The stage is set for the LA Chargers to host the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1 of the NFL season. With all of the rosters officially set in place, the next 10 days for the Bolts are about preparing to exact revenge over the Raiders for Week 18 last season.
Thankfully, the Chargers got a contract extension done with Derwin James in plenty of time for James to get reps in and be ready for this matchup against the Raiders. That is a big deal as the Raiders, with all of their flaws, have dangerous weapons to guard in the passing game.
The addition of Davante Adams is huge and changes what the Raiders can do on the offensive side of the ball. Las Vegas has not had a true no. 1 like Adams in quite some time and they are hoping that he can help the team overcome one of the worst defensive units in the sport.
When speaking with Ryan Clark of CBS Sports, Derwin James actually compared two different Raiders to the Chargers' elite WR1, Keenan Allen.
Not only did Derwin James put Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller on the same level as Keenan Allen, but he also put Tyreek Hill on that same level as well. These are game-changers according to James, and of course, Raiders fans are using this as ammunition as to why they are a threat in Week 1.
Luckily, Derwin James and the Chargers have the talent to overcome the Raiders' offensive weapons.
If there is any team designed in the AFC West to combat the offensive weapons that the Las Vegas Raiders have it is the LA Chargers. Derwin James is a big part of that conversation as his ability to be flexible on the defensive end allows him to play either on Renfrow or Waller, providing an All-Pro presence to neutralize one of the threats.
Adams, meanwhile, will have to go up against J.C. Jackson if Jackson can return for Week 1. Signs are looking positive for Jackson but it is still up in the air. If Jackson does not play it will be a struggle for the Chargers to contain Adams but there are other means in which the team can succeed.
First of all, the Chargers have a much better run defense to keep the team from pounding the rock and they have an elite pass-rush that is going to bully the Raiders' bad offensive line and get pressure on Derek Carr. Carr is a fine quarterback and the true difference between him and someone like Justin Herbert is what happens when pressure hits him.
Justin Herbert thrives and still puts up the big numbers. Carr often crumbles and that will happen a lot against the Chargers with this pass rush.
And that is not even considering the Chargers' offense, which should be able to drop 40 points against this bad Raiders defense. It does not matter if the Raiders have two, and probably even three, players that James would compare to Keenan Allen. The Bolts are simply the better football team.