Post-match analysis: Jags kicks off the preseason with a 27-11 loss to Raiders

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If there’s one thing fans learned about the Jacksonville Jaguars during their 2022 preseason debut, it’s that there’s a lot of work to be done. Simply put, the team couldn’t get many attacks and that resulted in a 27-11 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

With the 2022 Hall of Fame Game added as a preseason game, the Jags sat more than 20 players and it put them in a situation where they were mostly without their best attacking players. This was reflected in the team’s inability to score in the first half as Las Vegas held a 20-0 lead at halftime.

That said, this game was one for the younger players of the Jags. However, that didn’t mean that starters were completely banned as the Jags will start several players under the age of 25. One of them is center Luke Fortner, who saw a lot of game time and had some good moments in the process.

On the defense side, quarterback Jarrett Stidham made moves against the unit that even shorted a few starters early in the game. The young quarterback moved the ball well enough to leave the first two quarters with 20 points, using players like running backs Josh Jacobs, Ameer Abdullah and Zamir White. Of the three, White had the highest rushing total, finishing the game with 11 carries for 52 yards.

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White wasn’t the only Georgia Bulldog to show up in the first half, though. Number 1 pick and Jags OLB Travon Walker was all over the field starting the game with a rep where he pressured Stidham after an offensive tackle Brandon Parker. Unfortunately, Walker accidentally made contact with Stidham’s head and was penalized in what was the first offensive snap of the game. In the next series, Walker fired Stidham and showed why he was the first player to be selected from the draft board in April.

To kick off the second half, the Jags’ defensive unit played better, holding the Raiders goalless for fifteen minutes to start. Unfortunately, the attack, led by quarterback Kyle Sloter, could only get away with three points.

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In the drive they managed to score, the player leading them along the road ran back Mekhi Sargent, who hit the ball five times in that drive. Overall, he finished the game with five carries for 22 yards and five receptions for 37 yards.

Sargent came into the game on Thursday as a relatively unknown player, but after showing off his versatility, helped his chances of making the roster. He may still have to battle Ryquell Armstead for the RB4 role, but another performance like Thursday’s could put him in the lead in the race, and it will be interesting to see if he takes advantage of the momentum.

Finally, late in the fourth quarter, Sloter was finally able to throw a touchdown pass to make it 27-11. That pass went to Nathan Cottrell running back, who completed a nine-play drive that was the penultimate of the Jags. In that particular drive, receiver Willie Johnson made some positive plays, bringing in his only two passes of the night in the process. He also had an eight-yard rush on a jet sweep, finishing the night with 41 receiving yards.

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Overall, it was not only a night when the team couldn’t do much offensively, but also a night where they made a lot of mistakes, such as crucial penalties. For example, Johnson returned a punt for a touchdown in the second half, but it came back due to a pending call from defending defender Ayo Oyelola.

That said, Jags coach Doug Pederson said the team will work to eliminate the mistakes they made on Thursday. He also said he will play more starters next week, as their August 12 game against Cleveland will be four days away from the first wave of selection discounts at training camps.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire

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