The most meaningful week of the preseason concludes with an intriguing Sunday doubleheader that kicks off with a meeting of two teams with Super Bowl expectations.
The Houston Texans host the New Orleans Saints at 4 p.m. ET (CBS).
After reaching the divisional round of the AFC playoffs last season, the Texans are hoping to take the next step this season. They’ve won their first two games of this preseason, covering the spread in wins over the Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins.
Houston coach Gary Kubiak is now 18-10 against the spread in the preseason.
The Saints also are 2-0 this preseason, covering in wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has turned up the pressure on the Saints’ much-maligned defense this preseason, resulting in a league-high 11 sacks through the first two weeks.
Houston All-Pro running back Arian Foster is not expected to play.
The Texans opened as 3-point favorites, but the line had ticked down -2.5 as of Thursday night. The total was sitting at 44, down two points from its opening number of 46. Kubiak is 21-8-1 over/under in the preseason.
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
The 49ers have been involved in a pair of low-scoring games to start the preseason, losing 10-6 vs. the Denver Broncos and beating the Kansas City Chiefs 15-13 in Week 2.
San Francisco expects to have newly-acquired receiver Jon Baldwin in action. The 49ers also signed reserve quarterback Seneca Wallace, hoping to find a backup for Colin Kaepernick. Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien, and rookie B.J. Daniels have been battling for the No. 2 QB spot, but none have distinguished themselves.
McCoy is expected to replace Kaepernick against the Vikings, with Tolzien and Daniels splitting the rest of the reps.
The Vikings are 0-2, with losses to the Texans and Buffalo Bills. Minnesota’s first-team offense has not clicked in the preseason, but will get more opportunities Sunday.
The 49ers opened as high as 5.5-point favorites, but the line was down to -4.5 as of Thursday.
Bills at Redskins, 4:30 p.m.
Browns at Colts, 7 p.m.
Jets at Giants, 7 p.m.
Chiefs at Steelers, 7:30 p.m.
Buccaneers at Dolphins, 7:30 p.m.
Eagles at Jaguars, 7:30 p.m.
Bengals at Cowboys, 8 p.m.
Rams at Broncos, 8 p.m. (CBS)
Falcons at Titans, 8 p.m.
Chargers at Cardinals, 10 p.m.
Saints at Texans, 4 p.m. (FOX)
Vikings at 49ers, 8 p.m.