The Chargers will open up the 2022 regular season at SoFi Stadium against division rivals Raiders on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 1:25 p.m. PT.
To get you prepped for the Week 1 bout, here are five key things to know about Los Angeles’ opponent ahead of the matchup.
During the 2021 season, Jon Gruden resigned as head coach after a report of anti-gay, misogynistic language used in emails over ten years. The Raiders hired then-special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia to oversee the team. Despite making the playoffs, Bisaccia was fired in favor of Josh McDaniels, former Patriots offensive coordinator. This isn’t McDaniels’ first rodeo as a head coach. From 2009 to 2010, he served as the Broncos’ head coach and won the division in Year 1. However, he was fired 12 games into the following season and left Denver with an 11-17 record. McDaniels picked from New England’s coaching staff, which includes offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo, to join him.
Key offseason additions
Las Vegas bolstered its offense with the acquisition of superstar wide receiver Davante Adams. Adams reunites with his former college quarterback Derek Carr) and joins a talented offense that features tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. On the other side of the ball, the Raiders signed edge defender Chandler Jones, who replaces Yannick Ngakoue, to play opposite Maxx Crosby. In the trade for Ngakoue, Las Vegas acquired cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Other notable free agency acquisitions include defensive tackles Andrew Billings and Bilal Nichols.
Questionable offensive line
The Raiders had issues with the offensive line last season, and they did very little to address the position this offseason. Former first-rounder Alex Leatherwood was released. Brandon Parker suffered a season-ending injury. Denzelle Good retired. Kolton Miller, who is the standout of the group, is the starting left tackle while Andre James returns to play center. Second-year John Simpson and rookie Dylan Parham are battling for the left guard spot while Lester Cotton Sr. will man right guard, with veteran Jermaine Eluemunor set to start right tackle. Aside from Miller, there are plenty of uncertainties.
Deep running back group
The Chargers upgraded their run defense with the additions of defensive tackles Sebastian Joseph-Day, Austin Johnson, edge defender Khalil Mack and rookie Otito Ogbonnina. The Raiders, meanwhile, will look to see if the moves paid off with their five-running back room. Las Vegas signed veterans Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah to compliment 2020 Pro Bowler Josh Jacobs. In addition, they drafted two backs in Zamir White from Georgia and Brittain Brown from UCLA.
Changes in the cornerback room
The Raiders added to their cornerback room with Rock Ya-Sin, Anthony Averett, and Sam Webb to go along with two returners — Nate Hobbs and Amik Robertson. A starter from last season, Trayvon Mullen, was traded to the Cardinals. Ya-Sin was signed to replace Casey Hayward. He will start along with Averett and Robertson. These young corners are going to get tested right out the gate by an imposing Chargers offense, led by Justin Herbert and featuring weapons Mike Williams, Keenan Allen and Josh Palmer.