LA Chargers News

5 storylines of opposing teams that will influence the Chargers season

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Chargers
Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages
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Derek Carr
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Las Vegas Raiders v Cincinnati Bengals / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

5) Derek Carr Does His Best Matthew Stafford Impression

Finally, I think the biggest dark horse/monkey wrench in this whole AFC West scenario is Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders.

Herbert outplayed Carr in Week 18's scintillating matchup but obviously failed to come away with the win through little fault of his own.

Carr, on the other hand, has stormed into this offseason with huge momentum on his side.

He made the playoffs after losing his head coach and number one receiver mid-season to outstanding circumstances and finished in the upper echelons of several key offensive stats such as completion percentage, passing yards, passing yards per attempt, and passing yards per game.

How was he rewarded for his hard work in 2021? He added Davante Adams to his receiving core and Josh McDaniels as his head coach. On top of that, the Raiders also added quality pieces to their defense in the form of Chandler Jones, Bilal Nichols, Rock Ya-Sin, Duron Harmon, and Jayon Brown.

The Raiders are ready to roll in 2022, and I'd seriously bet Carr is too.

He's got a ton of pressure on him to finally win games now that he appears to be out of a crazy situation (Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock, Henry Ruggs etc.) and into a stable one with a fresh head coach, quality weapons at his disposal, and an improved defense. Many of the same characteristics of Matthew Stafford's team swap in last year's offseason, only Carr's team around him was flipped instead of him changing cities.

I know you don't want to hear it as Chargers fans. I'm certainly concerned about it as a huge Justin Herbert fan. But Derek Carr and the Raiders have a lot of good things going for them as we head into this upcoming season.

READ OUR GAME-BY-GAME 2022 PREDICTIONS HERE

I believe in Justin to be able to beat Carr and the Raiders on top of every other team and quarterback out there, but I would not be surprised if the silver and black had a serious hand in determining this year's AFC champion.

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