The LA Chargers have one of the best rosters in the entire league and are primed for a deep run in the playoffs in large part due to Justin Herbert. Herbert has already reached the elite tier of quarterbacks with just two seasons under his belt, opening the door for the Chargers to confidently spend big with Herbert on his rookie deal.
The Chargers' quest for the franchise's first Super Bowl starts in Week 1 against the Las Vegas Raiders. This is a fitting Week 1 matchup for the Chargers as they have the ability to right the wrong from Week 18 last season, proving that this year's team is much better than last year's team.
Of course, since the Raiders got the better of the Chargers last year there are a lot of over-confident Raiders fans who think that their team is as talented as the Chargers. Don't get me wrong, talent alone doesn't win football games and the Raiders could shock LA if the Bolts shoot themselves in the foot. But when it comes to just talent alone, the Chargers are superior.
And it all starts at the quarterback position. While Derek Carr does get more flak than he deserves, he still is not an elite quarterback and certainly is not on Herbert's level. That is already painfully obvious through just two seasons, especially when you look at Herbert's numbers against the Raiders alone.
Herbert averages 311 yards and 2.5 passing touchdowns per game against the Raiders with just one interception in four games played. Carr, meanwhile, averages 219 yards and 1.4 passing touchdowns per game against the Chargers in his career. He has thrown nine interceptions in 16 games played against the Bolts.
Chargers QB Justin Herbert is borderline historic against the Las Vegas Raiders.
There are only five quarterbacks in NFL history who have attempted as many passes as Herbert has against the Raiders while having a better passer rating. Those five quarterbacks, in order, are Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Alex Smith and Peyton Manning.
That is quite the group to be with. Brady, Brees and Manning are obviously Hall of Famers and Mahomes will be as well as long as he keeps playing how he is playing. Smith is the odd man out in this group but he still put together a very productive NFL career.
The only player of those five that has averaged more yards per game than Herbert against the Raiders is Mahomes. This is yet another reason why the Raiders will likely finish last in the AFC West. There are two quarterbacks who have historically dominated the Raiders in the team's division.
As stated earlier, anything can happen in an NFL game and there isn't a zero percent chance that the Raiders shocked the world and beat the Chargers. But with these numbers in mind, it would be a massive shocker if it did happen.