Every NFL preseason starts out the same way - with a Hall of Fame induction ceremony in August preceded by the first game of the season being played in Canton, Ohio.
The two teams who will face off in this highly anticipated annual matchup are decided on in February based on criteria that we will explore in this article, and it is considered an honor for whichever teams are selected.
In addition, we will take a closer look at this Hall Of Fame Game tradition, including when it started and which team is best represented in the hall, plus all the details of when and where you can watch this kickoff to the upcoming NFL season.
What exactly is the NFL Hall of Fame game?
The NFL's Pro Football Hall of Fame game is an annual exhibition matchup that marks the end of the league's six-month-long offseason.
It is the first official preseason game that is played, a tradition that dates back to 1962 when the first Hall of Fame game was played and the New York Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals ended up in a 21-21 tie.
Regardless of which teams are selected to play in the Hall of Fame matchup, it is a game that is anticipated and enjoyed by all football fans, mostly because they have been waiting for half of a year for their favorite sport to begin its season.
Where is the Hall of Fame game played?
The aptly named Hall of Fame game is played in Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame where busts of (including the upcoming class) a total of 326 honored members reside.
The game will take place in the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, located adjacent to the actual Hall of Fame building.
Since the stadium can only hold 23,375 fans, the game typically sells out immediately.
When does the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame game take place?
This year, the Hall of Fame game will take place on Thursday, August 1 at 8:00 PM EST.
The game is typically held on a Thursday, with the rest of the NFL preseason Week 1 games being scheduled for the following week starting on a Thursday, as well.
From 1999 to 2005, the game was held on a Monday night as part of ABC's Monday Night Football package, until that all change in 2006 (see below).
Interesting to note, since the Hall of Fame game is technically in the Cleveland television market, if the game does not sell out, it will be blacked out for everyone in that television audience, but to date, the popular game has always sold out.
Where can I watch the 2019 Hall of Fame game?
Since tickets to the popular event are already sold out, the only place to see the game is by watching the live telecast on the NBC network.
The game moved to NBC in 2006 as part of the re-launched Saturday Night Football package and has had a home at the network ever since.
At this point, the crew who will be announcing and doing color for the game has not been announced.
Which teams are playing in the 2019 HOF game?
These two teams are not scheduled to play each other for the rest of the NFL's 2019 regular season schedule.
Both franchises have 1-2 records in this series, and it is by no coincidence that both of these franchises were chosen, as we explain in more detail below.
How are the two teams chosen for the HOF game?
The league chooses the two teams that will play in this annual preseason game based on any number of factors, including which team the players who are being nominated that year are known for, and they usually include one team from the AFC and one team from the NFC.
In the case of this season, the AFC Broncos were chosen because their recently deceased owner Pat Bowlen and former cornerback Champ Bailey will both be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year (see below).
The NFC Falcons were chosen because their former tight end Tony Gonzalez will be enshrined, as well.
Which team playing in the 2019 HOF game has the most Hall of Famers?
That would be the Denver Broncos, who have eleven of their former players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- Brian Dawkins, safety (2009-2011)
- Champ Bailey, cornerback (2004-2013)
- Floyd Little, halfback (1967-1975)
- Gary Zimmerman, offensive tackle (1993-1997)
- John Elway, quarterback (1983-1998)
- Pat Bowlen, team owner (1984-2019)
- Shannon Sharpe, tight end (1990-99, 2002-03)
- Terrell Davis, running back (1995-2001)
- Tony Dorsett, running back (1988)
- Ty Law, cornerback (2009)
- Willie Brown, cornerback (1963-1966)
The Atlanta Falcons have nine of their former players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- Bobby Beathard, general manager (1968-1971)
- Brett Favre, quarterback (1991)
- Chris Doleman, defensive end (1994-95)
- Claude Humphrey, defensive end (1968-1978)
- Deion Sanders, running back (1989-1993)
- Eric Dickerson, running back (1993)
- Morten Andersen, kicker (1995-2000, 2006-07)
- Tommy McDonald, flanker (1967)
- Tony Gonzalez, tight end (2009-2013)
Which NFL team has the most players in the NFL Hall of Fame?
