The Cincinnati Bengals and the Atlanta Falcons will face off at the Georgia Dome on Thursday night to kick off their respective preseason schedules. Preseason openers tend to be plodding affairs, but both teams have gone through intriguing offseasons that should give fans plenty of discussion fodder.
The Bengals will unveil what should be an improved pass rush, with the additions of veteran outside linebacker James Harrison and uber-athletic rookie Margus Hunt in the offseason. The battle at running back will also be interesting to watch. Rookie Giovani Bernard appears to be headed for a timeshare with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Fans will see if the Bengals are truly serious about splitting carries Thursday.
Fans may get to see Steven Jackson in a Falcons uniform for the first time since being signed as a potential upgrade over Michael Turner. Ditto Osi Umenyiora, who was signed to help make up for the loss of John Abraham. Rookie cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford will also be closely watched as replacements for Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson.
Thursday, Aug. 8, 8 p.m. ET
Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Cincinnati: WLWT Channel 5
WatchESPN.com will show the game live to subscribers of approved cable providers.
Every game of the of the 2013 NFL preseason can be seen online by signing up for NFL Preseason Live at NFL.com (subscription required).
NFL Game Pass offers live online broadcasts to users outside the USA.
Home/road team affiliates, found on official team sites
Cincinnati: ESPN 1530 AM, WEBN-FM (102.7)
Atlanta: WQXI 790 AM, WSTR 94.1 FM