The LA Chargers host the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season on Monday Night Football. The Raiders are riding high with their first 3-0 start in 19 years while the Chargers are riding high after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3.
This is as important as a Week 4 game can be for the Bolts as it not only gains a game on the Raiders but it also pads the record before a tough two-week stretch against the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.
This is equally as important for the Raiders, who can continue to separate themselves from the AFC West as the Denver Broncos are likely not going to continue to win at this pace.
The last time we saw the LA Chargers on Monday Night Football they lost in overtime to the New Orleans Saints. This time around, nearly one full year later, that game is going to repeat itself as the Bolts take on the Raiders.
But that is a bad thing, right? That means that the Chargers are going to lose to the Raiders, right? No. The game will repeat itself but the Chargers will take home the win. Let me explain.
How the LA Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders will be a repeat of the 2020 game vs. New Orleans Saints:
There are two very important people to keep in mind: Joe Lombardi and Gus Bradley. Joe Lombardi is the play-caller in LA and was the quarterbacks coach of the New Orleans Saints before. Lombardi's offense with the Chargers has taken a lot of inspiration from Sean Payton's offense in New Orleans.
Gus Bradley was the defensive coordinator of the LA Chargers last season and is now the defensive coordinator of the Las Vegas Raiders. Bradley's defense is a cover 3 scheme, and just like when he was with the Chargers, he has not changed that. It is the same defense that the Chargers implemented last year.
So in a backward sense, the Chargers are essentially the Saints in this situation while the Raiders are essentially the Chargers. However, the advantage is even bigger this year than it was for the Saints last year.
The Chargers have a much more dynamic offense. Justin Herbert is better now than Drew Brees was last year and the Bolts, outside of Alvin Kamara, have more weapons and talent in the offense. They even have the same tight end (Jared Cook) while the offensive lines are comparable.
The Raiders also aren't as talented as the Chargers were last season. They have Casey Hayward and Denzel Perryman but Maxx Crosby is no Joey Bosa. It is close in terms of talent, but I would lean towards last year's Chargers over this year's Raiders in terms of overall defensive talent.
Not only does Lombardi know how to attack this defense but the players on the offensive side of the ball know how to attack Bradley's defense. Bradley has become rather notorious for not making adjustments and sticking to his cover 3 defense even when the other team finds a hole in it. If there is one group of players that should know that hole, it is the Chargers.
Granted, that does not matter if Bradley switches it up but should we really expect him to? Probably not.
All of this is pointing to the LA Chargers having a huge offensive night on Monday Night Football. Last year the Saints dropped 30 on the Bolts and quite frankly, that feels like the floor for Justin Herbert and co. in this one.