That honor belongs to the Chicago Bears, who have 33 of its former players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
As a franchise, the Chicago Bears date back to 1922, the team playing its games in the historical Soldier Stadium starting in 1924.
The thirty-three Bears who are currently in the Hall of Fame are:
- Alan Page, defensive tackle (1978-1981)
- Bill George, linebacker (1952-1965)
- Bill Hewitt, end and fullback (1932-1936)
- Bobby Layne, quarterback (1948)
- Brian Urlacher, linebacker (2000-2012)
- Bronko Nagurski, fullback (1930-1937, 1943)
- Clyde Turner, center and linebacker (1940-1952)
- Dan Fortmann, offensive line (1936-1943)
- Dan Hampton, defensive tackle (1979-1990)
- Dick Butkus, linebacker (1965-1973)
- Doug Atkins, defensive end (1955-1966)
- Ed Healey, lineman (1922-1927)
- Gale Sayers, running back (1965-1971)
- George Blanda, quarterback (1949, 1950-58)
- George Connor, offensive tackle and linebacker (1948-1955)
- George Halas, player, coach and owner (1920-1983)
- George McAfee, halfback (1940-1941, 1945-1950)
- George Musso, offensive guard and tackle (1933-1944)
- George Trafton, center (1920-1921, 1923-1932)
- Harold 'Red' Grange, halfback (1925, 1929-1934)
- Jim Finks, general manager (1974-1982)
- Jimmy Conzelman, halfback and quarterback (1920)
- Joe Stydahar, tackle (1936-1942, 1945-46)
- John Driscoll, quarterback and halfback (1920, 1926-1929)
- Mike Ditka, tight end (1961-1966)
- Mike Singletary, middle linebacker (1981-1992)
- Orlando Pace, offensive tackle (2009)
- Richard Dent, defensive end (1983-1993, 1995)
- Sid Luckman, quarterback (1939-1950)
- Stan Jones, lineman (1954-1965)
- Walter Payton, running back (1975-1987)
- Walt Kiesling, guard and tackle (1934)
- William Roy 'Link' Lyman, tackle (1926-1928, 1930-1931, 1933-1934)
Which NFL team has the least amount of Hall of Famers?
There are three NFL franchises with zero Hall of Fame inductees.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Houston Texans
- Carolina Panthers
The main reason these three teams have zero Hall of Famers is primarily because they are all relatively new franchises.
The Cincinnati Bengals are next on that list with only one Hall of Famer.
Which NFL team has the most hall of fame quarterbacks?
If you include just primary players (meaning they played primarily on that team) as well as modern players who will most likely be inducted into the Hall of Fame, there are three NFL franchises that have had three Hall of Fame quarterbacks playing for them.
1. Baltimore / Indianapolis Colts
- Johnny Unitas
- Peyton Manning
- Y.A. Tittle
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
- Terry Bradshaw
- Ben Roethlisberger
- Bobby Layne
3. Green Bay Packers
- Brett Favre
- Bart Starr
- Aaron Rodgers
The Miami Dolphins are next in line with two - Dan Marino and Bob Griese.
There are some NFL franchise with more than three Hall of Fame quarterbacks, but only if you include non-primary players, meaning quarterbacks who made their mark on a different team and then were on another team's roster for a very short time.
Which players were most recently inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame?
There will be seven new members inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey
- Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen
- Dallas Cowboys contributor Gil Brandt
- Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez
- New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law
- New York Jets center Kevin Mawae
- Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed
- Kansas City Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson
These incredible football players will be honored and inducted in Canton, Ohio on Saturday, August 3.
2019 Hall of Fame Game Odds
|Sportsbook||Denver Broncos||Atlanta Falcons||Link|
|Sportsbook||Denver Broncos -2.5||Atlanta Falcons +2.5||Link|
|Sportsbook||Over 34||Under 34||Link|