Raiders vs. Jaguars win, take out: Las Vegas kicks off Josh McDaniels era strong, Jacksonville explodes – CBS Sports

Raiders vs. Jaguars win, take out: Las Vegas kicks off Josh McDaniels era strong, Jacksonville explodes - CBS Sports

Finally, football is finally back in our lives. The NFL returned as they opened the preseason with an exhibition between the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. With many of the starters left on the bench for this head-to-head, it was predictably not a super competitive affair and the Raiders were able to run away with a 27-11 win.

Las Vegas scored on its first three possessions and was able to get out to a comfortable lead as Jacksonville — which endured most of its big-name offensive players including quarterback Trevor Lawrence — stagnated on that side of the ball. Raiders starter Jarrett Stidham finished with 96 yards passing completing 8 of his 15 throws. Meanwhile, Jake Luton, who got the start for the Jags, completed 10-of-17 for 94 yards.

Below, you’ll find the key takeaways from our first pre-season match of the year.

Why the Raiders won

Give credit to the hometown kid, Josh McDaniels — the Raiders came to play right out of the gate. From the jump, Las Vegas seemed stoked offensively, even with key starters like Derek Carr, Davante Adams and Darren Waller not playing. Jarrett Stidham got the nod to start the game under center and led two field goal drives on the Raiders’ opening two possessions. Those drives were highlighted by the strong play of running back Josh Jacobs, who consistently moved the chains during the time he was on the field. He rushed for 30 yards on just five carries and caught both of his targets for 14 yards. That success on the offensive side of the ball continued throughout the first half where Las Vegas would go on a 20-0 run to really pull away.

Defensively, the Raiders went against backups, but that still doesn’t mean it wasn’t a strong effort from them. In the first half, Las Vegas’ defense forced three punts, a fumble, and watched as Jacksonville missed a 60-yard field goal. That strong defensive play continued for most of the second half, outside of a garbage time touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Why the Jaguars lost

Of course, the lack of success offensively comes with a grain of salt because the Jaguars didn’t have any of their heavy hitters playing in this game. However, Jake Luton didn’t exactly do himself many favors trying to secure a roster spot. The offense struggled down the field while under center and was unable to put any points on the scoreboard. Even though there was a missed field goal splashed in when Luton played, it wasn’t like it was a gimme kick by any measure because it came from 60 yards out, so he didn’t exactly put his team in the best position to succeed. The only time the offense was able to put up points was when former USFL star Kyle Sloter was on.

Meanwhile, it was a little concerning to see their defense get pushed early with some of their starting rotation along the front seven, specifically on the ground. In the first half, the Raiders ran for 95 yards on 4.5 yards per carry average and two touchdowns. For the game, the Jags gave up 159 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. That will need to improve as they move forward this preseason.

Turning point

As we rocketed to halftime, the Raiders had already established a 13-point lead. With the Jaguars getting the ball back to start the second half and down by less than two scores, however, it was conceivable that they could make a comeback. But, Jarrett Stidham did his part to burn the door down early in this one. With just over 90 seconds to play in the half, Stidham took a third-and-8 snap, rolled to his right, and used his legs to rush for a 12-yard touchdown. That score put the Raiders up by 20, which essentially eliminated any chance of Jacksonville making this a ballgame.

Game of the game

I mean, we have to give this the first touchdown of the new year, right? With 13:36 remaining in the first half, Raiders running back Ameer Abdullah took a first-and-goal carry eight yards to escape into the end zone and cap a 50-yard drive for Las Vegas. Abdullah finished his night with that touchdown and 30 yards from scrimmage.

Not only did we get that score, but we also got our first touchdown of 2022.

What follows

From here, the Raiders will head back to Las Vegas and prepare for their exhibition with the Minnesota Vikings on August 14th at Allegiant Stadium. As for the Jaguars, they will prepare for a home exhibition with the Cleveland Browns on August 12th at TIAA Bank Field.

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