Football is back and it could not have come any sooner. The first game of the 2022 NFL preseason was the Las Vegas Raiders vs the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Although the NFL preseason doesn’t count against a team’s regular season record, the level of importance for many of these players playing in the preseason is at an all-time high. Dreams are ended in the preseason as teams look to trim down their rosters to 53.
So, what to did we see in the first game of the NFL preseason?
The Raiders are the better team
The Raiders came out into this game knowing that they were the better overall team and they looked like it. Although Derek Carr did not play, back-up Jason Stidham did a great job of moving the offense down field. The Raiders began the game with a 20-0 lead, holding the Jags to just four 1st downs in the first half.
Thus, the Raiders got the chance to see a few of their new additions from the offseason work inside of their offense when it is moving like a well-oiled machine against the second and third string guys for the Jags. Raiders won 27-11.
Trevon Walker looked great
The number 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft looked really good coming off the edge. Walker has a quick first step and deceptive strength that gave the left tackle Brandon Parker, for the Raiders, fits. As the first pick, Walker managed to log a sack on Stidham. In multiple occasions, Walker put great pressure on the quarterback early on before being pulled for the rest of the game.
Josh Jacobs playing for a contract
Something that was a surprise was seeing running back Josh Jacobs playing in the preseason. After seeing who was also on the roster, it was clear that Jacobs is playing for either a new contract or a roster spot on another team. The Raiders decided to not pick up Jacob’s 5th-year option. In 2021, Jacobs only rushed for a little over 800 yards and 9 touchdowns.
With a new coaching staff, Jacobs could be the low man on the totem pole because of the many quality running backs they brought in this offseason. New head coach Josh McDaniels comes in from the New England Patriots where they used multiple running backs. Typically, they chose the cheap but effective backs to keep on the roster.
Again, Jacobs is playing for a contract.
Zamir White looks physical
The 4th round pick out of Georgia ran hard and physical all night. White made sure to deliver the final blow when he ran the ball. On the night, White had 11 carriers for 52 yards with a 4.7 yards per carry average. If White continues to show how effective he is for the Raiders, he could be the reason why Josh Jacobs doesn’t get a new contract.