Unfortunately, the overall set up of the preseason can make it tough to watch at times for fans. It is not only due to the fact that the starters don't play long to rest up, although that fact does make fans interested in just the first 2 quarters. It's mainly the overall pace of preseason games, and the preseason in general. It seems to drag on at times, and rather than getting fans excited for the regular season, they are left annoyed at the fact that it's not here yet.
The amount of preseason games is at fault for this, with the 4th game being nearly irrelevant. The first preseason game has the starters playing a few series, and then the second-string taking over. The second game has the starters getting the entire first quarter under their belts. The third preseason game is the most important, where the starters play the entire first half, and sometimes part of the 2nd half, and the young players finish off their tryouts. Following the third preseason game is where teams make most of their cuts, ending a majority of the competitions to decide who will start in week 1. Most of the starters take the 4th game off, and the second-string just get themselves ready for their roles in the upcoming season. It's mostly a game teams play because they have to, so they can move on to the regular season.
The pace of the preseason games individually are slowed down by the officials and the yellow flags in their back pockets. It's not just the players who need to get ready for the season, but also those in the black and white on the field. It sure does show, as officials look as if they are testing the penalty calls with a flag on every other play, stopping the clock a little too much. This extends what's suppose to be a 3-hour contest to nearly 4 hours of preseason action. This case is more evident lately with some rule changes that will apply this season, which officials are attempting to get use to calling during games. These 2 factors have made preseason games a tough watch for fans, and changes are necessary for the unnecessary elements of preseason football.