This was a new start, a new era.
And if Doug Pederson's first game as the Jaguars' head coach was uneventful, that debut came without a slew of front-line players – including starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Reserve veteran Jake Luton started in place of Lawrence, and the Jaguars fell behind quickly in a 27-11 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio., Thursday. The game was the 2022 NFL preseason opener and televised nationally by NBC.
"I thought overall the effort was really good," Pederson said. "We just have to clean up. There were too many little mistakes."
The Jaguars held 21 front-line players out of the game.
"We made sure everybody played in this game," Pederson said. "As we move forward, it will be a little more the starters and guys we think will be on the 53[-player roster] as we go."
Luton, the third-team quarterback behind Lawrence and C.J. Beathard – who did not play while rehabilitating an offseason groin injury – completed 10 of 17 passes for 94 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in two quarters.
The Jaguars trailed 20-0 at halftime, with fourth-team quarterback Kyle Sloter completing 13 of 25 passes for 127 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions in the second half.
The Raiders outgained the Jaguars 321-273 for the game, including 234-106 in the first half. The Jaguars were penalized six times for 60 yards.
"We talk about details; we talk about being a smarter football team," Pederson said. "Tonight, we didn't show that with too many costly penalties at the wrong time. We have to protect the football. That was really the deciding factor there."
Most of the Jaguars' front-line offensive skill players were held out: quarterback Trevor Lawrence, wide receiver Christian Kirk, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., wide receiver Zay Jones, tight end Evan Engram and running back Travis Etienne Jr. Starting offensive linemen Brandon Scherff, Cam Robinson and Tyler Shatley also missed the game.
A highlight for the Jaguars came early, with rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker – the No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft – registered a sack on the second Raiders series.
The Jaguars registered five sacks: Two by defensive lineman Arden Key, one by Walker, one by linebacker Grant Morgan and one by defensive lineman Israel Antwine.
Step by step:
- The Raiders took a 3-0 lead on the game's first drive with a 32-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson; former Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole caught a 31-yard pass on the game's first play with Walker penalized 15 yards for roughing quarterback Jarrett Stidham on the play to give the Raiders 1st-and-10 at the Jaguars 29. Carlson capped the ensuing drive with a 55-yard field goal to make it 6-0 with 4:54 remaining in the quarter; Walker and Key forced the field goal with back-to-back sacks. Jaguar kicker Ryan Santoso missed a 60-yard field goal attempt late in the first quarter.
- The Raiders scored for a third time in as many possessions on their first drive of the second quarter, with running back Ameer Abdullah running around the left side eight yards untouched for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead with 13:36 remaining in the second quarter. Stidham scrambled for a 12-yard touchdown with 1:34 remaining in the second quarter to make it 20-0, Raiders.
- Elliott Fry's 46-yard field goal with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter made it 20-3, Raiders. The Jaguars signed Fry earlier this week.
- Reserve running back Austin Walter's eight-yard run pushed the Raiders' lead to 27-3 with 7:53 remaining. Reserve running back Nathan Cottrell caught a five-yard pass from Sloter with 3:26 remaining, with Cottrell's two-point run making it 27-11.
Notable: The full list of Jaguars players ruled out for Thursday's game:
- Etienne, Beathard, Jones, Shenault, Jones, Kirk, Lawrence, Engram, cornerback Darious Williams (shoulder), running back James Robinson (Achilles), linebacker Devin Lloyd, wide receiver Jamal Agnew (hip), Allen, insider linebacker Foye Oluokun, Scherff, Shatley, right tackle Jawaan Taylor, Robinson, tight end Chris Manhertz, defensive tackle Malcom Brown and defensive lineman Foley Fatukasi. All aforementioned players are veterans with extensive NFL experience except Lloyd, the No. 27 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft who has missed the early part of 2022 Training Camp with a hamstring injury.
Injury report: Jaguars cornerback Tyson Campbell sustained an injury in the first quarter before jogging off the field quickly and playing on the ensuing series.
"I thought our D-Line played well," Pederson said.