season records for passing yards (4,719) and touchdown passes (43).

Houston (9-7) at San Francisco (5-11), Sunday at 7 p.m. on NFLN. Houston travels westward to the Napa Valley for a contest with the 49ers at Levis Stadium. Both clubs are striving to solve their quarterback problems before the season gets underway in earnest.

Houston signed QB Brock Osweiler in the offseason. Last season with Denver, Osweiler appeared in eight games, (seven starts) and passed for 1,967 yards and 10 touchdowns, replacing Peyton Manning. The Texans did win the AFC South title before getting shut down and shut out in the Wild Card game against Kansas City.

Texans WR De Andre Hopkins set career-highs in catches (111), yards (1,521) and touchdowns (11) last season. His 11 touchdown receptions are a single-season franchise record.

Meanwhile, it’s a battle under center in San Francisco as 49ers QBs Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick are battling for the team’s starting spot. Each quarterback started eight games for San Francisco last year.

San Francisco LB Na Vorro Bowman, who signed a four-year extension with the 49ers earlier this month, led the NFL with 154 tackles last season.

NFL CELEBRATES PLAY FOOTBALL MONTH IN AUGUST: The NFL, its teams and its players will celebrate youth and high school football athletes and coaches across the country during the preseason as part of Play Football Month.

Play Football Month salutes the talent, character, values and achievements of football players as they embark on a new season. The campaign kicked off on Thursday, August 4 with events at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio and will continue throughout the preseason.

As part of the celebration, all 32 NFL teams will host activities with youth football organizations and leagues in their local communities. In addition, Play Football programming will be highlighted in-stadium and during local and national television game broadcasts.

For more information on Play Football Month, visit playfootball.com

They met in London in 2013 and they meet again and this time, it’s in Canton.

The Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers will travel to Canton in August to kick off the National Football League’s 2015 preseason in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game.

The preseason classic is set for Sunday, August 9 at 8 p.m. Eastern in Canton’s Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The NFL/Hall of Fame Game is televised nationally on NBC’s Sunday Night Football and also broadcast nationally on radio by Westwood One Sports.

Tickets and VIP Fan Packages for the NFL/Hall of Fame Game are on sale now and range from $54 to $69. Tickets can be ordered online at ProFootballHOF.com/tickets or by calling 844-HOFTIX.

The Vikings and Steelers will close out the 2015 Enshrinement Weekend one day after two of their famed legends are formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Longtime Steelers running back Jerome Bettis and Vikings stellar center from the 1960s and ‘70s Mick Tinglehoff are among the eight-man class that was recently elected to the Hall of Fame. Other members of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 include wide receiver/returner Tim Brown, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, contributor Bill Polian, linebacker Junior Seau, guard Will Shields and contributor Ron Wolf.

Bettis played 10 of his 13 seasons in the NFL with the Steelers. A six-time Pro Bowl pick, he rushed for 13,662 yards and retired as the game’s fifth ranked ground gainer of all time. He still holds the Steelers mark for most 100-yard games in a career (50).

Tingelhoff joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 1962 and quickly established himself as a leader of Minnesota’s offensive line. One of the finest centers of his time, Tingelhoff was noted for his toughness and durability as evidenced by never missing a game during his entire 17-season career.

The Steelers’ appearance in August will mark the sixth time the team has played in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game. The Vikings return to Canton for the fourth time.

Vikings in HOF Game (2-1-0)
1970 – vs. New Orleans Saints (L, 13-14)
1982 – vs. Baltimore Colts (W, 30-14)
1997 – vs. Seattle Seahawks (W, 28-26)

Steelers in HOF Game (3-2-0)
1963 – vs. Cleveland Browns (W, 16-7)
1964 – vs. Baltimore Colts (L, 17-48)
1983 – vs. New Orleans Saints (W, 27-14)
1998 – vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneer
2007 – vs. New Orleans Saints (W, 20-7)

The Vikings and Steelers meet for the thirteenth time in the preseason. The two clubs have faced each other 16 times in the regular season over the years with Minnesota holding a slim 9-7 lead in the series. The two storied franchises also battled once in the postseason when Pittsburgh claimed its first Super Bowl championship with a 16-6 victory over Minnesota in Super Bowl IX. That game featured 19 Hall of Famers.

Hall of Famers in Super Bowl IX
Steelers (12) – Mel Blount (cornerback), Terry Bradshaw (quarterback), Joe Greene (defensive tackle), Jack Ham (outside linebacker), Franco Harris (running back), Jack Lambert (middle linebacker), Chuck Noll (coach), Art Rooney (president), Dan Rooney (vice president), John Stallworth (wide receiver), Lynn Swann (wide receiver), Mike Webster (center)

Minnesota Vikings (7) – Carl Eller (defensive end), Bud Grant (coach), Paul Krause (safety), Alan Page (defensive tackle), Fran Tarkenton (quarterback), Mick Tingelhoff (center), Ron Yary (tackle)

Hall of Fame Enshrinement – The Class of 2015 – Bettis, Brown, Haley, Polian, Seau, Shields, Tingelhoff and Wolf – will be formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 8, 2015. The Enshrinement Ceremony takes place at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton and will be televised nationally by NFL Network and ESPN.

Tickets on Sale Now – Tickets and VIP Fan Packages for the Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL/Hall of Fame Game are on sale now.

Great seats start at $35. Packages offer fans exclusive experiences and coveted amenities including parties with Gold Jackets (living Hall of Famers), exclusive events, VIP seating & access and more. Tickets and packages are available online at ProFootballHOF.com/tickets or by calling 1-844-4HOFTIX.

#PFHOF15