Here are three things to watch when they kickoff at 8pm EST.
1) The St. Louis Rams brought in a lot of young talent to help out quarterback Sam Bradford. Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and running back Zac Stacy join veterans Chris Givens, Austin Pettis, Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead. Adding tight end Jared Cook from the Tennessee Titans is also key. Traditionally coaches don’t give their vets a ton of time in the early preseason games, but this is a group which needs to get it’s chemistry going so we might see more of them tonight than normal.
2) Brandon Weeden or Jason Campbell—who will be the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns? The new coaching staff has little to no loyalty to a guy they didn’t draft but reportedly like Weeden. However they are looking at all options and if either quarterback has a good string of preseason games, they can grab the starting job. Campbell looked awful playing for the Chicago Bears in 2012, but Weeden wasn’t exactly fantastic either. Both will want to get off on a strong foot.
3) We mentioned the influx of new talent on the Rams a minute ago, including the running backs. The battle between Stacy, Richardson and Pead should be an interesting one to watch. Someone needs to fill in for the departed Steve Jackson and while head coach Jeff Fisher and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer might not use the backs the way they did Jackson, they would likely like to be able to lean on one guy. The next four games will be key in this battle and we’ll probably see all three get some solid carries tonight.
Andrew Garda is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. He is also a member of the fantasy football staff at Footballguys.com and an NFL writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him at @andrew_garda on Twitter.