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