After nearly six long months, the NFL is back.
year 2022 seasons Thursday’s pre-season kicked off with the lifting of the typical Hall of Fame curtain, signaling the start of another season of drama, excitement and the highest level of skill imaginable.
And it was the perfect start to life in a new home for Josh McDaniels, the new head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders who joined in January after a long trophy-laden stint with the New England Patriots.
His Raiders beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-11, spoiling Jaguars coach Doug Pederson’s first game on the head.
It was a homecoming win for the McDaniels, a Jacksonville native, who was returning to the Tom Benson Hall of Fame where he once played at Canton McKinley High School, watching his father, Tom McDaniels, coach for nearly two decades.
McDaniels: “I’m so grateful I had (the opportunity)” He said Immediately after that. “It’s my first time in this Hall of Fame in 22 years. For the chance to do it with him here and with my family and so many people who have helped me along the way, I think it was a special night for them.
“You never know if you will ever get that chance again. I really enjoyed it. It was a good opportunity for all of us, and I think we all enjoyed it.”
In a game without most of the two teams’ starting players — Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and future star Davante Adams sat down while the Jaguars released a roster of 21 players who wouldn’t play including sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence — it was up to more critical players to step up.
And like many pre-season games without the star players, this wasn’t the most polished case.
1 was called overall in this year’s Travon Walker draft for a rough pass penalty against Raiders reserve quarterback Garrett Stidham in the first match of the melee. Walker showed why he was chosen first even though he picked up a sack later in the game.
There were opportunities for the players to rush in, as rising linebacker Zamir White showed, sprinting for 52 yards and adding another 23 through the air.
And it was the Raiders’ rushing attack that really ripped the Jaguars’ defense, finishing the game with a total of 159 rushing yards and three quick touchdowns; One each from Stedham, Austin Walter and Amir Abdullah.
The Raiders attacking player Daniel Carlson was perfect off the field as well, adding two field goals and three extra points.
Fiery full back Nathan Cottrell scored his team’s only goal of the evening, picking up a pass from Kyle Slaughter in the end zone.
After the match, Pederson praised the efforts of his team, who had lost many of their starts.
“I generally thought the effort was really good,” Pederson said He said. “We just have to clean up. There were a lot of little mistakes.”
He added, “We made sure everyone played in this match. As we go forward, we’ll be a little more junior and guys that we think will be in the 53 (player list) as we go.”