Pro Football 2022 Hall of Fame Game Raiders Recap

Pro Football 2022 Hall of Fame Game Raiders Recap

The 2022 NFL preseason began. The Las Vegas Raiders played the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. 

Last year the Raiders had turmoil no team should ever go through. The team started 3-0. Then 2 weeks later Jon Gruden was forced out as coach due to an NFL hit job involving emails he sent a decade earlier when he was not even in the league. Then a few weeks later wide receiver Henry Ruggs was involved in a driving accident that killed a woman. Despite being 6-7, interim coach Rich Bisaccia had the team together. They rattled off 4 straight wins in harrowing fashion. The finale against the Chargers took all 5 quarters. The Raiders won 35-32 to make the playoffs and knock the Chargers out. The Raiders in their wildcard playoff game took the Cincinnati Bengals to the limit. This time the cardiac kids in silver and black came up short. They were less than 10 yards from tying the game but lost 23-16. The 2021 Raiders set an NFL record with 6 wins on the final play. 

Rather than preserve continuity, Mark Davis blew up the front office. The new coach is Josh McDaniels, who previously coached the archival Denver Broncos and spent many years as the offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. 

The game was delayed 40 minutes due to lightning, just as their regular season finale against the Chargers was. 

Now it was time to play football in this new season. Derek Carr, newly acquired Davante Adams, Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow and most of the starters got the night off. Jarrett Stidham, who played in New England, got the start. On the first play from scrimmage, there was a tribute to Al Davis with a bomb. Stidham was hit as he threw so the ball floated in the air, but somehow it was complete for a 31 yard gain. Roughing the passer added 15 more yards. One star who did play was Josh Jacobs. His first carry gained 12 yards. The Raiders last year kicked too many field goals and scored not enough touchdowns.

Although the Jaguars were the worst team in the league last year, they have a decent defense. The starting defense played early on. They are now coached by Doug Pederson, who won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles. Trevor Lawrence had the night off and backup CJ Beathard was injured. 3rd string quarterback Jake Luton got the start. The defense forced a 3 and out. 

On the next Raiders drive on 2nd and 10, Jacobs banged ahead for 9 yards. On 3rd and 1, Jacobs showed his mettle by going up the gut again for 5 yards. McDaneils kept feeding Jacobs. It seemed strange to have him play, but the team declined his 5th year option. McDaniels was determined to see what he had in Jacobs. Jacobs showed how good he was, as he took a screen pass from Stidham for 14 yards. Zamir White is the newly drafted Raiders running back putting the heat on Jacobs. White’s first carry gained 15 yards. Consecutive sacks of Stidham, including one by top draft pick Trayvon Walker and another by former Raiders player Arden Key, killed the drive. Yet Daniel Carlson buried a 55 yard field goal in the rain to make it 6-0 Raiders. 

Luton finally got the Jaguars offensive going as the Jaguars crossed midfield. Yet a 3rd and 5 bomb was overthrown incomplete. Doug Pederson brought in kicker Brian Santoso for a 60 yard field goal try, which he would not do in a regular season game in that situation. The kick was long enough but just wide no good. 

This allowed the Raiders to begin their 3rd drive at midfield. Stidham was out and 3rd string quarterback Nick Mullens came in and immediately fumbled the snap. Yet the Raiders escaped with only a one yard loss. Jacobs was done for the night. Mullins then executed screen pass to Amir Abdullah for a 17 yard gain as the first quarter ended. 

The second quarter began with a 3rd running back in Kenyan Drake getting the carry. McDaniels said he was going to do running back by committee. Mullens then found Tyron Johnson over the middle for a 25 yard gain down to the 8 yard line. A pitchout in the rain is always risky, but Abdullah took it around the end for a touchdown and a 13-0 Raiders lead. On the next Jaguars drive, a completion by Luton went for a first down past midfield, but then a pair of helmets on the ball meant a fumble that the Raiders recovered. 

The Raiders took over at their own 45. On 3rd and 1, White got the carry up the middle and got stopped inches short. Josh McDaniels decided to go for it, since it’s easy to be brave in the preseason. On 4th and inches, White got the carry again and gained 2 yards. Another well executed screen pass went to White for 19 yards. On 3rd and 16 from the Jacksonville 41, Mullens was sacked. Josh McDaniels decided against a 58 yard field goal try, and the punt went for a harmless touchback. The defense forced a 3 and out.

In a surprise move, Stidham came back in the game. on 3rd and 11 form his own 30, Stidham found Johnson on the sideline for a 12 yard gain that was ruled incomplete. Josh Mcdaniels called a timeout to review the play, which appeared to be a catch. On further review, it was reversed to a catch and a first down as McDaniels won his challenge. On 3rd and 1 from the Jacksonville 46, White took a pitchout wide, banged a defender short of the sticks, and plowed ahead for 3 yards. A bomb to Johnson at the goal line was on target, bobbled, and dropped incomplete. Keenan Cole took a pitchout for 12 yards and a first down but suffered a helmet to helmet hit that was not called. Cole got up under his own power. 

At the 2 minute warning, the Raiders faced 3rd and 7 at the Jacksonville 27. Stidham found DeMarcus Robinson for 12 yards. Robinson was with the Chiefs for 6 years and should be a positive addition. On 3rd and 8 from the Jags 12, Stidham rolled out and had a wide open lane. He waltzed into the end zone for another touchdown. The Raiders took that 20-0 lead into the locker rooms. 

The second half was uneventful. Yes, the Jaguars were the worst team in the league last year. Yet the Raiders offense looked good, even great at times. They scored on 4 possessions. Both Mullens and Stidham directed a touchdown drive. All 3 running backs had some good yardage. The Raiders defense pitched a shutout in the first half. Meaningless game or not, a 20-0 lead is a positive by any standard.

The Jaguars kicked a field goal late in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Jaguars returned a punt for a touchdown only to have it called back by an illegal block. The Jaguars went for it on 4th and 1 near midfield. 3rd string quarterback Kyle Sloter fumbled the snap, resulting in a huge loss. The Raiders took over at the Jacksonville 42. On 3rd and 9, 4th string quarterback Chase Garbers fired over the middle for a first down. On 4th and 3 from the Jags 24, McDaniels went for it and Garbers completed a crossing route that went for 16 yard gain. Austin Walter took a pitchout for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 27-3 Raiders midway through the fourth quarter. All 3 quarterbacks who played led a touchdown drive. Derek Carr was the only quarterback not to have a touchdown drive, but he will be the starter. The Jaguars scored a meaningless touchdown late to close the scoring. 

The 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game is now in the books. 27-11 Raiders


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