Raiders vs. Jaguars score, takeaways: Las Vegas starts Josh McDaniels era strong, blows out Jacksonville

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

Las Vegas scored on the first three possession and were able to take a comfortable lead when Jacksonville — who had most of their notable attacking players, including quarterback Trevor Lawrence — held out on that side of the ball. Raiders starter Jarrett Stidham finished with 96 yards passing while completing 8 of his 15 throws. Meanwhile, Jake Luton, who got the Jags start, completed 10-of-17 for 94 yards.

Below you will find the most important tips from our first preseason game of the year.

Why did the Raiders win?

Give credit to the boy from the hometown, Josh McDaniels — the Raiders came out to play right out of the gate. From the jump, Las Vegas seemed dialed in offensively, even with key starters like Derek Carr, Davante Adams and Darren Waller not playing. Jarrett Stidham got the nod to start the game below center, leading two field goals on the Raiders’ first two possessions. That drive was marked by the strong play of running back Josh Jacobs, who constantly moved the chains during the time he was on the field. He ran 30 yards on just five carries and caught both his goals for 14 yards. That success on the offensive side of the ball continued throughout the first half where Las Vegas would make a 20-0 run to really get away.

Defensively, the Raiders had to compete against backups, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a strong effort on their part. In the first half, the Las Vegas defense forced down three kicks, a fumble, and watched Jacksonville miss a 60-yard field goal. That solid defensive play continued for most of the second half, except for a rubbish touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Why did the Jaguars lose?

Of course, the lack of offensive success comes with a grain of salt, as the Jaguars didn’t have any of their heavy hitters in this game. However, Jake Luton wasn’t exactly doing himself a great favor trying to secure a spot on the roster. The offense struggled to get across the field while below center and failed to put any points on the scoreboard. Although a missed field goal was thrown in when Luton was playing, it wasn’t like it was a gimme kick as it came from 60 yards away, so he didn’t exactly put his team in the best position to succeed. The only time the offense could result in points was when former USFL star Kyle Sloter competed.

Meanwhile, it was a little concerning to see their defenses pushed around early with some of their starting rotation past the front seven, particularly on the ground. In the first half, the Raiders ran 95 yards on an average of 4.5 yards per carry and two touchdowns. Before the game, the Jags gave up 159 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. That should improve as they move forward this preseason.

Turning point

When we shot towards halftime, the Raiders had already built up a 13-point lead. However, with the Jaguars getting the ball back to start the second half and scoring less than two, it was conceivable that they could make a comeback. But Jarrett Stidham did his part to slam the door early. With just over 90 seconds to play on the half, Stidham took a third-and-8 snap, rolled to the right and used his legs to rush for a 12-yard touchdown. That score lifted the Raiders by 20, essentially ruling out any possibility that Jacksonville would turn it into a ball game.

Playing the game

I mean, we have to give this to the first touchdown of the new year, right? With 13:36 to go in the first half, Raiders returning Ameer Abdullah took a first-and-goal carry eight meters to run to the end zone and finish a 50-meter run to Las Vegas. Abdullah ended his night with that touchdown and 30 yards from the scrimmage.

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

What’s next

From here, the Raiders head back to Las Vegas and prepare for their exhibit with the Minnesota Vikings, which will take place at Allegiant Stadium on August 14. The Jaguars gear up for a home show with the Cleveland Browns on Aug. 12 at TIAA Bank Field.

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