10 reasonably fun facts about the NFL preseason schedule
Fox Sports South dug deep to unearth 10 fun and somewhat interesting facts about the NFL’s 2014 preseason schedule.
As a spoiler alert, you won’t see the phrase "Super Bowl Preview" attached to any of the 65 preseason tilts … even though Denver and Seattle met twice last season — in August and February (lopsided Super Bowl).
1. The Buffalo Bills, who face the Giants on Aug. 3 (NFL opener), have never won the Hall of Fame Game in their illustrious history.
2. For what it’s worth, the Chargers, Texans, Jaguars, Dolphins and Ravens have also never claimed victory at the Hall of Fame Game, although the original Cleveland Browns — who became the Baltimore Ravens in 1996 — knocked off the Falcons in August 1981.
3. How’s this for weird: In the Super Bowl era (1966-2013), the eventual world champion for that season has never played in the Hall of Fame Game during the preseason.
Think about that for a second.
4. The Seahawks and Broncos, last year’s Super Bowl combatants, meet during the first full preseason week in August, but don’t expect much on the ‘sophisticated play calls’ realm:
Denver travels to Seattle at some point during the regular season.
5. The Jaguars, Bills, Browns, Raiders and Cardinals will have at least one nationally televised game during the preseason … unlike TV darlings such as the Falcons, Eagles, Steelers, Lions, Ravens, Seahawks, Broncos, Cowboys or Patriots.
6. Don’t be shocked if Detroit strings together a perfect August run. The Lions’ preseason slate of Cleveland, Oakland, Jacksonville and Buffalo had a combined record of 18-46 last season. Ugh.
7. The Jets, Bengals, Colts, Bears and Rams are the only NFL teams to schedule multiple intra-conference opponents during the preseason. Thankfully, none of the five clubs have multiple preseason/regular-season encounters against their respective conference foes.
8. The 49ers have the longest combined road trips of any team during the preseason, logging approximately 4,744 miles to Baltimore (2,820 miles) and Houston (1,924).
9. On the flip side … the Steelers travel the fewest miles of any club during the preseason, making short treks to the Giants (371 miles) and Eagles (305) — for an approximate tally of 676 miles.
10. It’ll be interesting to see if the Lions fly to northern California to play the Raiders the day before their Week 2 preseason tilt.
You may recall that, eight years ago, Rod Marinelli — in his inaugural season as an NFL head coach — brainstormed the absurd idea of traveling to Oakland on the day of the game … as if his team was executing some kind of get-in/get-out, military-style, para-trooping mission in NFL circles.
Or maybe he just didn’t trust the woefully archaic plumbing at Oakland coliseum’s for more than five hours on gameday.
Either way, it might have had nothing to do with the big picture, but the 2006 Lions ended up losing to the Raiders that August (21-3) … before sinking to 3-13 for the regular season. Ouch.