The Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars were announced as the opening matchup for the 2022 NFL season as they will face off at the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The contest, which opens the preseason slate for the upcoming NFL season and coincides with the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony for the year, is scheduled for August 4.
Tickets for the Hall of Fame Game are on sale this week, available to the general public on Friday, March 4.
Both the Raiders and Jaguars have players with ties to their franchise among the eight who will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame that weekend, with the induction scheduled for August 6. Tony Boselli was a five-time Pro Bowl selection at Tackle for Jacksonville, helping launch the expansion franchise to among the league’s elite overnight before injuries derailed his career. Cliff Branch played his entire career with the Raiders in Oakland and Los Angeles, earning first-team All-Pro nods three times and winning three Super Bowls. More recently Richard Seymour earned the last of his five All-Pro selections as a member of the Raiders in 2011 after winning three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots. Other honorees this year are Sam Mills, Dick Vermeil, Bryant Young, Leroy Butler, and Art McNally.
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) February 28, 2022
Jacksonville has played in the Hall of Fame Game once in its history, taking on the Carolina Panthers in the 1995 game in its inaugural season. The Raiders have planed three prior times at the Hall of Fame Game, though this will be the first since the franchise relocated to Las Vegas.
Jacksonville limped to a 3-14 record in 2021, dropping its first five games of the season before ending a 20-game losing streak stretching to the prior season with a 23-20 victory over Miami in London. They won just one of their next seven games before head coach Urban Meyer was fired in mid-December. The and new head coach Doug Pederson have the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft, its second straight season picking first – it took QB Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft.
Las Vegas finished second in the AFC West with a 10-7 record a year ago, losing in the Wild Card round of the playoffs to the Cincinnati Bengals. Jon Gruden resigned his head coaching position amid a scandal related to the release of emails he had sent prior to his time as the team’s coach riddled with homophobic, sexist, and racist comments. Josh McDaniels takes over as the head coach this year after Rich Bisaccia led the team to a 7-5 record as interim head coach following Gruden’s departure before leaving the franchise in the off-season for a job with the Packers.
Beyond the game itself, the Hall of Fame weekend offers a number of fan engagement opportunities in Ohio to kick off the new season and celebrate football’s return. There are fan parties prior to the Hall of Fame Game itself on Thursday, as well as an autograph session with the Class of 2022. Friday brings an autograph session featuring returning Hall of Fame members and a ceremony where the Class of 2022 is presented with their Gold Jacket, symbolizing their membership in the elite fraternity that the HOF entails. Saturday brings VIP parties and the enshrinement main event, with Sunday featuring an opportunity to view the Class of 2022 bronze busts at the Hall, and a roundtable luncheon to close the weekend.
The Hall of Fame Game is typically the first preseason game to be announced, with the rest of the schedule to come. The league is expected to announce its full slate of 2022 scheduling at some point in May.
More event information is available here: https://hofexperiences.com/about-the-enshrinement-weekend/the-events