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Preseason standouts in the NFC division

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With the regular season kicking off soon, lets take a look at who stood out during the preseason and some names you can expect to see on the field for your favorite NFC teams.

NFC East 

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott did not play at all during the preseason. The team relied on veterans Ben DiNucci and Will Grier at the quarterback position. Both played well, completing over 50% of their passes and throwing for multiple touchdowns with zero interceptions throughout preseason play.

Rookie running back Malik Davis showed the most flashes on the ground with over 130 total rushing yards and one touchdown. No receivers looked great but rookie Brandon Smith showed big play potential. Rookie cornerback DaRon Bland and second year cornerback Nashon Wright were the standouts on defense, combining for over 23 tackles during the preseason. The Cowboys face the Tampa Buccaneers in Tampa on September 11th in their first regular season game.  

New York Giants

The presumed starter at quarterback Daniel Jones had limited reps during the preseason but backups Tyrod Taylor and Davis Webb got plenty of playing time. Taylor and Webb threw for over 600 combined yards, 4 touchdowns, and one interception throughout the preseason.

Wide receiver Alex Bachman put together a great second preseason game. Bachman had 11 catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Safety Nathan Meadors had an impressive showing in the team’s final preseason game. Meadors had a total of 12 tackles in the game. The Giants start their regular season off against the Tennessee Titans on September 11th. 

Philadelphia Eagles

Jalen Hurts only threw a total of six passes during the preseason. Veteran backup quarterback Gardner Minshew proved to be a reliable option if anything happens to Hurts in the future. Minshew completed 28 of the 38 passes he attempted while throwing for over 270 yards and zero touchdowns.

Rookie safety Reed Blankenship and rookie cornerback Josh Jobe were tackling magnets during the preseason. They combined for 29 tackles.

The Eagles start their season against the Detroit Lions on September 11th. 

Washington Commanders 

Each Commanders quarterback saw time in the preseason. Starter Carson Wentz and backup Taylor Heinicke sat out the final preseason game. Instead rookie quarterback Sam Howell played the entire game. Howell saw the most playing time in the preseason. Howell completed 43 of his 69 passes for over 500 total yards, one touchdown, and one interception throughout the team’s three preseason games.

Rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr showed good potential by averaging 4.1 yards per carry on 14 attempts in his two preseason game appearances. Unfortunately, Robinson Jr was shot on August 28th in an attempted carjacking. Robinson Jr suffered non-life threatening injuries. He underwent surgery and returned to the team’s facilities on August 30th. The timetable for his recovery is unknown at this moment. It is likely Antonio Gibson will hold on to the number one running back spot.

The Commanders play the Jacksonville Jaguars in their season opener on September 11th. 

NFC North

Chicago Bears

In his second year, Justin Fields will look to make big improvements this season. Fields only threw a total of 14 passes in the first two preseason games. He then threw 16 total passes in their final preseason game. Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian played decently, while the other backup Nathan Peterman struggled. Siemian completed 20 of his 36 pass attempts for over 190 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

Peterman completed 14 of his 24 passes for over 170 yards but also fumbled twice throughout the team’s three preseason games. Rookie linebacker Jack Sanborn recorded a total   14 tackles in the first two preseason games. The Bears start their season on September 11th when they head to San Francisco to face the 49ers. 

Detroit Lions

Veteran quarterback and starter Jared Goff only played in the first preseason game, throwing a total of four passes. After Goff’s lone appearance, the Lions were led by Tim Boyle and David Blough. Neither quarterback particularly looked good but Boyle played slightly better overall. Boyle completed 26 of his 46 pass attempts for two touchdowns and two interceptions during the preseason. Blough completed 51 of his 82 pass attempts for two touchdowns and one interception but Blough fumbled the ball in each preseason game.

Both quarterbacks were cut by the team and they signed Nate Sudfeld as the new backup for Goff. Running back Justin Jackson played well during the preseason. Jackson rushed for 109 yards on 16 carries, for an average of 6.8 yards per carry. Rookie safety Kerby Joseph had a total of 20 tackles during the preseason. The Lions begin their season at home on September 11th against the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Green Bay Packers

The reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodger did not play in the preseason and there’s no reason for him to be out there. Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks ever and that’s well proven. If he were to play and get injured, the Packers season would be over before it started. Smart to give the veteran some well earned rest.

Backup quarterback Jordan Love threw the ball a lot, it just wasn’t so accurate at times. Love completed 41 of his 64 passes for three touchdowns and four interceptions. Second year linebacker Isaiah McDuffie had 16 total tackles during the preseason, showing the most consistency on the defense. The

Packers will start their season in Minnesota when they face the Vikings on September 11th. 

Minnesota Vikings

It’s safe to say the Vikings have not reached expectations in the past couple seasons, especially when you look at the talent they have on their roster. Quarterback Kirk Cousins did not play at all during the team’s three preseason games. Instead the quarterback duties were in the hands of backups Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond. Neither quarterback looked great or showed much consistency.

