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NFL preseason 2014: Schedule and storylines including a Super Bowl rematch

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Week 1 of the NFL preseason is here and the first night has plenty of stars and storylines to keep us occupied.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Hall of Fame Game kicked off the preseason, with the Giants beating the Bills on Sunday night, but NFL preseason opens in earnest Thursday with six games on the slate. We'll have rematches of the past two Super Bowls to enjoy, along with the 2014 debuts of Jamaal Charles, Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers.

Let's take a look at the games along with what, and how, to watch (all time Eastern):

Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets

(Away: WNDY-My23 Home: WCBS 2) - 7 p.m.

Big story here is how the Jets' quarterback battle shapes up between Geno Smith and Michael Vick. Smith is currently the starter but has a loose grip on the spot. As for Indianapolis, questions remain about the running back position. Trent Richardson is atop the depth chart but had an awful season last year, averaging 2.9 yards per carry. If Richardson struggles horribly in the preseason, will he keep his job?

New England Patriots at Washington

(Away: WBZ-CBS 4 Home: NBC 4/Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic) - 7:30 p.m.

Tom Brady is sitting out the preseason opener, giving backup Ryan Mallett some time to showcase his talents. Washington will be debuting under new head coach Jay Gruden, excited to erase the memory of a 3-13 record last year. Robert Griffin III is trying to bounce back after throwing 16 touchdowns in 2013, while committing 23 turnovers.

San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens

(Away: KPIX-CBS 5 Home: WBAL-NBC 11) - 7:30 p.m.

All eyes will be on running back Ray Rice, who was suspended two games for knocking his wife unconscious back in February. Rice is allowed to play in all the preseason games, and he needs the work after having a career-worst 3.1 yards per carry in 2013. The 49ers will be looking closely at the defensive front seven. NaVorro Bowman is still recovering from a torn ACL and Glenn Dorsey is out for the year with a torn triceps. Who steps up in their absences?

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs

(Away: WKRC-CBS 12 Home: KCTV-CBS 5) - 8 p.m.

Andy Dalton just earned a six-year extension, making him one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL. Dalton will be under the microscope all season with a talented roster at his disposal and a contract befitting a top-tier player. Kansas City is aiming for consecutive playoff berths for the first time since 1994-95. Dee Ford is making his NFL debut after being a first-round pick out of Auburn by the Chiefs in May. Ford is expected to see ample time at outside linebacker along with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali.

Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos

(Away: KCPQ-Fox 13 Home: KTVD-My20) - 9 p.m.

This game really needs no introduction. Seattle is coming off a victory in the Super Bowl in which it waxed Denver 43-8 at MetLife Stadium, earning the franchise's first Lombardi Trophy. There was not much turnover for Pete Carroll's team during the offseason, giving the Seahawks a legitimate chance at becoming the first repeat champion since the 2004 New England Patriots. The Broncos have a new look on defense with DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib. The offense is largely returning intact, sans the signing of Emmanuel Sanders to replace Eric Decker.

Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers

(Away: KTVT-CBS 11 Home: KFMB-CBS 8) - 10 p.m.

Tony Romo will not be on the field as he continues to recover from a pair of back surgeries, leaving the Cowboys to start Brandon Weeden. Dallas will also get a look at its defense without Ware, after that unit finished last in 2013. The Cowboys did not add much talent to the defense because of salary cap issues. San Diego will see the debut of Brandon Flowers, who the team signed right before training camp after the Chiefs released him. Flowers will pair with rookie Jason Verrett to form a new corner tandem for the Chargers.