Week 4 in the NFL’s preseason schedule means the regular season is right around the corner.
Many teams won’t risk playing starters much—if at all—this week, to guard against freak injuries to key players. Instead, devoted fans will see a heavy dose of players on the roster bubble, as every team will be making significant cuts before the regular season begins.
The first cuts are set for Tuesday, Aug. 27, as teams have until 4 p.m. ET to trim their rosters from 90 to 75 active players. Some teams got an early jump on these cuts, and the big ones are yet to come.
The next cuts are set for Saturday, Aug. 31—just two days after the final preseason games. Teams have until 6 p.m. ET to cut the remaining 22 players down to the 53-man regular-season roster.
Needless to say, there will be some significant battles playing out on all 32 rosters.
Unheralded free agents, former first-round picks, undrafted free agents and players of all shapes and sizes will be fighting for their NFL careers.
As a result, the games played this week will likely turn into sloppily played affairs, and many casual fans are bound to turn off their television sets in favor of some other activity. But for die-hard football enthusiasts, Week 4 of the NFL’s preseason is a chance to witness football at its most primal level.
Will versus will, force versus force and skill versus skill. Some players will rise to the occasion and earn a coveted roster spot while others will wither away and perhaps never be heard from again at the professional level.
With the regular season beginning on Sept. 5, all 16 games this week will be held on Thursday, and only two of them will be televised nationally.
Here’s a look at the entire schedule this week, along with a prediction for each game. A few games will be highlighted for additional analysis below.
|THU, AUG 29||TIME (ET)||TV||LOCATION||PREDICTED WINNER|
|Detroit at Buffalo||7 p.m.||Ralph Wilson Stadium||Lions|
|Philadelphia at N.Y. Jets||7 p.m.||MetLife Stadium||Eagles|
|Indianapolis at Cincinnati||7 p.m.||Paul Brown Stadium||Bengals|
|New Orleans at Miami||7:30 p.m.||Sun Life Stadium||Dolphins|
|Jacksonville at Atlanta||7:30 p.m.||Georgia Dome||Falcons|
|Pittsburgh at Carolina||7:30 p.m.||Bank of America Stadium||Steelers|
|Washington at Tampa Bay||7:30 p.m.||Raymond James Stadium||Redskins|
|N.Y. Giants at New England||7:30 p.m.||NFL Network||Gillette Stadium||Giants|
|Tennessee at Minnesota||8 p.m.||Mall of America Field||Titans|
|Green Bay at Kansas City||8 p.m.||Arrowhead Stadium||Chiefs|
|Houston at Dallas||8 p.m.||AT&T Stadium||Texans|
|Cleveland at Chicago||8 p.m.||Soldier Field||Bears|
|Baltimore at St. Louis||8 p.m.||Edward Jones Dome||Rams|
|Arizona at Denver||9 p.m.||Sports Authority Field||Broncos|
|San Francisco at San Diego||10 p.m.||NFL Network||Qualcomm Stadium||49ers|
|Oakland at Seattle||10 p.m.||CenturyLink Field||Seahawks|