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Rating NFL Preseason Games by ‘LSU-Ness’

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Want to quench your thirst for football by watching former Tigers in action? Here’s the guide for which games you should catch.

NFL: JUL 28 Browns Training Camp Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL preseason gets underway in full fashion tonight, and if you’re a masochist like me, then you’re excited about the return of *football!

Sometimes when I’m casually watching a random preseason game, I’ll overhear the announcer mention someone like Kenny Hilliard or Drake Nevis and think “Hey, good for him!” Seeing players we used to root for at LSU get a shot to make the roster is a fun reason to watch some of these random games. If you’re curious which games you should check out to see former Tigers, this is the place for you.

Instead of rating all 64 exhibition matches, I’ll only be going over the 20 nationally-televised preseason games. However, NFL Network is constantly re-airing every game throughout August so if @LSUFootball retweets an insane Derrius Guice touchdown from a game that isn’t on this list, search the NFL Network guide and set your DVR. Now, to the games.

JETS vs. GIANTS

When: Thurs. Aug. 8, 6 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Jets players: S Jamal Adams

Former LSU Giants players: WR Russell Shepard

The Battle of New York doesn’t give us much in the way of former Tigers, especially because the Jets will likely do the smart thing and rest Adams... actually it’s the Jets so who knows? Shepard should get extensive playing time due to a slew of injuries to Giants receivers, so that’s something to watch. These teams do play in the regular season, so the play-calling will probably be super bland to not tip any hands. A potential Jamal Adams sideline interview is what bumps this up a point.

SCORE: 5/10

CHARGERS vs. CARDINALS

When: Thurs. Aug. 8, 9 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Chargers players: WR Malachi Dupre

Former LSU Cardinals players: CB Patrick Peterson

I was shocked to learn Peterson regularly starts preseason games. He hasn’t had multiple tackles in a preseason game since 2014, but he had a pick-six against Dallas last year! He’ll probably get more time since he’s facing a lengthy suspension to start the year. On the other side, it’s nice to see Malachi Dupre still on a roster and hopefully he gets some balls thrown his way. This game isn’t great for LSU fans, but be honest, you’re watching this game for Kyler Murray.

SCORE: 5/10

BUCCANEERS vs. STEELERS

When: Fri. Aug. 9, 6:30 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Bucs players: LB Devin White, LB Kevin Minter, LB Kendall Beckwith (Injured)

Former LSU Steelers players: OT Jerald Hawkins, OG Garrett Brumfield, DE Greg Gilmore

So we’ve got significantly more Tigers in this game, but most of them probably won’t get the ball in their hands. Still, the debut of Devin White should be highly-anticipated and seeing him alongside Kevin Minter would be a treat for LSU fans if it happens. Kendall Beckwith is still on the Bucs’ roster, but his career is in jeopardy due to injuries from a car accident in April 12. An unfortunate situation, but it’s still cool for three former LSU standouts, all at the same position, to be on the same roster. The Steelers have a few more deep cuts, but a good number of Tigers regardless. NFL.com has Hawkins and Gilmore both listed as No. 65, so I guess we’ll see if that’s a mistake or if the Steelers are running out of jerseys.

SCORE: 7/10

COWBOYS vs. 49ers

When: Sat. Aug. 10, 8 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Cowboys players: OT La’el Collins

Former LSU 49ers players: LB Kwon Alexander

I have a soft spot in my heart for Collins and Alexander for both being standouts on an otherwise painful-to-watch 2014 LSU squad. Even though I like both of them, they’ve cemented themselves as starters and probably won’t get a ton of playing time.

SCORE: 3/10

RAIDERS vs. CARDINALS

When: Thurs. Aug. 15, 7 p.m. CST

TV: ESPN

Former LSU Raiders players: DE Arden Key, TE Foster Moreau

Former LSU Cardinals players: CB Patrick Peterson

Fan favorite Foster Moreau should see plenty of time out there, but remember he will likely be catching passes from The Peter Man, so Peterson might have as good a chance of catching a TD as Moreau. Also Arden Key is awesome and should get a decent number of snaps out there.

SCORE: 6/10

BEARS vs. GIANTS

When: Fri.. Aug. 16, 6:30 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Bears players: CB Kevin Toliver

Former LSU Giants players: WR Russell Shepard

Two decent players from LSU’s past. Both should see the field a decent amount, but they aren’t necessarily show-stoppers. Hopefully they’ll be matched up on a few plays to make this a bit more entertaining.

SCORE: 4/10

BROWNS vs. COLTS

When: Sat. Aug. 17, 3 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Browns players: WR Odell Beckham Jr., WR Jarvis Landry, CB Greedy Williams

Former LSU Colts players: CB Jalen Collins, RB Spencer Ware

We finally get to LSU’s official 2019 NFL bandwagon team― the Cleveland Browns. I would imagine OBJ and Landry play at least one series and Greedy should play at least two quarters. On the other side, the Colts sport two “Oh yeah, him! He’s cool!” in Ware and Collins, but Ware is sidelined for several weeks with an ankle injury. Even if the Browns’ dynamic duo doesn’t hit the field, just seeing them in uniform together makes this the best game on the list so far.

SCORE: 9/10

CHIEFS vs. STEELERS

When: Sat. Aug. 17, 6:30 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Chiefs players: S Tyrann Mathieu, RB Darrell Williams

Former LSU Steelers players: OT Jerald Hawkins, OG Garrett Brumfield, DE Greg Gilmore

Mathieu is basically an auto must-watch, even though he should only play in a limited capacity. Williams is the third running back on the depth chart, so he should get a solid workload here. Even though the Steelers delegates will be in the trenches, this is still a good number of former Tigers.

