And it was the perfect start to life in a new home for Josh McDaniels, the new head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders who joined in January after a long, trophy-laden stint with the New England Patriots.
His Raiders defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-11, ruining Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson’s first year at the helm.
It was a homecoming victory for the Jacksonville native McDaniels, who was returning to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium where he once played for Canton McKinley High School, patrolling the sidelines where he watched his father, Thom McDaniels, practice during nearly two decades.
“You never know if you’re going to get this opportunity again. I really enjoyed it. 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 as the Jaguars released a list of 21 players they would not play, including sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence. even the most marginal players to step up.
And like many preseason games without the star players, it wasn’t the most polished of affairs.
The first overall pick in this year’s draft, Travon Walker, received a roughing the passer penalty against Raiders backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham on the first play from scrimmage. Walker showed why he was picked first, as he picked up a sack later in the game.
However, there were opportunities for the players to shine, as rookie running back Zamir White showed, rushing for 52 yards and adding 23 more through the air.
And it was the Raiders’ rushing attack that really shredded the Jaguars’ defense, finishing the game with 159 total rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns; one of Stidham, Austin Walter and Ameer Abdullah.
Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson was also perfect from the field, adding two field goals and three extra points.
Jaguars running back Nathan Cottrell scored his team’s only touchdown of the night, catching a pass from Kyle Sloter in the end zone.
After the game, Pederson praised the effort of his team that was missing many of its starters.
He added: “We made sure everyone played in this game. As we go forward, it’s going to be a little more starters and guys that we think will be on the 53 (-player) roster as we go forward.”