Welp, that wasn’t fun at all. The Las Vegas Raiders began their season with a 24-19 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Following any game, there are going to be a plethora of knee-jerk reactions by the fans, media, etc. Of course, we’ll follow suit here as well.
New Regime, Same Problems For The Raiders
Stop me if any of this sounds unfamiliar. The Raiders’ offensive line struggled on Sunday, particularly on the right side. Defensively, the secondary (with the exception of Nate Hobbs) got torched repeatedly. Las Vegas was also hindered by sloppy play, such as missed tackles, turnovers, and bad penalties in crucial situations.
These problems have all persisted for at least a year now. Heck, these are the things that justify making a coaching change after a playoff appearance. Alas, here we are, dealing with the same crap all over again.
Nate Hobbs is a CB1
Mike Williams is a very good receiver. However, he was almost completely erased by Hobbs on Sunday. This was shocking given the circumstances. Hobbs had a great rookie season last year, but that was mostly as a nickel corner. There were plenty of concerns that he would not be able to handle those marquee matchups on the outside. In Hobbs’ defense, he did show potential for playing on the outside in limited preseason action.
Nevertheless, those concerns were neutralized in a hurry. Hobbs appeared to be the shut-down corner fans had hoped for all offseason. He was fantastic once again as a tackler against the run and short passes. With his second season just beginning, Hobbs’ potential is sky high.
Kansa City Still Runs the AFC West
Everyone thought that this could be the year that the Kansas City Chiefs were dethroned. After seeing two of the three contenders yesterday, Kansas City looks pretty safe. As I mentioned above, the Raiders looked largely like the same team they were last season. On the other hand, the Chargers clearly looked like the more talented team. Yet, this game was still close because the Chargers are still the Chargers. They let teams hang around and played down to their opponents as usual.
The Chiefs, however, looked just as good as ever with a dominant win over the Arizona Cardinals. Unless Russell Wilson somehow transforms the Denver Broncos from a bottom-15 team in the league to a top-five squad, the AFC West crown is unlikely to change hands.
*Top Photo: Getty Images Pool