The LA Chargers started the 2022 season in the perfect way: with revenge over the Las Vegas Raiders. While it was not perfect the entire time, the Bolts did enough to move to 1-0 on the season ahead of a big-time matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football.
The story of this game was the rebuilt defense for the Chargers. It was a priority to rebuild that side of the football in the offseason and it showed up in this game. The "explosive" Raiders were held to only 19 points with twice as many turnovers (4) as touchdowns scored (2).
The biggest standout for the Bolts was Khalil Mack, who silenced his critics with a big game in the win. Mack was not the only new addition to ball out in this game as several new faces made big plays en route to the victory.
More so than anything, though, this win may have proven that the Chargers got the two biggest steals of the entire offseason in Bryce Callahan and DeAndre Carter.
Bryce Callahan shined on defense and DeAndre Carter shined on offense in the Chargers' Week 1 win.
Bryce Callahan picked off Derek Carr for Carr's third interception of the game and was doing plenty of work before that. Callahan's name was not said much on the broadcast as he lined up against Hunter Renfrow and completely shut down the 1,000-yard receiver.
Renfrow was targeted six times, making three catches for 21 yards. The Chargers will take that every day of the week against someone who Raiders fans have been hyping up as dangerous all offseason long.
The Chargers signed Callahan after the 2022 NFL Draft to a one-year, league minimum contract. Callahan struggled with injuries last season in Denver but was familiar with Brandon Staley's defensive scheme. He showed out and gave the Chargers their best slot corner showing in quite some time.
Meanwhile, Carter did not get to showcase much on special teams (aside from a brilliant play to let the ball go out of bounds on a kick off) but he added a jolt to the offensive side of the ball. Keenan Allen was removed from the game with a hamstring injury and on the ensuing drive, Carter came in and made sure the Chargers didn't miss a beat.
Carter made three catches for 64 yards and a touchdown, which came on an absolute dart from Justin Herbert.
Just like Callahan, DeAndre Carter signed a league minimum contract with the LA Chargers this past offseason. His impact on the team is already obvious. Just wait until he gets cooking on the special teams side of the ball.