The 2022 NFL season is underway, and on Sunday, your Las Vegas Raiders take on the much-maligned Los Angeles Chargers to begin the season. Before that happens, though, after weeks of anticipation, let’s take a look at some bold predictions.
What are some predictions for this game between AFC West rivals?
For those of you that don’t recall, these two AFC West rivals met in Week 18 in one of the most enthralling games of last season. At the game’s conclusion, the Raiders had eliminated the Chargers from playoff contention. After a busy offseason for both organizations, the build-up for this game has gained steam throughout camp and preseason. Well, the time for conjecture is over. This is looking like a tight, close game, but regardless, there could be some interesting developments in this contest. Here are three bold predictions with that in mind.
Raiders vs Chargers Prediction No. 1 – The O-Line Plays Well
The offseason’s biggest question surrounding the Raiders has been their offensive line. With the release of last year’s first-round pick, Alex Leatherwood, and hardly inspiring play from everyone else in the preseason, that question is legitimate. Despite facing the lethal pass-rushing duo of Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, we’re going to go on a limb and say that Josh McDaniels’ hand-picked unit is going to shock folks. And by shock, we mean that they will play well enough for Derek Carr to get the ball into the hands of Davante Adams.
Raiders vs Chargers Prediction No. 2 – Derek Carr Outplays Justin Herbert
This may not be a big surprise, but according to many folks, Herbert is leaps and bounds above Carr. He may be a bit more talented, but he’s consistently had a better receiver group to go to as well in his young career.
This year, Carr has the best receiver in football in Adams to go along with Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. We know the Raiders quarterback has heard the chatter and wants to come out and make a statement. We don’t know what’s going on in Carr’s head, just to be clear. What we do know is that he’s a fiery competitor. While he consistently says he doesn’t pay any mind to outside noise, it shouldn’t surprise people if Carr wants to show up on Sunday and silence his doubters.
He has faced Herbert three times. Once, he got injured early and didn’t finish the game, so it doesn’t count. He is 2-1 against Herbert and has thrown multiple touchdowns in each of those games. Herbert has the yard advantage in those meetings, though. With everything the aforementioned “DC” has been through in the organization, this year appears to be the one in which he can push through and establish himself among the elites. In Week 1, he will begin that journey. We’re calling it right now: Carr will outplay Herbert in SoFi Stadium.
Raiders vs Chargers Prediction No. 3 – Maxx Crosby, Chandler Jones Both Record Two Sacks
The talk of the Chargers’ defensive end combo has seemed to ignore the Pro Bowl Raiders’ defensive end combo itself. Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones provide one of the most dangerous tandems in the NFL this year and going up against the Chargers’ O-line is a notable matchup.
These two teamed up with the idea of creating something special, but instead we just keep hearing about Mack and Bosa. The insult from that will drive these two to create havoc for Herbert and disrupt the Chargers’ line. Bold prediction alert: each player will record two sacks and stamp them with a forced fumble that will lead to closing out the game.
*Top Photo: Getty Images