The Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Las Vegas Raiders in Thursday night’s Hall of Fame Game at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
Jacksonville heads to this season looking to bounce back from another disastrous campaign which saw them finish with the league’s worst record. Being the league’s worst team, however, the Jaguars were able to pick first overall for the second consecutive NFL Draft. After taking QB Trevor Lawrence last season, the Jaguars took defensive end, Travon Walker, this year. The Jaguars also added tight end Evan Engram and wide receiver Christian Kirk.
Meanwhile, Las Vegas enters the 2022 campaign after making the playoffs last season. The Raiders made a big splash during the offseason as it acquired two impact players in wide receiver Davante Adams on offense and defensive end Chandler Jones. With their additions, Las Vegas is poised to contend for the playoffs once again this year. The Raiders also hired New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their new head coach.
The Jacksonville Jaguars also have a new head coach in Doug Pederson who will try to do better than his predecessor Urban Meyer who didn’t even last his entire first season as Jaguars head coach. First things first though as Pederson needs to solve the Jaguars’ preseason woes. Jacksonville is just 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS in their last seven preseason games played.
Trevor Lawrence is set as QB1 but behind him, the Jaguars have a revolving door composed of veteran C.J. Beathard, Jake Luton, and Kyle Sloter. Luton threw more INTs than TDS in three starts last season while Sloter is coming off a stint in the USFL where he nearly led the New Orleans Breakers to the championship.
The Raiders this year have a chance to be more than just the team with the best football stadium in the NFL. Derek Carr has always been a productive quarterback but this season, he will have the best wide receiver he’s ever had in his entire football career after the Raiders acquired Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers. With a new and offensive-minded head coach in Josh McDaniels, expect the Raiders offense to improve this season.
McDaniels has a trio of backup QBS at his disposal. The group is led by veterans Nick Mullens and Jarrett Stidham plus undrafted rookie Chase Garbers. Mullens is the most experienced while Stidham has the knack to excel in preseason play. Las Vegas also added sack monster Chandler Jones to solidify their defense, although he isn’t expected to play in this game. The Raiders are 7-2 SU and ATS in their last nine preseason games played. They are also 3-0 in their previous three Hall of Fame Game appearances.
Jacksonville is 1-8 SU in their last nine games played. They are 1-3 SU in their last four preseason road games and 0-8 SU in their last eight games played on the road overall The Jaguars are 3-17 SU in their last 20 games played against an opponent from the American Football Conference.
Las Vegas is 4-1 SU in their last five games played. They are 4-2 in their last six games against the American Football Conference, but 1-4 in their last five games against the AFC South Division. The Raiders are 4-0 in their last four preseason home games.
Head to head, the Raiders have won three out of the last four meetings between these two teams. Las Vegas is also 2-1 in their last three home games against the Jaguars.
Jacksonville had high hopes with the arrival of Trevor Lawrence and Urban Meyer but things didn’t go as planned as Meyer did not even make it to the end of his first season. The Jaguars finished the season with a dismal 3-14 record, although those struggles allowed them to pick first overall again in 2022. They used the pick to draft defensive end, Travon Walker, to help bolster their defense.
The Jaguars ended up using five of their seven draft picks to pick defensive players so the defense should have some improvement here. But since this is preseason, we won’t get to see the full arsenal in a full game.
Despite finishing with a 10-8 record and a trip to the playoffs, the Las Vegas Raiders had a busy offseason where they hired New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their new head coach. They also made a big splash during the offseason when they acquired Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams. However, with only four picks in the last draft, the earliest at no. 90, McDaniels has some positional battles to settle in the preseason.
Considering all the circumstances, the Raiders should be in better shape here. Taking out the starters, Las Vegas’ QB roster is more experienced and their offensive lineup is much deeper. Jacksonville’s defense had plenty of holes last season, I don’t expect them to fix it right away.
There isn’t much at stake for both teams in this game, as far as winning is concerned. However, the Raiders should want to keep their perfect record in the Hall of Fame Game intact. This game will also be played in Josh McDaniels’ childhood home and the Raiders will be watching two former players Cliff Branch and Richard Seymour inducted to the Hall of Fame. Those are more than enough motivations to win this game. Or at least try to.
Prediction: Las Vegas Raiders
The Jaguars are 5-2 in their last seven meetings against the Raiders. Jacksonville is also 4-2 ATS in their last six road games against Las Vegas.
The Jaguars are:
The Raiders are:
Doug Pederson owns an 8-8 career preseason coaching record while Josh McDaniels is 3-5 in preseason play. But considering that McDaniels is a disciple of Bill Belichick, you have to believe he has the same mindset of taking every game seriously, even preseason games. With both coaches new to their teams, the Hall of Fame game should be an opportunity to make a statement right off the gates.
Taking into consideration that both teams will take this game seriously, regardless of whether it’s the second or third units on the field, the Raiders have the edge because they have more talent and are the better football team.
Derek Carr said his new team has receivers other than Davante Adams who are capable of making big plays. This game should be an opportunity for those players to show up against a Jacksonville defense that was shaky last season. Stidham and Mullens can make an immediate impact given their experience and that gives Las Vegas the edge here.
Prediction: Las Vegas Raiders -1.5
The total has gone over in four out of the last six meetings between the Jaguars and Raiders. However, the under is 1-5 in the last six games played between these two teams in Las Vegas.
Jacksonville Jaguars over/under trends:
Las Vegas Raiders over/under trends:
The Jaguars should find some success against the Raiders’ defense because I don’t expect Chandler Jones to make his debut on Thursday night and even if he did, he should be playing on a significantly reduced snap count.
Kyle Sloter is coming off a fine season with the New Orleans Breakers in the USFL so he should be an interesting player to watch here as he is should be in mid-season form already.
The Raiders’ backup QB situation is still unclear right now with Jarrett Stidham, Nick Mullens, and rookie Chase Garbers on the roster. So there’s a good chance that McDaniels will use this game to test the three. With veterans Stidham and Mullens hungry to become QB2, look for the Raiders to move the ball well against the second or third units of the Jaguars. I like these teams to hit the over.
Prediction: Over 30.5
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