The NFL Preseason is a period of three weeks each year during which NFL teams play against each other in several non-record exhibition games prior to the start of the new “regular” season.
The start of the preseason is generally linked to the conclusion of training camp i.e. the last week. Individual teams have been allowed to plan their own preseason matchups since 2002. The NFL allows individual teams to provide input for their preferred matches and also determines the matchups for all those games that are not negotiated individually by the teams. The league also decided the date and times for all the Preseason fixtures.
The schedule for the Preseason is released prior to the announcement of the regular season’s matches. There are certain criteria when determining the exhibition matches schedule. The most important ones are mentioned below: –
1) Teams from the same division typically do not play each other during the exhibition season.
2) Interconference games (AFC vs. NFC) are often made to encourage teams from different conferences to play against one another because regular season games between interconference teams are not common with teams only playing other-conference teams once every four years during the regular season. These games allow teams to visit specific markets more frequently than usual, and they represent “new” matchups.
3) Teams with close personal ties frequently compete against one another. As the owners of the two teams are friends, the Giants and Patriots have closed out their preseason together since 2005. Since 2003, the Steelers and Panthers have been playing against each other.
The majority of games are played on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday nights, with one nationally televised game each week. NFL Network airs any night that no other national television provider will air a game, and CBS airs a Sunday afternoon game. In the same week, Fox broadcasts a Sunday night game (not the same night as NBC), NBC broadcasts a Sunday night game, and ESPN broadcasts a Monday night and a Thursday night game.
The 2022 NFL Preseason began on August 5 with a match between Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars, which the Raiders won 27-11. The concluding game of this year’s preseason will be between Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions on August 29, at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers.