The NFL preseason began Thursday night when the Denver Broncos met the Atlanta Falcons in the Hall of Fame game.
NFL Prison Theatrical Curtain-raiser will be held Saturday in Canton, Ohio, before the Class of 2019 Entrance Ceremony.
The Falcons and Broncos will both play five games this preseason, unlike the other 30 teams who all play four games.
Here’s what you need to know on Thursday night
When and where is the game?
According to Tradition, the Hall of Fame game is held at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio, which is adjacent to the Hall of Fame building.
- When: Thursday, August 1st
- Where: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio
- Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Watch: NBC
- Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
- Spread: DEN -3
- Total: 34
Kick-off is scheduled for 1pm ET.
The Hall of Fame game will be exclusively broadcast on NBC Sports.
Fans can watch the Hall of Fame game on the NBC Sports website and through the NBC Sports digital platform. A live stream will be available via fuboTV.
Hall of Fame Game Trends
- This will be the fifth Hall of Fame Game appearance for both teams. Each boasts a 2-2 record in the series.
- The Denver Broncos are 10-2 across their last 12 games held on Thursday evenings. The Atlanta Falcons are 7-3 in their last 10 Thursday games.
- The Atlanta Falcons went 0-4 straight-up and against the spread during the 2018 NFL preseason.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan # 2 of the Atlanta Falcons was spotted on the offensive hoodhook during a game against the Tampa Buccaneers on December 30, 2018 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Falcons won 34-32.
Joe Robbins / Getty
For what eye sight
The Falcons have not played in the Hall of Fame game in 25 years and are looking to return to the postseason after a brief fall for the first time since 20.
Despite ending the season with a winning run in three games, the Falcons finished 7-for-7 and had to finish second in the NFC South behind the New Orleans Saints.
Dan Quinn, who took over as the differential co-ordinator after Markuand Manuel was sacked, was last 21-5. During his spell with the Seattle Seahawks in the campaign, Seattle participated.
The Falcons ranked in the 25th-ranked defense last season and will be curious to see what impact Quinn will have in that aspect of the ball.
In addition to taking on additional responsibilities, he hopes his team has better luck this season. The Falcons lost seven starters last year to the injury.
The Broncos also dropped out of the postseason, finishing third in the last four games of the regular campaign with a 6-0 record in AFC West.
After missing the playoffs in his two seasons in charge, Vance Joseph was replaced as head coach of Vic Fangio, who spent the last seven years as a defensive coordinator in San Francisco and Chicago.
During his last season at Windy City, Fangio helped the Bears develop the best defense in the league. A similar effect will be needed in Denver.
The Broncos had the best defense of the 2017 league before sinking into the 22nd spot last season. The Broncos’ Joe Flanco is also the new quarterback, with the addition of a new head coach.
The former Baltimore Ravens rushed for 2,465 yards and 12 touchdowns in just nine regular-season games before losing to Lamar Jackson last season.
Few starters – if any – will play this game and any starter will play, it will be very limited, maybe a series. But running back Denver, Roy Freeman and linebacker Justin Hollins, two former Oregon Ducks starters, saw some reps during the game.
Both teams are coming off a disappointing season.
The Broncos (-10-1) finished with their second defeat of the season, resulting in the dismissal of head coach Vance Joseph. The Broncos have hired Vic Fangio as the new head coach. The Falcons (7-9) finished the 2018 season with three wins drawn on teams that finished with a losing record.
You can find the latest scores and stats from the game from the box scores provided above, and here’s what you need to know to watch the Bears and Ravens on the Hall of Fame game on TV or online:
Here’s what you need to know to watch the Broncos-Falcons game:
What: The Denver Broncos vs the Atlanta Falcons in the 2019 Hall of Fame game