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FSM Essential Recap: Raiders at Chargers – Week 1

Las Vegas Raiders (0-1) | Los Angeles Chargers (1-0)

Franchise Sports Media


The Raiders kicked off their 2022 season back in their former home, Los Angeles, against their AFC West rival, the Chargers. The Silver and Black couldn’t stop the Chargers en route to a 24-19 defeat.


Raiders vs Chargers
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Well, happy NFL Kickoff, everyone! Finally, at long last, the 2022 campaign is underway. As mentioned in Friday’s LV-LAC opening game preview, the Raiders commencing the season in Los Angeles provided a variety of storylines: A reunion with Khalil Mack, an encore of last year’s regular-season finale, two of the league’s best teams getting after it, etc.

Before the game, I highlighted Vegas’ offense against LA’s defense as the marquee/deciding matchup. But, of course, between these two rivals, there are playmakers on all sides of the ball.

With the anticipation nearing pinnacle levels, Raiders-Chargers served as the marquee contest of the afternoon window. After all, there’s nothing like an old-school AFL slugfest.

Before diving into the Raiders’ first regular season game of 2022, check in with the latest 53-man roster; From here on out, we’ll keep the depth chart updated week-to-week for your convenience. Additionally, see a recap immediately below for any of the Silver & Black’s previous games.

Previous contests

HOF game: Raiders 27 – Jaguars 11
PRE1: Raiders 26 – Vikings 20
PRE2: Raiders 15 – Dolphins 13
PRE3: Raiders 23 – Patriots 6

As for Sunday afternoon’s affair with the Bolts


1st Quarter


Raiders vs Chargers
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Eager to get underway, the first possession of the day would go to the home team (you would not know that judging by the largely Raiders crowd), Los Angeles Chargers. Although this game would not start with the same ferocity that we saw last time these two sides got together, both teams were able to score points on their opening drives. The Bolts would string together first down runs from Austin Ekeler with a nice gain through the air from tight end Gerald Everett. The drive would stall there, however, sending LA kicker Dustin Hopkins out to successfully kick through a 43-yard attempt: 3-0 Chargers.

As suspected, the Silver & Black got rolling by delving immediately into the Carr-Adams connection. On the first drive alone, Adams caught three balls for over 50 yards, grabbing two first downs. Mack Hollins added a first-down reception of his own, going over the middle to secure a 16-yard pass. Unfortunately, the drive would ultimately stall after Carr missed Waller on a drag route that could have been a significant gain. Deep in Chargers territory, the Raiders went to the trusty Carlson to get on the board; FG is good, and we are all tied at 3.

The Chargers could not muster much their next time on the field. The Bolts were forced into a quick three-and-out after a stuffed run on third down by defensive tackle Bilal Nichols.

Already nearing the end of the opening quarter, the Raiders got the ball back to run a single play: A six-yard out route to Davante Adams. So let’s flip the field!  


2nd Quarter


Raiders vs Chargers
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Continuing their drive from 1Q, Las Vegas would return the Chargers’ favor by going three-and-out themselves, resulting in an A.J. Cole punt. With the ball back with Los Angeles, the Raiders’ defense produced a couple of highlight tackles from cornerback Nate Hobbs. However, Justin Herbert took over the possession from there, hitting All-Pro receiver Keenan Allen for back-to-back first downs (the latter for 42 yards into the red zone). After a Crosby forced fumble bounced out of bounds, an unnecessary roughness penalty on Nate Hobbs gave Los Angeles a first-and-goal. Instead, Herbert hit his rookie-fullback Horvath on a PA flat left for a one-yard touchdown: 10-3 Bolts.

The next drive for Raider Nation started promising after Carr found Waller on a slant for 16 yards. However, Khalil Mack ensured there would not be much more. After sacking his old teammate Derek Carr, Mack essentially forced the Raiders into a punt.

From there, journeyman-receiver DeAndre Carter began to carve up Las Vegas’ secondary, catching consecutive passes for Chargers’ first downs. With momentum, LA eventually was faced with a fourth-and-1 near midfield. Herbert tried to sneak up the middle, calling his own number but was denied by a wall of Silver & Black: Raider ball!

Like the Raiders’ previous offensive drive, Khalil Mack was front and center to impede any progression. After another sack from Mack, Carr was forced into an interception (Tranquill) after trying to fit the ball into a tight seam window to Darren Waller.

With the Bolts back on offense, running back Austin Ekeler rushed the ball into the red zone from their advantageous field position. Shortly after, Herbert went back to Carter on the seam: A 23-yard bullet pass to score another touchdown. Heading into halftime, the Chargers extended their lead to 17-3.


3rd Quarter


LAC WR Keenan Allen was ruled OUT of the second half (hamstring)

Raiders vs Chargers
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Coming out of the locker rooms, Las Vegas would have possession of the ball. Carr picked up right where he left off by finding Adams on consecutive first downs (11 and 41 yards, respectively). Now in the red zone, Carr tossed a touch ball up the left sideline for RB Brandon Bolden on a wheel route, who secured the pass and fell into the end zone for the first Raider touchdown of the season! With Vegas down 17-10, it’s a one-score game again.

From here, the Chargers would go ground-heavy, relying on Ekeler and Josh Kelley for productive chunk runs. Despite solid hits from Raider defenders Billings and Abram, the Bolts continued to move the ball downfield. At one point, Maxx Crosby appeared close to a strip-sack on Herbert, but the QB was able to get the ball out for an incomplete pass. Tough luck, too, because on the next play, Herbert placed an 18-yard back shoulder pass right on tight end Gerald Everett, who was able to back his way into the end zone from there. LA pulls further ahead with a converted extra point, 24-10.

