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2016 Arizona Cardinals preseason schedule includes Super Bowl champ

The NFL released the preseason schedule on Thursday. Dates and times haven't been announced, but here's a first look at the opponents for the Arizona Cardinals:

Week 1 (Aug. 11-15) vs. Oakland Raiders

Comment: Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and tackle Jared Veldheer get to say hello to their former team, at least for the small portion of the game in which the starters will play. It’s the second straight year the two teams will meet in the preseason.

Week 2 (Aug. 18-22) at San Diego Chargers

Comment: The Cardinals continue their tour of teams that attempted to but didn’t move to Los Angeles by paying a visit to sunny San Diego. They probably won’t play much but there’s nothing wrong with a matchup of aging gunslingers like Palmer and San Diego’s Philip Rivers for however long they get to play.

Week 3 (Aug. 28, 4 p.m. ET on Fox) at Houston Texans

Comment: Often considered the closest thing to a “dress rehearsal,” the Cardinals will visit Houston for a nationally televised contest. It will be Arizona’s first preseason visit to NRG Stadium and will pit the Cardinals’ high-flying offense against a stout Texans defense led by lineman J.J. Watt.

Week 4 (Sept. 1-2) vs. Denver Broncos

Comment: The Cardinals close the exhibition slate in the Super Bowl 50 matchup that almost was. Instead of seeing that game on football’s biggest stage, we’ll get to see the complete opposite with the backups for both sides likely to get the bulk of the playing time in the preseason finale.