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NFL announces 2002 Preseason Schedule

The 66-game 2002 preseason schedule, featuring many of the rivalries of the pre-realigned NFL, was announced today by the league.

The NFL realigned this past May into eight divisions of four teams each to accommodate the addition in 2002 of the expansion Houston Texans as the league's 32nd team.

One of the provisions of realignment was to give the league, through the Commissioner's office, a broader role in developing the preseason schedule for the next five seasons (2002-2006).

The Commissioner's office worked closely with all clubs in scheduling preseason Weeks 1, 2 and 3. Each team was allowed to schedule Week 4 on its own.

Only the dates and the start times of the American Bowl and Hall of Fame Game have been determined. The exact dates and times for the remainder of the schedule will be announced after the season.

A key emphasis in formulating the preseason schedule was traditional rivalries. For example, the Seattle Seahawks, who switch from the AFC Western Division to the NFC West Division next year, will play longtime AFC Western-rivals Denver, Oakland and San Diego next summer. The Indianapolis Colts, formerly in the AFC East and now in the AFC South, will play former division-rival Buffalo in the preseason.

Other longtime preseason rivalries have been retained, such as Dallas vs. Oakland, a preseason series that has been contested for 15 of the past 16 years; New York Giants-New York Jets, which has been played every year since 1969; and the "Battle by the Bay," Oakland vs. San Francisco.

The 2002 preseason will kick off on the August 3-5 weekend when an American Bowl is played for the first time in Osaka, Japan featuring the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins in a game to be televised in the U.S. on Saturday night, August 3 at 10:00 PM ET on ESPN.

The second game that weekend will be the NFL debut of the Texans in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on Monday night, August 5 on ABC-TV (8:00 PM ET) against the New York Giants in Canton, Ohio.

The 2002 preseason schedule also includes a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIV in Week 1 when St. Louis meets Tennessee; a meeting of Florida rivals Jacksonville and Tampa Bay in Week 2; Houston's first home game in Week 3 against Miami; and a rematch of Super Bowl XXXV when the Baltimore Ravens play in New York against the Giants in Week 4.

The 2002 NFL preseason schedule:

2002 NFL PRESEASON SCHEDULE
WEEK-BY-WEEK

HALL OF FAME WEEKEND - AUGUST 3-5

Washington vs San Francisco
American Bowl, Osaka, Japan
Aug. 3, 10:00 PM ET (ESPN)
Houston vs New York Giants
Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, Canton, OH
Aug. 5, 8:00 PM ET (ABC)

WEEK 1 - AUGUST 8-12

Arizona at San Diego
Cincinnati at Buffalo
Cleveland at Minnesota
Denver at Chicago
Detroit at Baltimore
Green Bay at Philadelphia
Houston at New Orleans
Indianapolis at Seattle
Kansas City at San Francisco
Jacksonville at Atlanta
Miami at Tampa Bay
New England at New York Giants
New York Jets at Pittsburgh
Oakland at Dallas
St. Louis at Tennessee
Washington at Carolina

WEEK 2 - AUGUST 15-19

Chicago at St. Louis
Cincinnati at Indianapolis
Dallas at Carolina
Detroit at Cleveland
Green Bay at Arizona
Houston at Kansas City
Minnesota at Buffalo
New Orleans at Miami
New York Giants at Atlanta
New York Jets at Baltimore
Oakland at Tennessee
Philadelphia at New England
Pittsburgh at Washington
San Francisco at Denver
Seattle at San Diego
Tampa Bay at Jacksonville

WEEK 3 - AUGUST 22-26

Atlanta at Dallas
Baltimore at Philadelphia
Buffalo at Indianapolis
Carolina at New England
Cleveland at Green Bay
Denver at Seattle
Jacksonville at Chicago
Kansas City at Arizona
Miami at Houston
New Orleans at Cincinnati
New York Giants at New York Jets
Pittsburgh at Detroit
San Diego at St. Louis
San Francisco at Oakland
Tennessee at Minnesota
Washington at Tampa Bay

WEEK 4 - AUGUST 29-SEPTEMBER 1

Arizona at Denver
Atlanta at Cincinnati
Baltimore at New York Giants
Buffalo at Detroit
Carolina at Cleveland
Chicago at Miami
Dallas at Jacksonville
Indianapolis at New Orleans
Minnesota at Pittsburgh
New England at Washington
Philadelphia at New York Jets
San Diego at San Francisco
Seattle at Oakland
St. Louis at Kansas City
Tampa Bay at Houston
Tennessee at Green Bay

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