Football is finally back in our lives.
Tonight marks the return of NFL football as the Denver Broncos take on the Atlanta Falcons in the 2019 Hall of Fame Game. The game had typically been played on the weekend for much of its existence, but starting last year, the game was moved to Thursday. That allows for the rest of the weekend to be squarely focused on the Hall of Fame ceremonies and the players being inducted into them.
The Falcons and Broncos are both looking to rebound from losing seasons and get back into playoff contention this year. The Falcons still have more of their core players intact, including Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. They also get back several key defensive players who missed 2018 with injuries, so they could be a sneaky playoff threat in 2019.
The Broncos are undergoing a major transition with a new head coach in Vic Fangio, as well as a new starting quarterback in Joe Flacco, who was acquired in a trade from the Ravens. They’ll look to rely heavily on second-year running back Phillip Lindsay, who was arguably the biggest surprise in the NFL last year.
As usual with the NFL’s first preseason game, we won’t see much of the starters from either side, but who cares. It’s live football action, and we’ll get to enjoy it tonight. Here’s everything you need to know for Thursday’s game:
Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos
Kickoff time: 8 p.m. ET
Date: Thursday, Aug. 1
Location: Canton, Ohio
TV channel: NBC