Rookie running back Ty Chandler played well. During the preseason Chandler carried the ball 15 times with an average of 7.5 yards per carry and had one touchdown. Rookie cornerback Akayleb Evans had 10 tackles in the team’s second preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Vikings will start the season with a home opener against the Green Bay Packers on September 11th. 

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

Rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder saw the most playing time at the position during the preseason, while starter Marcus Mariota played a limited amount. Ridder finished with over 420 total passing yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions throughout exhibition play.

Rookie wide receiver Jared Bernhardt had five catches for over 100 yards and one touchdown throughout the preseason. The only player to stand out on defense may be cornerback Teez Tabor, who had 14 total tackles during the preseason.

The Atlanta Falcons face the New Orleans Saints in their season opener on September 11th. 

Carolina Panthers

Baker Mayfield is the team’s starting quarterback. Rookie Matt Corral and veteran PJ Walker saw the field most at the quarterback position during the preseason. No one shined but Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, and PJ Walker each fumbled once during the preseason. The defense played inconsistently throughout the preseason with no one standing out from the pack.

The Panthers will face Baker Mayfield’s old team the Cleveland Browns in the team’s first game of the season on September 11th. 

New Orleans Saints

Starting quarterback Jameis Winston is returning from a torn ACL that he suffered last season during a week 8 game against the Tampa Buccaneers. The team also has star wide receiver Michael Thomas returning from an ankle injury that kept sidelined all of last season. Winston played in the team’s final preseason game and Thomas did not play during the preseason. Winston only threw four passes but he completed all four for 59 total passing yards.

Backup Ian Book saw the most play time at quarterback but he struggled with turnovers. In the Saints three preseason games, Book had a total of three fumbles and two interceptions. Linebacker Eric Wilson had 11 total tackles during the preseason.

The Saints will start their season in Atlanta when they play the Falcons on September 11th. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Star quarterback Tom Brady got a well deserved rest during the preseason. Brady only appeared in the team’s final exhibition game and threw eight passes. Backup quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask were the team’s signal callers during the preseason. Trask got the majority of playing time. Neither quarterback looked good, with Trask fumbling the ball a total of three times during the preseason.

Running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn made the most of his opportunities. Vaughn had 29 total carries and two touchdowns throughout preseason play. Rookie linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi had a total of 16 tackles in a two game span, with three of those being tackles for a loss. Tampa Bay starts their season against the Dallas Cowboys on September 11th. 

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals 

Starting quarterback Kyler Murray did not play during the preseason but instead Trace McSorley played. McSorley played about average during the preseason. His stats would show that he had one good game, one bad game, and one average game.

Wide receivers Greg Dortch and Andy Isabella played well. Together they combined for 28 receptions, over 300 yards and one touchdown during the preseason. Veteran linebacker Ben Nieman and rookie lineback Chandler Wooten combined for over 27 tackles through preseason play.

The Cardinals start the season against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 11th. 

Los Angeles Rams

Veteran starting quarterback Matthew Stafford sat out during the preseason. The Rams had second year quarterback Bryce Perkins take the lead. Perkins completed 35 of the 49 passes he attempted, for a 71% completion rate. He threw for over 350 total yards, two touchdown passes, two rushing touchdowns, and zero interceptions during the course of the preseason.

Rookie wide receiver Lance McCutcheon played very well. He had 15 total receptions, 259 yards, and two touchdowns during the preseason. Rookie linebacker Jake Hummel and veteran cornerback Grant Haley combined for 46 tackles in the preseason. The Rams will kickoff the new season at home, going against the Buffalo Bills on September 8th. 

San Francisco 49ers

New starting quarterback Trey Lance saw some preseason action, while former starter Jimmy Garoppolo did not play at all. This may have been because the team is still looking to trade Garoppolo to another team. In the limited sample size, Lance played very well. Lance completed 11 of his 16 pass attempts for over 140 total yards and one touchdown during his two preseason game appearances. Lance did not play in the second preseason game, instead rookie Brock Purdy and veteran Nate Sudfeld played. On the defensive side, veteran Oren Burks had a total of 16 tackles in a two game span.

The 49ers will start their season away in Chicago, when they face the Bears on September 11th. 

Seattle Seahawks 

Seattle recently named Geno Smith as their starting quarterback. Smith had a fairly average preseason, he didn’t do anything spectacular but also didn’t make any major mistakes. Backup quarterback Drew Lock struggled with turnovers. During the course of the preseason, Lock threw three interceptions and had one fumble. Running back DeeJay Dallas had some impressive preseason stats.

Dallas had a total of 163 rushing yards, 78 receiving yards, one rushing touchdown and one receiving touchdown. Rookies, safety Joey Blount and linebacker Joel Dublanko combined for a total of 31 tackles during the preseason. Unfortunately the team waived Dublanko on August 31st. The Seahawks start their season at home when they face former longtime starting quarterback Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos on September 12th.