CANTON, Ohio (WCMH) — NBC Sports is kicking off the NFL season Thursday with the annual Hall of Fame Game at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, in Canton, when the Jacksonville Jaguars will take on Las Vegas Raiders.
Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with a special “Football Night in America,” which will be on location in Canton, according to a news release from the network.
The anchor line-up for the preshow will include Maria Taylor, Tony Dungy, Jason Garrett, Chris Simms, Jac Collinsworth, Rodney Harrison and Mike Florio. The show will also preview the 2022 NFL season and include Taylor’s interviews with Jacksonville Jaguars standouts: quarterback Trevor Lawrence and outside linebacker Travon Walker.
Additionally, this year’s Hall of Fame class, including tackle Tony Boselli, wide receiver Cliff Branch, safety LeRoy Butler, official Art McNally, linebacker Sam Mills, defensive end/defensive tackle Richard Seymour, coach Dick Vermeil and defensive tackle/defensive end Bryant Young will all be celebrated and honored during the hour.
The game begins at 8 p.m., with the new Sunday Night Football announcing team of Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth and Melissa Stark, who will call the game. Terry McAulay will serve as rules analyst.
For new Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels, the night will represent a homecoming. The Canton native will set foot on the same field where his father Thom McDaniels coached high school football for decades.
The younger McDaniels spent his formative years beside his father inside the stadium walls, before eventually becoming a quarterback on his dad’s team. In an interview with NBC’s TODAY show, Josh gave all the credit for his career in the NFL to his early experiences with his father.
“It was a blessing for me that he allowed me to do those things,” said Josh. “And I would say that is what I attribute my passion and love for the game to is being able to see that at a young age.”
McDaniels is leading an updated Las Vegas team after numerous off-the-field scandals made headlines last year.
Former Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden resigned in October 2021, after “The Wall Street Journal” reported on the racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments he wrote in work-related emails during his career. After Gruden’s departure, special teams coach Rich Bisaccia became the interim head coach.
Then in November 2021, Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, was involved in a car crash that killed a woman and her dog. The 22-year-old Ruggs was let go from the team hours after the deadly collision and faces up to 46 years in prison.
The third scandal for the team involved former Buckeye Damon Arnette, who was dropped from the team after brandishing a weapon and making death threats in a video posted on social media.
The Raiders have added two-time All-Pros: wide receiver Davante Adams and defensive end Chandler Jones in the offseason.
Jaguars head coach, Doug Pederson, is also new to his team, taking over for the once-lauded coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Urban Meyer, who imploded in controversy last season.
Jacksonville’s troubled season, which ended 3-14, allowed the Jaguars to select linebacker Travon Walker as the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. Also added to the team’s roster as free agents were wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones and tight end Evan Engram.
In his previously mentioned interview with Maria Taylor, quarterback Trevor Lawrence talked about his mentality going into the 2022 season.
“I’ve got a little bit of a chip on my shoulder,” said Lawrence. “This organization, fan base, everybody here in Jacksonville, has invested a lot in this team and myself, we have a lot to prove.”
Lawrence also touched on his improvement heading into his second NFL season.
“I’m really confident in taking better care of the ball, but also still taking chances and being the same player without putting the ball in harm’s way, also my confidence and knowledge of the playbook,” Lawrence added.
Newcomer Travon Walker discussed Lawrence’s leadership.
“[Lawrence] set that example for a lot of Georgia kids,” said Walker. “He was just a great player that did everything he had to do to get in the position that he is. Now that I’m on the team with him, I can really see why he’s in the position that he is.”
Watch the Hall of Fame game starting at 7 p.m. on NBC4 or stream it live at NBCSports.com/Live.
|2022 NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE|
|Thurs. Sept. 8||NFL Kickoff||Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams|
|Sun. Sept. 11||Week 1||Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys|
|Sun. Sept. 18||Week 2||Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers|
|Sun. Sept. 25||Week 3||San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos|
|Sun. Oct. 2||Week 4||Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|*Sun. Oct. 9||Week 5||Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens|
|*Sun. Oct. 16||Week 6||Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles|
|*Sun. Oct. 23||Week 7||Pittsburgh Steelers at Miami Dolphins|
|*Sun. Oct. 30||Week 8||Green Bay Packers at Buffalo Bills|
|*Sun. Nov. 6||Week 9||Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs|
|*Sun. Nov. 13||Week 10||Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers|
|*Sun. Nov. 20||Week 11||Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|**Thurs. Nov. 24||Week 12||New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings|
|*Sun. Nov. 27||Week 12||Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles|
|*Sun. Dec. 4||Week 13||Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys|
|*Sun. Dec. 11||Week 14||Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos|
|*Sun. Dec. 18||Week 15||New England Patriots at Las Vegas Raiders|
|Sun. Dec. 25||Week 16||Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals|
|*Sun. Jan. 1||Week 17||Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers|
|*Sun. Jan. 8||Week 18||TBD|
**Thanksgiving Night Game