When does the 2024 NFL Preseason Start?

NFL preseason kickoff times, Hall of Fame game, and full Week 1 schedule.
New York Giants v Detroit Lions
New York Giants v Detroit Lions / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

We all know that preseason games are simply exhibition contests that don't count against a team's record in the regular season. But after a long offseason without any NFL football, the preseason can't get here fast enough.

Last year in the preseason opener, fans tuned in to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the New York Jets. You didn't need to be a fan of either team to muster up the motivation to tune into this contest.

In recent years, the NFL has moved to a three-game schedule in the preseason as a 17-game game was tacked onto the regular season schedule in 2021. Only two teams -- those playing in the Hall of Fame game -- will play a fourth preseason game in 2024.

So when does the NFL preseason start and which teams will be kicking off first this year? Here's everything you need to know.

When does the NFL preseason start?

The first game of the NFL preseason will begin on Thursday, August 1 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. This will be a battle between two uncommon opponents as the Chicago Bears host the Houston Texans for the 2024 Hall of Fame Game.

This is an ideal game to play up the matchup of talented young quarterbacks as first-overall pick Caleb Williams will make his debut against 2023 Offensive Rookie of the Year, C.J. Stroud. However, the starters are expected to play sparingly in this contest and some may not see the field during the Hall of Fame game as these two teams have an extra preseason contest this year.

When does Week 1 of the NFL preseason start?

Though the Hall of Fame officially marks the start of the 2024 preseason on August 1, Week 1 of the NFL preseason technically doesn't start until one week later. On Thursday, August 8, the Patriots host the Panthers and the Giants host the Lions for the first game of Week 1 in the preseason. Both of these games kick off at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

The other 28 teams will take the field for Week 1 of the 2024 preseason on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Week 1 of the preseason concludes with the Dallas Cowboys against the Los Angeles Rams at 4:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

Hall of Fame Game and preseason Week 1 schedule

NFL Hall of Fame Game: Aug. 1

  • Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears (ESPN/ABC), 8 p.m.

Week 1

Thursday, Aug. 8

  • Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots, 7 p.m.
  • Detroit Lions at New York Giants, 7 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 9

  • Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins, 7 p.m.
  • Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers, 7 p.m.
  • Philadelphia Eagles at Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 10

  • Washington Commanders at New York Jets, noon
  • Chicago Bears at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
  • Las Vegas Raiders at Minnesota Vikings, 4 p.m.
  • Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns, 4:25 p.m.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals, 7 p.m.
  • Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars, 7 p.m.
  • San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans, 7 p.m.
  • Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Chargers, 7:05 p.m.
  • New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 11

  • Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m.
  • Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams, 4:30 p.m.