A potential Super Bowl preview is getting the spotlight in the final week of the NFL preseason, as the Green Bay Packers vs. Buffalo Bills will take place in upstate New York on the NFL Network Aug. 28 at 1 p.m. ET.
Packers vs. Bills will kick off a busy Saturday of preseason football, which consists of three nationally televised games on the NFL Network, including this one, the Bears vs. Titans and the Chargers vs. Seahawks. Four other games will be played on Aug. 28, before the 2021 NFL preseason wraps up on Sunday, Aug. 29. You can see the full schedule for week 3 of the preseason right here.
The Packers and Bills are expected to be two of the best teams in their respective conferences, as both reached their conference championship games last year. Will this be the year that they break through and reach the Super Bowl? We have about five months until we find out, but here’s what we can expect, and how to watch, this preseason matchup.
Packers vs. Bills matchup preview
The Packers offseason has been about Aaron Rodgers, full stop. The reigning MVP, Rodgers was non-committal to the Packers after last season and spent more time on the golf course and as a guest host of Jeopardy! than reporting for offseason programs. But, Rodgers did return to the Packers and once again has them as one of the favorites in the NFC. However, the Packers have opted to sit Rodgers out of the entire preseason (he really doesn’t need the reps). That won’t change in this final game against the Bills, which means backup QB Jordan Love will get another chance to prove why he is the heir apparent to Rodgers. With other star players likely to rest ahead of the start of the regular season, this final game should be a good chance for young players to develop and fight those final roster spots.
While Josh Allen is not at the same level of Aaron Rodgers (at least not yet), the Bills have also kept him sidelined for the preseason thus far and are likely to do so again on Saturday. Behind Allen, who had a breakout year in 2020, and a strong defense, the Bills are hoping they have the pieces in place to finally claim their first Super Bowl title. For the final preseason game against the Packers, expect a lot of Mitch Trubisky and other backup QBs taking snaps. A few other of the Bills key players (Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, Vernon Butler and Star Lotulelei) could miss the game due to COVID protocols after coming in contact with a staff member who tested positive for the virus; all four players tested negative as of Aug. 24, according to The Buffalo News, but still have to go through a five-day protocol before re-joining their teammates. Not a big deal in the preseason, but could be an issue if similar circumstances occur during the regular season.
How to watch Packers vs. Bills
Airing on the NFL Network at 1 p.m. ET on Aug. 28, the easiest way to tune in for the Packers vs. Bills game is to be sure you have a TV service that includes the cable sports network. NFL Network is available as an option for many of the traditional cable subscriptions (check package specifics) or it is also available through services like Sling TV, Fubo TV, YouTube TV and, more recently, Hulu with Live TV. If all you’re looking for is access to NFL Network, Sling TV is your cheapest option, but if converting to an vMVPD streaming service full-time, definitely look at each services’ channel offerings to find the best setup for you, as each has its own advantages.
A cable subscription is not necessary to watch live NFL preseason games, however. NFL Game Pass is a subscription service where all you need is the internet to be able to watch live preseason action over your phone, tablet, computer, gaming console or through the likes of Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV and Roku. Available for a one-time $100 fee, which lasts through July 31, 2022, NFL Game Pass provides live coverage of all preseason games, as well as condensed, on-demand replays of the games. For the regular and postseason, games are only available via replays.
These options are all for U.S.-based consumers. For anyone abroad the best way to watch NFL football may be with a virtual private network. A VPN is designed to route network traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing viewers to watch content on an encrypted feed over a computer.
Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.
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