NFL PreSeason Outline


The NFL Preseason starts this Thursday. So will our 2011 NFL Divisional Stat Previews here in the NOTEBOOK!

You regulars know that we devote eight days every summer to reviewing our favorite key indicator stats from the prior season in each NFL division…then outlining best expectations for the coming season. We hope you've been enjoying our college football reports that have been running on weekends through the summer. That will continue through August. Starting Thursday, we'll stack our pro divisional reports around those…tagged to national TV games.

Here's the planned schedule:

This will get you ready for Seattle at San Diego that night on ESPN. Yes, you'll be watching football THIS WEEK! After months of suffering withdrawal symptoms, sports fans will get their first football fix with Seahawks/Charger. There are other big games Thursday too by the way. New England hosts Jacksonville, giving everyone their first look at Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth in Patriots uniforms. The suddenly very scary Philadelphia Eagles host Baltimore. If you don't currently have the NFL Network on your cable package, now is the time to take care of that. They show replays of all Preseason games through the weekend. Prepared handicappers are smart handicappers!

Tampa Bay at Kansas City is the featured TV game on FOX. You'll have watched the Chargers the night before. That will be fresh on your mind as you think about handicapping the Chiefs exhibition debut. Other Friday games of note include Pittsburgh at Washington, Miami at Atlanta, and San Francisco at New Orleans. It's true that first teamers won't be getting a lot of action this week. But it's important to jump right in with the big storylines that will be playing out for last year's playoff teams and this year's Cinderella hopefuls.

The weekend is reserved for college football previews. So, we come back Monday Night to get you ready for the NY Jets at Houston on ESPN with a report on the AFC East. Can the Jets catch New England this year? The Patriots have brought in some new talent that may elevate the team, or bring them all down. The Jets have reached the AFC title tilt in each of the last two seasons. Young quarterback Mark Sanchez may be ready to take a big step forward.

The first national TV appearance for the 'Dream Team' in Philadelphia will come in a FOX telecast on the road against AFC champion Pittsburgh. This is a Preseason game typically played with a bit more fire because it's a regional rivalry. We've had several big play winners over the years in games like this (Dallas/Houston, San Francisco/Oakland, Baltimore/Washington, Jets/Giants). We'll spend some time in the NOTEBOOK looking at how Dallas, the Giants, and Washington might measure up against the new-look Eagles.

FOX is back for a second straight night of action with the Atlanta/Jacksonville game. The Falcons earned the #1 seed in the NFC last year…while New Orleans of this division is just a year removed from their Super Bowl victory. Given the quality of those two teams, plus the potential of upstart Tampa Bay, this could be a very interesting division once again in 2011.

It's the Chicago Bears and the NY Giants in this edition of Monday Night Football on ESPN. We'll take a look at a fascinating division that features last year's Lombardi Trophy Winners (Green Bay), last year's #2 seed (Chicago), a popular darkhorse pick (Detroit), and a team that may finally have solved their quarterback concerns (Minnesota).

Only two divisions left for us as we head to dress rehearsal weekend. Washington at Baltimore is the featured game on ESPN. We'll study Baltimore's challenge with Pittsburgh in the NFC North to get you fired up for the weekend. Remember that we often have our 'NFL Preseason Game of the Year' during dress rehearsal weekend!

Peyton Manning will be the featured attraction in the Green Bay/Indianapolis game on CBS. Well, obviously everyone wants to see the defending champion Packers too! But, Manning is coming off neck surgery…and this game will be his first real test against a top defense going at full speed. To get you ready, we'll preview the AFC South in our eighth and final divisional showcase.

Get ready for tons of football coverage this month in the tune-up for the regular season (college previews every weekend, NFL previews on the Thursday-Friday-Monday rotation). Then, we kick it up to hyperdrive in September once the regular season gets here. Baseball? Hey, we know there are plenty of you who are making money with JIM HURLEY'S baseball this summer. We'll be looking at Tuesdays and Wednesdays for pennant race coverage this month. As is always the case in the Fall, it will be catch as catch can until the playoffs and World Series arrive in October.

Early bird rates are still available for NETWORK football packages…

*Pay just $69 for our full NFL Preseason. All the money you earn this month will roll itself over several times between now and the Super Bowl. That's why it's so important to get off to a great start! To make sure that happens, this package will include our annual Preseason Game of the Year…along with our BLUE RIBBON BASEBALL as a bonus for the duration of your package.

*Pay just $399 and get the full season of our TOUCHDOWN CLUB. Members get 1-3 plays every Saturday in the colleges and every Sunday in the NFL…select Thursday and Monday plays that qualify for big play status…huge September features like our College Kickoff Classic on Saturday September 3rd and our Blowout and Upsets of the Month…and a subscription to our 'Network Bulletin' newsletter.

Football is here. It's time to take care of business! Make a few clicks and have your credit card handy.

We'll be talking baseball here on Tuesday and Wednesday. The pennant races have really heated up in the AL East, AL West, and NL West the past few days. Well, maybe iced down is a better word in the NL West because the Giants and D-backs were both losing! Games of interest for our staff handicappers Monday Night include:

Boston at Minnesota
Philadelphia at the LA Dodgers
Pittsburgh at San Francisco
Houston at Arizona

Two huge series don't get underway until Tuesday. Milwaukee and St. Louis resume last week's wrestling match with a three-game set by the arch, and the New York Yankees host the Los Angeles Angels in a series that's crucial to both teams.

Game day selections can be purchased a few hours before first pitch here at the website with your credit card. We also have great rates for the rest of the season (or just sign up for the NFL Preseason and get the Blue Ribbon games included!). If you have any questions about NETWORK packages, call the office at 1-800-323-4453.

JIM HURLEY'S NOTEBOOK is the only online feature in all of cyberspace that keeps you THIS informed about what's happening in the world of sports from a HANDICAPPER'S perspective. You get the scores and PR feature stories from ESPN. You learn how to win from JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK!

The pennant races…the NFL Preseason…the build up to college football…be sure you're with us EVERY DAY in the NOTEBOOK so you know what's REALLY happening in the world of sports!


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