NFL Thursday: Preview, How to Watch, Betting Odds, Game Thread, More

We’ve got football tonight! After last week’s Hall of Fame Game’s massive viewership, there’s no question that people are excited about whatever NFL action they can get their hands on.

NFL Preseason Week 1 Thursday Night Games

Tonight we have two games on the slate, starting with the Houston Texans and New England Patriots, with Minnesota and Seattle in the night cap slot. Both games are available to watch on NFL Network and NFL+ for out-of-market viewers.

How to Watch Houston Texans at New England Patriots

TV: NFL Network
Streaming: NFL+

Kickoff Time: 6:00 p.m. CT
Site: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Ma.
Referee: Adrian Hill
Odds: Texans -1.5, O/U 38.5 (via DraftKings Sports Book)

Houston Texans at New England Patriots Preview

It’s the C.J. Stroud Show tonight. According to head coach DeMeco Ryans, rookie C.J. Stroud will start that game under center, giving fans across the league their first peek at Stroud in the 7:00 pm (CT) window on NFL Network. If you’ve been following the reporters on the Houston Texans’ beat, Stroud has worked exclusively with the first-team offense over the Texans’ last three practices. Stroud hasn’t been named the regular season starting quarterback yet, but things appear to be trending in that direction.


We’ll likely see Stroud on the field for a portion of the first quarter, possibly two or three series, depending on how the flow of the game goes. After Stroud is done, Houston will turn to backups backup Davis Mills and Case Keenum.

As for New England, Bill Belichick has yet to name Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe as the starter for tonight’s contest (as of Thursday afternoon). Either way, it’s more likely that Jones starts, and we see a healthy amount of Zappe after Jones. Unless Belichick decides not to play the starters. In that case, Zappe will start, and you won’t see Mac Jones. You can probably safely add guys like Rhamondre Stevenson, Davante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, Hunter Henry, and Mike Gesicki to that list as well.

New England will however give rookies like Kayshon Boutte some run tonight. Boutte was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round (187th overall) of the 2023 NFL Draft. We may also get a look at Patriots rookie CB Christian Gonzalez tonight.

How to Watch Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks

TV: NFL Network
Streaming: NFL+

Kickoff Time: 9:00 p.m. CT
Site: Lumen Field, Seattle, Wa.
Referee: Adrian Hill
Odds: Seahawks -2.5, O/U 35 (via DraftKings Sports Book)

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks Preview

Neither Minnesota or Seattle are expected to play many of their starters tonight. The good news is, we get to see some of the younger guys like Minnesota’s Jordan Addison. On the other side, we could get our first look at Seahawks’ rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett almost certainly not playing tonight.

As for the quarterbacks, expect a heavy dose of Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall for the Vikings and Drew Lock and Holton Ahlers.

Minnesota has tabbed Alex Mattison as their new lead back with Dalvin Cook departed, but tonight will be our first look at how they may sort out the backfield workload behind Mattison. Kene Nwangwu, Ty Chandler, DeWayne McBride, and Abram Smith are all in line for some work this preseason with Nwangwu, Chandler, and McBride the names to keep an eye on.

written by

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.

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