The NFL is back! The preseason begins with the Las Vegas Raiders blowing out the undermanned Jacksonville Jaguars

The preseason for the 2022 season kicked off on Thursday with the hall of fame game’s signature curtain-raiser, marking the start of another season of drama, excitement and the highest level imaginable.

And it was the perfect start to a new home for Josh McDaniels, the Las Vegas Raiders’ new head coach, who arrived in January after a long, trophy-winning stint with the New England Patriots.

His Raiders defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-11, spoiling first-year Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson’s first game at the helm.

It was a homecoming victory for the Jacksonville native McDaniels, who returned to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium where he once played for Canton McKinley High School and patrolled the sidelines watching his father Thom McDaniels, who was nearly two Trained for decades.

“Very grateful I had (the chance),” McDaniels said afterwards. “It’s the first time I’ve been in this Hall of Fame game in 22 years. To have the opportunity to do this with him here and my family and many people who have helped me along the way, I think it was a special night for you.

“You never know if you’ll get that opportunity again. I really enjoyed them. It was a good opportunity for all of us and I think we all enjoyed it.”

In a game without most of the starters from both teams — Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and star wide receiver Davante Adams sat out, while the Jaguars released a list of 21 players who would not play, including sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence — it was to the fringe players to level up.

And like many preseason games without the star players, it wasn’t the most polished affair.

Snoop Conner is attacked by Kendal Vickers, Andrew Billings and Tashawn Bower.

No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, Travon Walker, was called out to a roughing-the-passer penalty against Raiders backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham on the very first play. However, Walker showed why he was picked first when he picked up a sack later in the game.

However, there were opportunities for players to flash, as demonstrated by rookie running back Zamir White, who rushed for 52 yards and added 23 more through the air.

And it was the Raiders’ rushing attack that really broke through the Jaguars’ defense, ending the game with a total of 159 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns; one each from Stidham, Austin Walter and Ameer Abdullah.

Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson was also perfect from the field, adding two field goals and three extra points.

Jaguar running back Nathan Cottrell scored the only touchdown for his team of the night when he caught a pass from Kyle Sloter in the end zone.

Josh Thompson extends to convert a third down as he's forced out by Sam Webb in the first half

After the game, Pederson praised his team’s performance, which was missing many of its starters.

“I thought the performance was really good overall,” said Pederson. “We just have to clean up. There were too many small mistakes.”

He added: “We made sure everyone participated in this game. As we move forward it’s going to be a little bit more the starters and guys who we think will be on the 53(-player roster over time ) will stand.”