NFL

NFL Preseason 2014: Top 5 Games Of Week 1

NFL Preseason 2014: Top 5 Games Of Week 1

Peyton Manning
Ron Chenoy - USA TODAY Sports

Although the NFL preseason kicked off this past Sunday, true Week 1 games will begin on Thursday. Traditionally, preseason doesn't hold much weight on the NFL season aside from key injuries and trimming down final rosters, but there are storylines to follow. Here are the top five games to watch during the first week of preseason.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars (Friday, 8/8 7:30 EST)

Blake Bortles
Getty Images

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars (Friday, 8/8 7:30 EST)

Blake Bortles
Getty Images

Although this matchup won't be aesthetically appealing due to the horrid nature of both teams' jerseys, the storylines are notable. Tampa heads into 2014 with a revamped roster, having signed players like Josh McCown, Mike Jenkins and Major Wright. Jacksonville selected the homegrown Blake Bortles as the first QB in the 2014 draft, and he should see significant playing time in the Jaguars' first preseason game.

4. Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions (Saturday, 8/9 7:30 EST)

Johnny Manziel
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

4. Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions (Saturday, 8/9 7:30 EST)

Johnny Manziel
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

No surprise here; Johnny Manziel has been under a microscope since his college days, and the media frenzy has followed him to Cleveland. When he takes the field for the first time in an NFL game, it will most likely be with the second team. On Detroit's side, new head coach Jim Caldwell has more than enough to work with on offense, and it will be interesting to see how his offensive philosophies tie in with Johnson, Stafford and Bush.

3. Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (Thursday, 8/7 8:00 EST)

Andy Dalton
Getty Images

3. Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (Thursday, 8/7 8:00 EST)

Andy Dalton
Getty Images

When the Bengals travel to Kansas City on Thursday night, they will do so with Andy Dalton being the team's franchise QB. Dalton will kick off his 2014 season, and will attempt to justify the Bengals' beliefs, as well as earn the incentive-laden contract he signed. The Chiefs have a QB of their own who is looking for a big contract, and Alex Smith has the pieces around him to win games and lead KC to the playoffs again in 2014.

2. Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (Friday 8/8 8:00 EST)

Nick Foles
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

2. Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (Friday 8/8 8:00 EST)

Nick Foles
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

If Week 1 of the regular season started this week, the game between the Eagles and Bears would be shown in prime time. The Michael Vick era is over in Philly, and Nick Foles will command Chip Kelly's offense again in 2014. LeSean McCoy has established himself as a top RB. For the Bears, Jay Cutler has reportedly looked good in training camp and caught the eye of his receiver Brandon Marshall, who claimed Cutler could win the MVP this year.

1. Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos (Thursday, 8/7 9:00 EST)

Russell Wilson
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

1. Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos (Thursday, 8/7 9:00 EST)

Russell Wilson
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Though it's only preseason, it can be assured that Seahawks will be seeking to show, once again, why they dismantled the Denver Broncos and their high-powered offense. The Seahawks may be without Marshawn Lynch, who is currently holding out. For Denver, this is a chance to see newcomers like DeMarcus Ware, Emmanuel Sanders, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward. The Broncos should have a slight chip on their shoulder due to the outcome of the Super Bowl.