There will be no NFL preseason games in 2020, but there will still be another season of "Hard Knocks." Despite new safety measures in place for NFL training camps because of COVID-19, NFL Films' documentary series is back for a 15th television season on HBO.
This time, for the first time, two teams will be featured — the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers. The two teams' L.A. training camp stories will share the spotlight ahead of the teams starting play in their new joint venue, SoFi Stadium, for the 2020 NFL regular season.
So "Hard Knocks" is going bigger, but will it be better? On the surface, the Rams and Chargers are far from the league's most compelling teams as borderline playoff contenders. With the entire preseason schedule wiped out, however, "Hard Knocks" will be the NFL's only televised action before the Week 1 opener, helping their cases.
The Rams have lost some star power since their Super Bowl 53 run. Their most intriguing camp battle on the field is at running back, where rookie Cam Akers is trying to succeed Todd Gurley. They also have one huge defensive presence in Aaron Donald and a huge defensive personality in Jalen Ramsey. Coach Sean McVay's smart-talking offensive mind also should provide a few gems.
The Chargers are undergoing a quarterback transition with their coach, Anthony Lynn, as Tyrod Taylor takes over from Philip Rivers with rookie first-round pick Justin Herbert waiting closely in the wings. They have some good offensive skill around QB, but like the Rams, their two brightest stars are on defense, Joey Bosa and Derwin James.
The "Hard Knocks" film crew and editors will need to figure out how to get the best out the 18-time Emmy-winning series over the next several weeks. Who will get more screen time, the Rams or the Chargers? NFL reality TV fans will be most interested to find out:
'Hard Knocks' schedule 2020
- Episode 12: Tuesday, August. 18
- Air time: 10 p.m. ET (HBO)
The latest season of "Hard Knocks" begins Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO. New episodes arrive once a week every Tuesday night during NFL training camp. Check back for weekly reviews for each episode before watching the new one.
|Episode 1||Aug. 11, 10 p.m. ET||HBO, HBO MAX|
|Episode 2||Aug. 18, 10 p.m. ET||HBO, HBO MAX|
|Episode 3||Aug. 25, 10 p.m. ET||HBO, HBO MAX|
|Episode 4||Sept. 1, 10 p.m. ET||HBO, HBO MAX|
|Episode 5||Sep. 8, 10 p.m. ET||HBO, HBO MAX|
How to watch Hard Knocks
- TV channel: HBO
- Live stream: HBO Max
"Hard Knocks" airs exclusively on HBO, so you will need to subscribe to the service through a cable provider ($14.99 per month) in order to watch each episode live. HBO's rebranded streaming service, HBO Max, also carries each episode and offers a seven-day free trial for new subscribers.
How have HBO's featured teams fared?
The Rams are being featured on 'Hard Knocks' for the second time since 2016. The Chargers will become the 11th new NFL team featured on "Hard Knocks" over 15 seasons. Of all the individual teams appearing on "Hard Knocks" in any given year since 2001, only five have followed up by making the playoffs that season. Here's how each team's season went after its appearance on the show.
2020 Los Angeles Rams ?????
|2007||Kansas City Chiefs||4-12|
|2010||New York Jets||11-5*|
|2016||Los Angeles Rams||4-12|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5-11|
|2020||Los Angeles Rams||?????|
|2020||Los Angeles Chargers||?????|