The Chargers opened their season at home against the Raiders with a 24-19 win. The Chargers got their revenge against the team that ended their season last year. With a hot start, the Bolts are looking to take the west this season. They will move on to play the reigning division champs, the Kansas City Chiefs, on Thursday Night Football on a short week. That being said, let’s break down let’s look at some winners and losers from Chargers-Raiders.
Justin Herbert picked up right where he left off last season and had a great day. He went five of six on the opening drive and finished the game with a 129.4 passer rating, trailing only Patrick Mahomes out of week one quarterbacks. Not only was he performing well when he had all his weapons after Keenan Allen went down, but he also didn’t miss a beat. Herbert is one of the front runners for MVP this season, and he made a great week one impression.
Even without J.C. Jackson, the Chargers’ defense was great. The pressure brought by the defensive line was immense, forcing Derek Carr to throw three picks. Khalil Mack returned to haunt the team that drafted him, recording three sacks and tackles for loss. Joey Bosa contributed as well and allowed Mack to have a lot of one on ones.
The secondary was a little shaky, but Asante Samuel Jr. showed that he’s taken the next steps in his development. Samuel recorded a big-time pass breakup and an interception at the two-yard line, virtually taking points away from the Raiders. He didn’t play well against Davante Adams, but he performed decently for a second-year corner against one of the best in the league. The front seven as a whole seemed to be really gelling well, and they’ll need to continue that performance next week against the Chiefs.
A large part of Herbert’s success in this game was due to the performance of the offensive line. The newly revamped line didn’t allow a sack and kept Herbert clean for most of the day. Rookie Zion Johnson played every snap and was really solid, only giving up one pressure per PFF. The much-maligned Trey Pipkins was the worst of the group with a couple of bad reps, but was still solid and held Maxx Crosby to one quarterback hit. The offensive line is vastly improved from last season and should improve all aspects of the offense as a result. The running game is a work in progress but otherwise, the unit played very well yesterday.
Michael Davis was tasked with the tough task of guarding Davante Adams for a portion of the game, and he didn’t do great. Jackson being inactive was definitely felt, as the Raiders passing attack went for more yards than the Chargers. Davis just didn’t make his presence felt like some of the other players in the cornerback room did. The secondary as a whole played decent and will need to tighten up against the Chiefs.
Mike Williams wasn’t very involved in the offense on Sunday only recording two catches for ten yards. That’s not something you’d expect from a guy that signed a $60 million three-year extension in the offseason. Almost all of the other Chargers’ starters got more involved in the passing game than Williams which doesn’t look good. It seemed as if it might have been a timing issue, as he and Herbert weren’t on the same page all game. He played almost 90% of offensive snaps and even after Allen went down, continued to not make an impact. Should Allen miss time, Williams needs to step it up and show why he was extended this offseason.