The LA Chargers host the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1 of the 2022 season in a game that will likely end up being the most compelling of the week. Not only should the action on the field be entertaining, but the storyline attached to the game is very fun as well.
This is a rematch from last year's Week 18 classic that the Chargers, unfortunately, finished on the losing end of. Both teams made bold moves in the offseason, with the Chargers rebuilding the defense and the Raiders adding the duo of Davante Adams and Chandler Jones.
All in all, the Chargers have the roster advantage as the Bolts have one of the most talented rosters in the entire league. Las Vegas has a really bad defense and if the Chargers' improvements are as good as expected, that should be the biggest difference between the two teams.
Another big difference between the two teams is the quarterback position. Justin Herbert is undoubtedly in the elite top tier of quarterbacks while Derek Carr is good, but not elite. Most Chargers fans would agree with that sentiment, but not Brandon Staley, who was very complimentary of Carr on Wednesday.
Brandon Staley is obviously not going to come out and completely bash Derek Carr in the media to rile up the Raiders. However, to call him elite? That is an interesting choice. Guess Staley really wants to be on good terms with the Raiders' QB.
The Chargers are the only team in this game that has an elite quarterback.
We respect Staley's ability to remain cordial and polite towards his biggest rivals' starting quarterback but we all know that Carr is not an elite quarterback. If he is a good quarterback? Sure. Is he elite? Not at all.
Carr is someone who can be successful when he has talent around him and he undoubtedly has talent around him this season. However, he is not someone who is going to take over the game and outright win it for the Raiders, which is something that Justin Herbert does all the time.
Knowing how NFL games work, particularly rivalry games, there is a good chance that this game comes down to the last six minutes of the fourth quarter.
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At that point, the difference in quarterbacks will shine through, as Herbert should be able to dissect a bad Raiders defense while Carr might come up short against a better Chargers defense.