What We Saw: Jaguars at Raiders

Dan Adams recaps the Hall of Fame Game.

Jaguars @ Raiders

 

Football is finally back, but we had to wait a little longer than planned for the kick-off of this year’s preseason as thunderstorms delayed the festivities. Once the game started we were quickly reminded that this is a game for players fighting for backup roles, and surprisingly Josh Jacobs. Jacobs starting, and receiving meaningful touches, in the most meaningless game of the year sent ripples through fantasy Twitter. Given that all of the Las Vegas running backs played tonight it was probably just new head coach Josh McDaniels making a weird decision, but it’s a situation to monitor for sure. From the Jacksonville side, none of the skill-position starters played. We did get our first glimpse of number one overall pick Travon Walker, who recorded his first sack in a Jaguars jersey. Ultimately, this was a slow game without many explosive plays. The Raiders got an early lead and never gave it back, en route to a 27-11 win.

 

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Quarterback

 

Jake Luton: 10/17, 94 yards

Kyle Sloter: 13/25, 127 yards, TD, Sack | 2 carries, 4 yards

 

Jake Luton got the start for the Jaguars tonight and had a rough game. It’s not uncommon for quarterbacks to struggle in this type of game with receivers that don’t create separation. Still, Luton started three regular-season games last year and was hoping to gain some ground in the competition for the backup quarterback job with C.J. Beathard still nursing an injury. Former USFL star Kyle Sloter took the rest of the snaps and didn’t fair much better. He threw a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter, but a better defender would have easily intercepted it.

 

 

Starter Trevor Lawrence sat out, but for what it’s worth the broadcast said he looked great in warm-ups.

 

Running Backs

 

Snoop Conner: 4 carries, 10 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards

Ryquell Armstead: 1 carry, 2 yards | 4 targets, 2 receptions, 8 yards

Nathan Cottrell: 3 carries, 13 yards | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 35 yards, TD

Mekhi Sargent: 5 carries, 22 yards | 5 targets, 5 receptions, 37 yards

 

Starters James Robinson and Travis Etienne got the night off, leaving rookie Snoop Conner to get the first crack at the backfield. Conner didn’t play much, but it’s worth noting that he started the game off returning kicks. If he can contribute on special teams he’ll be active on game day during the regular season, which gives him a better chance of working his way into meaningful offensive snaps. Ryquell Armstead was next in as he continued his journey back from a serious health condition. The bigger story out of the Jaguars’ backfield was their usage in the passing game as a group. The running backs earned a combined 15 targets, which bodes well for Etienne if it’s any indication of how the offense will look with the starters in. It could be a product of the backup offense, but keep an eye on it in the coming preseason games.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Laquon Treadwell: 2 targets, 1 reception, 3 yards

Marvin Hall: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 30 yards

Willie Johnson: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 41 yards | 1 carry, 8 yards

Tim Jones: 3 targets, 1 reception, 4 yards

Luke Farrell: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 43 yards

 

None of the Jacksonville receivers stood out tonight as they all struggled to get open. Christian KirkMarvin JonesZay Jones, and Laviska Shenault all sat this one out, so they appear locked in as the top four receivers with Jamal Agnew likely to mix in when he recovers from his hip injury. Laquon Treadwell disappointed for a player that was a regular part of the Jaguars’ offense towards the end of last season and may find himself on the roster bubble.

 

Las Vegas Raiders

 

Quarterback

 

Jarrett Stidham: 8/15, 96 yards, 3 Sacks | 1 carry, 12 yards, TD

Nick Mullens: 8/11, 72 yards, Sack | 1 carry

Chase Garbers: 4/6, 35 yards, Sack

 

Jarrett Stidham started the game and moved the Raiders down the field for a field goal on each of the first two drives. The first drive saw Stidham connect with Keelan Cole for a big gain, with a roughing the passer penalty added on to net the Raiders a 46-yard gain on their very first play. The second drive was more methodical but stalled out when Stidham took back-to-back sacks to almost move the Raiders out of field goal range. Nick Mullens was next up, and after fumbling the first snap he led Las Vegas to their first touchdown, setting up a short rushing touchdown by connecting with Tyron Johnson for a 25-yard gain. Stidham came back in towards the end of the first half, presumably to get a shot at running the four-minute offense, and led the Raiders to their second touchdown. Stidham capped a 15-play drive by running it in himself

 

 

Mullens would return in the second half before handing the keys over to Chase Garbers. Garbers led a 10-play touchdown drive of his own by picking apart the defense with underneath throws.

 

Running Backs

 

Josh Jacobs: 5 carries, 30 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards

Kenyan Drake: 5 carries, 9 yards

Ameer Abdullah: 2 carries, 7 yards, TD | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 23 yards

Zamir White: 11 carries, 52 yards | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 23 yards

Austin Walter: 8 carries, 49 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards

 

The biggest surprise of the night was Josh Jacobs starting the game for the Raiders. Jacobs not only started but stayed on the field for two drives and handled seven touches. Each team had a mix of starters and backups on their respective lines, so it wasn’t like Jacobs was running against guys that don’t belong in the NFL, but he didn’t do anything that jumped off the screen. He had a few solid runs but still came off the field for obvious passing downs. All of the Raiders’ running backs saw some action tonight, so Jacobs playing in a game traditionally reserved for backups and guys on the roster bubble might mean nothing. Still, you have to think if the Raiders felt Jacobs was an irreplaceable part of their offense he would have joined the other offensive starters on the sideline.

Ameer Abdullah handled every obvious passing down in the first half and seems to have the inside track to the third-down role. He also scored the first touchdown of the pre-season when the Jaguars lost contain on him, allowing Abdullah to get to the edge and outrun the defense to the end zone.

 

 

Rookie Zamir White was next in after Jacobs for the early-down work. The fourth-round pick had a few solid runs and showed some receiving skills. If the coaching staff isn’t enamored with Jacobs, then White could matter for fantasy and is a name to watch in the lead-up to the season.

 

 

Kenyan Drake made a brief appearance in the first half before returning the backfield to White for the third quarter. Austin Walters checked in for the fourth quarter and was one of the more impressive players on the night. He ran decisively, making one cut before accelerating up the field, and almost broke a long touchdown run. Walters did score on a short run where he ran through a few uninspired tackle attempts.

 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Keelan Cole: 3 targets, 1 reception, 31 yards

Demarcus Robinson: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 17 yards

Mack Hollins: 1 target, 1 reception, -1 yard

Tyron Johnson: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 39 yards

Foster Moreau: 1 target, 1 reception, 10 yards

Jacob Hollister: 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards

 

Keelan Cole made the first catch of the game and took a massive hit on the play, leaving the game with an injury. He was able to come back in but didn’t register another catch. Demarcus Robinson played into the second half, which suggests he has an uphill battle to seeing any playing time this season if he even makes the team. Tyron Johnson made a great catch on the sideline that was initially ruled an incompletion before the replay showed he got both feet down. Johnson is a deep threat with speed that the rest of the Raiders’ primary receivers lack, so keep an eye on him in case he earns a role in what figures to be a loaded offense.

 

(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@justparadesigns on Twitter)

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