Posted by Andy Benoit
Four preseason games on the docket tonight – all considered “dress rehearsals” for Week 1. Here’s what/why to watch.
Falcons @ Dolphins
You have brothers Peria and John Jerry squaring off. You have cornerback Benny Sapp’s highly-anticipated Dolphins debut. You have a forecast for rain (which, in Miami this time of year, usually means a downpour).
Strictly football-wise, Dolphins young cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Sean Smith have struggled this preseason. If they have another rough night, you may start to here serious whispers of concern coming out of South Beach.
Redskins @ Jets
There’s always the Haynesworth watch (which is a reason to tune in for the postgame coverage, as well). There’s also the Hard Knocks drinking/gambling game (predicting which plays make it on next week’s episode of Hard Knocks – the payout from this obviously has to wait until Wednesday night, but you can lay the groundwork for it now).
Donovan McNabb is not playing, which means you get to see Rex Grossman square off against Rex Ryan’s defense. Watching Grossman at the line of scrimmage against the swarming Jets will be like watching a rattled foreigner ask for directions in the middle of oncoming traffic. Should be entertaining.
Chargers @ Saints (8:00 ET, CBS)
We’d play the “Drew Brees versus his former team” angle here, but one has to assume Brees’s Super Bowl ring – and San Diego’s lack of Super Bowl rings – makes that rivalry somewhat of a dead issue. Especially in the preseason.
So, instead, we’ll watch this game to once again see how the Charger offense performs without star left tackle Marcus McNeil and wide receiver Vincent Jackson. For most fans, this will also be the first glimpse of first-round rookie running back Ryan Mathews.
Eagles @ Chiefs
Some are saying Matt Cassel has something to prove and a chip on the shoulder and whatever else it is that athletes supposedly find for motivation. Tonight will be Cassel’s truest test thus far in Charlie Weis’ system.
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