Welcome to game day! The Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first game of the 2014 NFL preseason schedule on Thursday night at 7 p.m. (Arrowhead Time). The Chiefs and Bengals are coming off a season in which they were pretty much the same team, finishing with the same record as the Chiefs as well as identical points given up (305) and points scored (430). The first time in NFL history that has happened.
The two teams have something in common besides their 7 p.m. kickoff time on Thursday night. They both entered the offseason looking to do a new contract with their quarterback. Andy Dalton got his just this week to the tune of a reported $96 million over six years (or $115 million total if he wins like six straight Super Bowls which ... yeah). Alex Smith and the Chiefs are talking but nothing new to report.
Catch up: Chiefs bubble players | Position-by-position previews
Thursday's game will mark the first for the Chiefs since the January 2014 playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The theme this season is finish, according to Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Something the Chiefs did not do in that game.
This is preseason so wins and losses do not matter. The Chiefs plan to play their quarterbacks one quarter each. In last year's preseason opener, the Chiefs offense went on a 14-play touchdown drive to open the game, and that was all the action Alex Smith saw on that night. Based on reps in camp, the quarterback rotation is likely 1.) Alex Smith 2.) Chase Daniel 3. Tyler Bray 4. Aaron Murray.
This will be the first game for a bunch of new Chiefs players, including the 2014 draft class. LB Dee Ford, RB De'Anthony Thomas and G Zach Fulton are three players to watch from that class. WR Albert Wilson is a undrafted player to keep an eye on.
Important links: Chiefs depth chart | Roster | 53-man prediction | Position battles
Game time: 7 p.m. (Arrowhead Time)
Parking lots open: 2:30 p.m.
Stadium gates open: 5:30 p.m.
**The Chiefs have new parking procedures. If you're going to the game make sure you read this. **
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
TV channel: KCTV-5 (Do I get the game?) | NFL Network re-air: Friday, 9 a.m.
Radio: 101.1 The Fox (Mitch Holthus and Len Dawson) | Full listings
Online streaming: NFL preseason live
Announcers: Paul Burmeister, Trent Green; Sideline: BJ Kissel (!!!), Rachel Santschi
Injury report: Find a recap of the injuries here. The Chiefs do not release an official injury report during preseason. Joe McKnight is not expected to play. Other players who have been injured recently include Junior Hemingway, Mike Catapano, Mike DeVito and Mark Harrison.
Odds: Chiefs are 1.5-point favorites
Prediction: Week 1 of preseason? I got the Chiefs 24-19.
Matchup history: 14-13 Bengals (regular season); 7-6 Bengals (Arrowhead Stadium); 7-0 Chiefs (preseason)
Enemy blog: Cincy Jungle
Facebook: Please like me. I mean the website.
Chiefs Preseason schedule
Week 1: Cincinnati Bengals (Aug. 7, 7 p.m., KCTV-5)
Week 2: at Carolina Panthers (Aug. 17, 7 p.m., Fox)
Week 3: Minnesota Vikings (Aug. 23, 7 p.m., KCTV-5)
Week 4: at Green Bay Packers (Aug. 28, 6 p.m., KCTV-5)
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $100,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 1's NFL games. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts Sunday, September 7th at 1pm ET. Here's the link. FYI: These are just my opinions and Fanduel gave me money to play.