Making a change at right tackle, the Raiders marched out with Thayer Munford in place of Jermaine Eluemunor. However, Carr would go right back to his new favorite target, Adams, for a first down before turning to the ground attack. Jacobs continued to run through contact, picking up first downs along the way. Then, after failing to connect with Renfrow on two consecutive passes, Carr went right back to Hunter on fourth down, who secured the pass on a slant route to keep the drive alive (recovering his own fumble in the process).

The next play ultimately thwarted the drive for the Raiders, an attempted end-around Davante Adams pass blown up in the backfield by Joey Bosa. A false start from the rookie Munford followed, and Daniel Carlson would be called upon again; Right on the money, Carlson converted the 55-yarder, pushing the score to 24-13.

The third quarter would expire shortly after kicking back to the Bolts.


4th Quarter


Raiders vs Chargers
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

With the opportunity to break the game wide open, the Chargers did precisely the opposite; They rapidly went three-and-out. Carr returned with the Raider-O and wisely began to emphasize Darren Waller. However, after a pop pass to Waller resulted in a 22-yard gain, Carr underthrew a streaking-Davante Adams near the end zone while Asante Samuel Jr. intervened for an acrobatic interception; A deeper, earlier pass likely resulted in a Raiders’ touchdown. Instead, it’s now Chargers’ ball at their own two-yard line.

Yet again, with a chance to push the game out of Las Vegas’ reach, the Chargers failed to produce a first down on the ensuing drive. Chandler Jones made an excellent tackle on Ekeler, his best of the day. After another quick punt, the ball is back with the Silver & Black. Jacobs would then take the first play of the series up the left sideline for a 9-yard sweep before Carr made his most erroneous pass of the day: A light toss over the middle intended for Renfrow resulted in Carr’s third interception of the day. With the pocket collapsing around him, Carr appeared to panic as he released the throw.

Would the Chargers’ offense put the game on ice this time? Please don’t count on it! With some advantageous field position, LAC was again unable to sustain a productive drive–Crosby and LB Divine Deablo combined for a clutch TFL on running back Sony Michel. Attempting to turn this third Carr interception into points, Bolts’ kicker Hopkins returned to try a 49-yard field goal but ultimately missed left; Vegas still has life!

After interceptions on back-to-back drives, Derek Carr and Vegas’ offense returned to the field with confidence. Jacobs began the possession by taking a swing pass 16 yards for a first down. A few plays later, Renfrow added a clutch grab on third down to move the sticks. Next, Carr hit Waller over the top for a 31-yard catch-and-run down to the Chargers’ 3-yard line. From there, Carr found Adams at the pylon, who was wide open after running a masterful out the route: The first NFL touchdown between the pair!


Raiders vs Chargers
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

With the score narrowed to 24-19. Naturally, the Raiders elected to go for two points (being down by four at this point in the game is no better than being down by five). In the game’s most critical moment to that point, the two sides would trade egregious penalties: A defensive pass interference on Davis followed by a false start on the re-entered Eluemunor. With the 2-point now back at the 5-yard line, Carr tried to squeeze a pass to Renfrow in the back of the end zone, only to have it fall incomplete.

Yet again, Herbert and his offense would take the field in a solid spot to end the game with a couple of first downs, and yet again, they could not do the job. Having picked up just a single first down over their four preceding possessions, Los Angeles is allowing the Raiders every opportunity to steal the game back. Thanks to fantastic tackling from Nate Hobbs and Roderic Teamer on third down, it’s Raider ball again. Down by four points with three and a half minutes left, can Raider Nation triumph?

The resulting punt would leave the Raiders with the ball at their own 21-yard line. So, of course, Carr went to Adams to get the final drive rolling. After picking up a quick first down, Renfrow added another catch to bring it to 2nd & 3. However, with 2:40 left in regulation, the Chargers’ lethal pass-rush duo closed the game; Joey Bosa and company sacked Carr on third down, only for Mack to do the same on fourth down. But, with the ball going back to the Chargers, that would be all she wrote. The final score from Los Angeles was 24-19 Bolts.  




Raiders vs Chargers
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The Carr-Adams connection proved to be as advertised. Adams caught ten passes for 141 yards and a touchdown on Sunday), but Carr will find that this offense is most potent when the ball is distributed more evenly. Adams had 17 targets against the Chargers, while Waller had the next most with six. Additionally, big body-Mack Hollins can be involved a bit more; He caught a 16-yard pass over the middle on his only target of the day.

The Chargers won the war up front. Although neither side showcased a prolific ground game, LA outrushed Vegas 76 yards to 64. Also, the Raiders were shut out in terms of sacking Justin Herbert. On the other side, the Chargers were in Carr’s face for most of the day, sacking the ninth-year quarterback six times for the afternoon. But, of course, Khalil Mack enthusiastically provided half of those on his own. Nevertheless, LA is one of the better defensive fronts that the Raiders will see this year; It’s best to live and learn.

Turnovers were all on full display. Although Carr made his share of nice throws against the Bolts on Sunday, three interceptions in any game are unacceptable (two of which were entirely on him). Additionally, the Raiders’ offense committed four fumbles on the day. Sure, it’s the first real game of the season, but these tendencies need to be eliminated ASAP. The opposing team recovered none of the fumbles, but there’s no sense playing with fire if you wish not to get burned.


The Raiders will head back to Las Vegas and prepare for their regular season home opener against the Arizona Cardinals, which will take place on September 18th at Allegiant Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:25 pm and can be seen locally on Fox 5.

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Gabe Santiago – Franchise Sports Media

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Raiders vs. Chargers Gallery

Photography by Terrance Quaites.