SCORE: 8/10

COWBOYS vs. RAMS

When: Sat. Aug. 17, 9 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Cowboys players: T La’el Collins

Former LSU Rams players: T Andrew Witworth, DE Michael Brockers.

Three excellent former Tigers who likely won’t play into the second quarter. I’m sorry, but the Saints fan in me cannot recommend you watch these two teams play.

SCORE: 2/10

SAINTS vs. CHARGERS

When: Sun. Aug. 18, 3 p.m. CST

TV: CBS

Former LSU Saints players: OT Will Clapp, WR Travin Dural, WR Cyril Grayson

Former LSU Chargers players: WR Malachi Dupre

Three former Tigers on the Saints! Is it the end times?? Most of you will be watching due to Saints allegiance, but some of you reading this may be racking your head trying to remember who Cyril Grayson is. Grayson never played a down for LSU because he was too busy winning four NCAA championships for the Track & Field team. After graduating, Grayson used his blazing speed to spend the last two training camps with the Seahawks before landing with his hometown team in 2019. Clapp, Dupre, and Dural are good players, but the intrigue of Grayson alone makes this one all LSU fans should check out.

SCORE: 8/10

SEAHAWKS vs. VIKINGS

When: Sun. Aug. 18, 7 p.m. CST

TV: FOX

Former LSU Seahawks players: LB Barkevious Mingo, G Ethan Pocic, DT Al Woods

Former LSU Vikings players: DE Danielle Hunter, DE Tashawn Bower (Injured)

Look at Al Woods still hangin’ around the league! Good for him! Mingo and Pocic should get decent time, but Hunter will likely be very limited being a regular season starter. Former defensive end Tashawn Bower is on the Vikings roster, but suffered a torn Achilles earlier this summer. Still, a pretty good number of guys in action here.

SCORE: 7/10

49ers vs. BRONCOS

When: Mon. Aug. 19, 7 p.m. CST

TV: ESPN

Former LSU 49ers players: LB Kwon Alexander

Former LSU Broncos players: None

Yeahhhh there ain’t much to see here.

SCORE: 1/10

JAGUARS vs. DOLPHINS

When: Thurs. Aug. 22, 7 p.m. CST

TV: FOX

Former LSU Jaguars players: RB Leonard Fournette, WR DJ Chark, RB Alfred Blue

Former LSU Dolphins players: DT Davon Godchaux

Now this is some good stuff! The third preseason game is usually your best bet to see at least one series from every starter, so if we see Fournette anytime in August, it should be here. Good ol’ Alfred Blue is next on the depth chart and should get significant playing time up until halftime, while Chark could see up to three quarters of action. Godchaux is a good enough disrupter to make this a great watch for LSU fans.

SCORE: 9/10

BILLS vs. LIONS

When: Fri. Aug. 23, 7 p.m. CST

TV: CBS

Former LSU Bills players: CB Tre’Davious White, LS Reid Ferguson, LB Corey Thompson

Former LSU Lions players: None

I’m sure a lot of you are surprised to realize Thompson’s 17 years of eligibility at LSU are finally up. He should get playing time in the second half, but probably won’t have a huge impact. Even though White and Ferguson are fan favorites, the action won’t involve them too much. This one is pretty meh. Mission: Impossible - Fallout is on Hulu this night, so watch that instead.

SCORE: 3/10

CARDINALS vs. VIKINGS

When: Sat. Aug. 24, 12 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Cardinals players: CB Patrick Peterson

Former LSU Vikings players: DE Danielle Hunter, DE Tashawn Bower (Injured)

Hunter and Peterson should play several series, but not much else to see here from former Tigers. The only reason this score isn’t lower is because Kyler Murray might play a whole half and you should watch this for that.

SCORE: 5/10

COWBOYS vs. TEXANS

When: Sat. Aug. 24, 6 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Cowboys players: OT La’el Collins

Former LSU Texans players: None

Not only do the Texans not have any LSU players, their second-string QB is AJ McCarron. Yuck. Avoid this.

SCORE: 1/10

SEAHAWKS vs. CHARGERS

When: Sat. Aug. 24, 9 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Seahawks players: LB Barkevious Mingo, G Ethan Pocic, DT Al Woods

Former LSU Chargers players: WR Malachi Dupre

Expect all four of these guys to get a good amount of playing time. They might not be big names, but this game might have the most combined playing time of former Tigers of all the matchups on this list.

SCORE: 8/10

STEELERS vs. TITANS

When: Sat. Aug. 25, 7 p.m. CST

TV: NBC

Former LSU Steelers players: OT Jerald Hawkins, OG Garrett Brumfield, DE Greg Gilmore

Former LSU Titans players: DE Frank Herron

Like the previous game, none of these guys are close to appointment-viewing, but they should all get a decent amount of snaps which makes this worthy of viewing if former LSU players is what you wanna see.

SCORE: 7/10

STEELERS vs. PANTHERS

When: Thurs. Aug. 29, 6 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Steelers players: OT Jerald Hawkins, OG Garrett Brumfield, DE Greg Gilmore

Former LSU Panthers players: S Eric Reid, CB Donte Jackson, G Trai Turner, OT Dillon Gordon

This would probably be the highest-scoring game on the list, but I’m pretty confident three out of four of those Panthers won’t play a single snap. Still should make for an awesome postgame photo on the field.

SCORE: 8/10

CHARGERS vs. 49ers

When: Thurs. Aug. 29, 9 p.m. CST

TV: NFL Network

Former LSU Chargers players: WR Malachi Dupre

Former LSU 49ers players: LB Kwon Alexander

There’s actual college football on now. Watch The Holy War instead.

SCORE: 2/10