After almost six long months, NFL came back
in 2022 season preseason began Thursday with the typical curtain raiser at the Hall of Fame Game, marking the start of another season of drama, excitement and the highest level of skill imaginable.
It was the perfect start to life in a new home for Josh McDaniels, the new Las Vegas Raiders head coach who joined in January after a long, trophy-filled stint with the New England Patriots.
His Raiders crushed the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-11, spoiling first-year Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson’s debut at the helm.
It was a home win for Jacksonville native McDaniels, who returned to Hall of Fame Tom Benson Stadium, where he once played at Canton’s McKinley High School, patrolling the sidelines as he watched his father, Thomas McDaniels, coach for nearly two decades.
“Very grateful to have had the opportunity,” McDaniels said then. “This is the first time I’ve been in this Hall of Fame in 22 years. I think it was a special night to be able to do it with him, my family and a lot of people who have helped me along the way.
“You never know if you’ll get that chance again. I really liked it. It was a good opportunity for all of us and I think we all enjoyed it.
In a game that was without most of the starters for both teams, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and punter Davante Adams sat out and the Jaguars announced a list of 21 players who will not play, including second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence. the more fringe players step up.
And like many preseason games without star players, it wasn’t the best of affairs.
This year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, Travon Walker, was called for a roughing the passer on Raiders backup Jarrett Stidham on his first play from scrimmage. Walker showed why he was picked first when he picked up a basket later in the game.
Still, the players had opportunities to shine, as shown by rookie quarterback Zamir White, who rushed for 52 yards and added 23 more.
And it was the Raiders’ rushing attack that really broke through the Jaguars’ defense, finishing the game with 159 yards and three touchdowns; one each from Stidham, Austin Walter and Ameer Abdullah.
Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson also had a solid performance in the field, adding two field goals and three extra points.
Jaguars quarterback Nathan Cottrell scored his team’s only score of the night on a Kyle Slaughter pass in the end zone.
After the game, Pederson praised the effort of his team, which was missing many starters.
“I thought it was a really good effort overall,” Pederson said. “We just have to clean up. There were too many small mistakes.”
He added: “We made sure everyone played in this game. As we move forward, we think there will be a little more starters and guys on the 53-man roster.