After a 40-minute rain and lightning delay, the first game of the 2022 NFL season was exactly what fans should’ve expected.
It was sloppy and disjointed, especially as the game reached its conclusion. Nevertheless, it was football – and real football is on the way soon.
Sure, it was only the Hall of Fame Game, but the Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders delivered a handful of memorable moments in the Silver and Black’s 27-11 win.
Here are the five best plays from Thursday’s preseason-opener:
1. Travon Walker gets first NFL sack
Most starters took the night off, but No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker was on the field for his first NFL game. On the second drive of the contest, Walker swallowed up Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham for his first sack in a Jaguars uniform.
2. Ameer Abdullah scores first touchdown of 2022 season
On his first carry of the night, Raiders running back Ameer Abdullah scored the first touchdown since the Super Bowl – and he celebrated with a well-executed roundhouse kick. The score extended Las Vegas’ lead to 13-0 after an impressive drive led by quarterback Nick Mullens.
3. Jarrett Stidham scrambles for late first-half touchdown
Jarrett Stidham spent the first two seasons of his career with Josh McDaniels in New England. Now that they’re both with the Raiders, Stidham is already familiar with the playbook – and he showed it on this touchdown run. Nothing was open downfield, so he scrambled right into the end zone to extend the Raiders’ lead to 20-0.
4. Austin Walter with a birthday shoutout after touchdown
Running back Austin Walter signed with Las Vegas last week, and now he’s already scored his first Raiders touchdown. After taking an eight-yard run into the end zone, he gave a special birthday message to his grandmother. Even if he doesn’t make the roster, that’s a pretty cool moment for Walter and his family.
5. Kyle Sloter connects with Nathan Cottrell on touchdown pass
It took nearly 57 minutes of game time, but the Jaguars refused to leave Canton without a touchdown. Kyle Sloter led Jacksonville down the field on a nine-play drive that ended with a five-yard TD pass to Nathan Cottrell. The Jags converted a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 27-11.