The Las Vegas Raiders take on the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1, and here are some things to keep an eye on in the matchup.
We have officially entered game week for the Las Vegas Raiders, as they kick off their 2022 schedule this Sunday against division rival Los Angeles. For the Silver and Black, there are huge expectations this season, as they were a playoff team a year ago, and have gotten better on both sides of the ball.
Playing a rival in Week 1 is going to bring a little more excitement to the opening week of football, and here are some things to watch for in this AFC West battle.
Raiders at Chargers 2022 Week 1: Things to watch for
Can the offensive line hold up?
The biggest question mark for this roster entering the 2022 season is the offensive line, which will have a few new starters. Las Vegas brought in some solid weapons on offense this offseason but did not do much to bolster the offensive line, and while Kolton Miller is an excellent left tackle, all four other starters have questions.
Los Angeles has a solid pass rush, and it got even better with the addition of former Raiders star Khalil Mack joining the fold. If the Raiders are to come away with a huge divisional victory on the road in Week 1, they have to stave off the Chargers’ pass rush, or else Derek Carr will be running for his life all game long.
Carr to Adams
Staying with Carr, this offseason, the Raiders traded picks to the Green Bay Packers for wide receiver Davante Adams, who just happens to be Carr’s best friend, and one of the best wideouts in the NFL. The arrival of Adams changes everything for this Raiders’ passing attack, as Carr can now look to hit Adams, Hunter Renfrow, or Darren Waller every time he drops back.
Having a legitimate WR1 could cause a career year for Carr, who has more than enough weapons in the passing game. He has thrown for 30-plus touchdowns only once in his career, but that should change with the arrival of Adams.
New-look secondary vs Justin Herbert
The Las Vegas Raiders got great play in the secondary last season from two rookies, as Tre’Von Moehrig and Nate Hobbs emerged as cornerstones for this defensive backfield. This offseason, the Raiders added even more talent to the secondary, bringing in veterans Rock Ya-Sin and Duron Harmon, two guys who will play a big role in the success of this defense.
The Las Vegas Raiders are looking to make consecutive trips to the playoffs in 2022, and some players will need to exceed expectations to do so.
In Week 1, they will be tested in a big way, as Justin Herbert is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and has had his success against this Raiders defense. With the addition of Chandler Jones to the pass rush, the Raiders should be able to get pressure all game long, and hopefully, the secondary can be opportunistic and possibly get some turnovers.