Preseason MVP watch: LeGarrette Blount, Jeff Tuel impress in Week 1

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason may not matter to most, but we're watching for who the best performer ends up being at the end of it all.

The NFL preseason isn't necessarily the most exciting thing to watch. We all know the final score doesn't matter, and that the whole thing means immeasurably more to the coaches and players fighting for a job than it does to us. But at the end of the day, it's still football, and there's plenty of room for players to impress their coaches.

In Week 1, the starters didn't get an awful lot of playing time, but there were plenty of backups who put up strong performances. So in the interest of making things ... interesting, we're going to look at the top performers each week and keep track of who might be the "Preseason MVP."

As far as quarterbacks were concerned, plenty of starters looked good (Eli Manning, Tom Brady), but the backups obviously got more time to shine. Four reserves threw two touchdown passes in Week 1, including Tarvaris Jackson, Luke McCown, Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Tuel. Of those, McCown threw for the most yards, with 216, but it was Tuel of the Buffalo Bills who was most efficient, completing 82.6 percent of his passes for 212 yards.

At running back, all eyes are on the New England Patriots backfield. Stevan Ridley carried the ball eight times for a whopping 92 yards and one touchdown, including a 62-yard run. His backup, LeGarrette Blount, made a bid for playing time with 11 attempts for 101 yards and two touchdowns of his own. Rookies Christine Michael and Joseph Randle are worth watching as well; Michael ran for 89 yards against San Diego, while Randle has 86 rushing yards in two games with Dallas.

Miami's Chad Bumphis leads the league with 111 receiving yards, though the Dolphins already have played two games. Preston Parker of the Saints hauled in two touchdowns during New Orleans' first contest, and he is the only receiver to catch more than one touchdown in a game thus far. Victor Cruz has just one reception ... for 57 yards and a touchdown.

On the defensive side of the ball, Carolina's Josh Norman is the only player with a pair of interceptions, while Terrell McClain of the Houston Texans is the only player with more than two sacks (2.5).

These are all guys who should see some more time in the preseason and could be in line for even better efforts going forward.

More from SB Nation:

Colts owner criticizes team in tweet

Darrelle Revis could play in third preseason game

Jamaal Charles suffers foot strain, Chiefs "privately concerned"

Changing the driver: RG3, Shanahan and Washington's offense

NFL Debrief: Lessons from preseason's first week

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