Now that the Hall of Fame Game is officially out of the way, it's time to start looking at the meat of the NFL preseason schedule. For Bay Area residents, you'll be able to check out the games on CBS. For national fans, the week three contest will be the FOX Game of the Week, but to watch the rest you can get NFL Preseason Live. If you really want to watch the games, for $20 you can get live viewing of all the games. If you're in the Bay Area, all games are blacked out live on this, but are available on replay.
The 49ers kick off their preseason action this coming Friday against the Minnesota Vikings, with a 6pm PT start. This will be my first 49ers game in the eastern time zone in quite some time, so the later start should make for an interesting evening. The Vikings will likely be without Adrian Peterson as he is rehabbing and would get little playing time even if 100%. More than anything, we'll get to see the continued development of Christian Ponder, and where that leaves the team.
The 49ers second preseason contest has them traveling to Houston to face the Texans. The Texans took a solid step forward, but struggled late as they lost QB Matt Schaub and dealt with a variety of other injury issues. As both teams will likely be getting their starters closer to a full hal of play in week two, this should be a useful gauge for the 49ers passing offense.
The 49ers third preseason contest is a visit to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in the FOX Game of the Week. This game will be televised nationally, so we'll get to hear the announcers drone on about the Peyton Manning pursuit. Should be fun times, but also will be interesting to see how Manning is looking in a game that will likely feature the most amount of reps for starters.
The 49ers wrap up their preseason slate with their annual matchup against the San Diego Chargers. This game will give third and fourth string players one last chance to try and impress the coaching staff. It was in this game a year ago that Scott Tolzien put on a bit of a show. Whether that was the sole reason or not the 49ers claimed him, he'll likely get a fair number of snaps against the Chargers.