Freeney says that wins and losses during exhibition play are not indicative of how a team will perform during the regular season. Case in point: Freeney's former team, the Indianapolis Colts, finished 11-27 in preseason contests during a nine-year stretch from 2002 to 2010, yet they advanced to the playoffs every season.
"Do you want to win? Yeah," Freeney said. "But at the end of the day, it's not the end of the world -- it doesn't count. No one remembers how many preseason games you won last year."
That said, Freeney's approach to the third preseason game is different, because it's the one game most like a regular-season contest. Position coaches establish regular-season practice and film-room schedules, game-planning specifically for this week's opponent, the San Francisco 49ers.
And it's also the game where starters on both sides of the ball will see the most time.
"The third preseason game means more than the other ones because you get to prepare like a regular-season game," Freeney said. "And you get to see what your ones can do against their ones."
But Freeney also understands the Chargers play San Francisco later in the regular season, so San Diego won't show everything.
"You're preparing, but you are not necessarily showing your best game plans, because like I said, it's all about wins and losses in the regular season," Freeney said. "So if you go ahead and show your hand in the preseason, there aren't going to be any surprises in the regular season."
If he plays on Sunday against the 49ers, the 34-year-old Freeney said his reps will be about testing his body out, making sure the torn quad he suffered last season is fully healed and working on specific fundamentals or techniques so that he's ready for the regular season.
"I want to make sure I'm fresh," Freeney said. "I want to make sure I'm running and finishing the plays I want to, make sure my stride is good and my drive is good -- things like that."
Freeney said ultimately it will be up to the coaching staff on whether he plays on Sunday, and how much. Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said he has not made that determination yet for any of his players.
"We've got a plan for everybody in place," McCoy said. "And we're doing what we think is in the best interest of the team moving forward."