The LA Chargers couldn't have scripted a better start to the 2022 season, as they got much-needed revenge over the Las Vegas Raiders. While a late Davante Adams score made things interesting, the Chargers led wire-to-wire and really could've won in blowout fashion had they not fell in love with running the ball in the second half.
That should take nothing away from the Week 1 win, but the Chargers cannot afford to make the same mistakes against their next opponent: the Kansas City Chiefs, whom they'll meet in primetime on Thursday Night Football.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs were clearly out to prove something in their first game without Tyreek Hill, as the former Super Bowl MVP totaled 360 passing yards and five touchdowns as Kansas City steamrolled the Cardinals.
The Chargers and Chiefs split their season series last year, with both teams surprisingly winning on the road. The games were decided by a combined 12 points, so fans should expect another tightly-contested affair Thursday night.
Both LA and KC are surely looking for any advantage they can take into the game. It appears the Chiefs are taking the mind game route, as they worked out former Chargers kicker Tristan Vizcaino on Monday.
The Chiefs are working out former Chargers kicker Tristan Vizcaino
Try as they might to get into the Chargers' heads, LA shouldn't blink at this news after they replaced Vizcaino with Dustin Hopkins last season.
Vizcaino opened 2021 as the Chargers' starting kicker. While he was deadly accurate on field goals, making 6-of-7 attempts for an 85.7% conversion rate, he was a disaster on extra points, making just 10-of-15 attempts before he got the axe. A high-powered offense like LA's needs a kicker who can drill point-afters and Vizcaino didn't get the job done.
All Hopkins did in relief of Vizcaino was make 18-of-20 field goals (90%) and 30 of his 32 extra-points (93.8%) in 11 games after the Chargers signed him.
Again, no reason for the Chargers to bat an eyelash at this news. The Chiefs are desperate at kicker after Harrison Butker left Week 1 with an ankle injury. Butker returned later in the game but was clearly compromised by the hobbled ankle, as he only took one step attempting a 54-yard field goal and extra points.
Butker was briefly replaced by safety Justin Reid, who drilled his lone extra point try. While Reid has an absolute cannon for a leg, the Chiefs obviously aren't rolling with their starting safety at kicker. They clearly want Butker for the long run and Vizcaino appears to be at the top of their shortlist of replacements.