The Jacksonville Jaguars lost 27-11 to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night in the 2022 Hall of Fame Game. The end scoreboard doesn’t really matter however, as it’s simply just a preseason matchup and both teams sat a lot of their starters. The Jaguars in particular didn’t play the majority of their offensive starters, such as quarterback Trevor Lawrence and most of their offensive line.
On defense, however, they played quite a few of their starters and a few of them actually ended up shining.
Here’s three things we learned watching the game:
Travon Walker made his presence known
Who could have guessed that being freakishly athletic, strong, and long would have the makings of a good pass rusher? On the very first play of the game, No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker made his presence known, throwing down Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham after a beautiful power rush, showcasing the classic turning speed in to power.
Unfortunately for Walker, he was called for a ticky-tack roughing the passer penalty. The rest of the snaps Walker played however, he looked like the real deal, causing the Raiders left tackle a lot of issues and even picking up his first NFL sack, albeit a preseason one. I don’t think Jaguars fans could have really asked for anything more on his on-field debut.
The defense might have good pass rush depth
Outside of Walker, the Jaguars defense showed they might have some good pass rushing depth thanks to free agent pickup Arden Key making multiple plays in the backfield, picking up two sacks on his own and just generally causing trouble in the backfield. The Jaguars are set on the outside with Josh Allen on rookie Travon Walker, but having someone like Key backing them up should go a long way for the defense.
The offense looked awful
But that should have been expected. The Jaguars rolled out a very vanilla game plan and the team in essence played a single starter on their offense. Snoop Conner and Mekhi Sargent looked capable as backup running backs, the backup offensive lineman went largely unnoticed (good thing) and Luke Farrell made some plays.