Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Chargers: Prediction, matchups, how to watch, and more

The Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Chargers is a rematch of the Week 18 slugfest that decided a final playoff spot in the AFC a season ago.

The Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers both drastically changed over the offseason. The Chargers’ front office went all-in on Justin Herbert’s inexpensive contract before Year 3, adding a ton of defensive talent to a roster that desperately needed it. Meanwhile, the Raiders brought old pals Davante Adams and Derek Carr back together. Read on for a breakdown of the game, where to watch, injuries, and the game prediction from our NFL staff.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Chargers preview

While we never know exactly how a first-time head coach (kind of) will fare, the offensive mind of Josh McDaniels paired with the defensive aptitude of Patrick Graham makes for quite a team.

Graham’s defenses have been schematically impressive since he became the Dolphins’ DC in 2019. He simply never had the talent with the Giants to run his defense well. The most interesting storyline of the Raiders’ season is whether or not their personnel can run Graham’s defense.

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The Chargers have been a media darling for the entire offseason. They’ve added a squad of high-end reinforcements to the defensive side of the ball. Khalil Mack, J.C. Jackson, Sebastian Joseph-Day, and Austin Johnson should help improve the Chargers’ underwhelming defense from a season ago.

LA also signed Gerald Everett, who gives Herbert another weapon in his arsenal. If the defense can come closer to the offense’s production this season, the Chargers could be one of the best teams in the NFL.

How to watch

  • Date/Time
    Sunday, Sept. 11, 4:25 p.m. ET
  • Channel
    CBS
  • Live Stream
    CBS All-Access, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV

Matchups

The Las Vegas Raiders lead the all-time series 67-56-2 over the Chargers in their 125 meetings dating back to 1960. They last met in Week 18 of last season, where the Raiders won 35-32 in a game that could have gotten both teams into the playoffs with a tie.

Instead, the Raiders ended up being the second AFC West team to make the postseason. It was an incredible accomplishment for a team that had lost two first-round picks and their head coach during the season because of off-field issues.

Las Vegas Raiders 2021 stats/rankings

  • Scoring: 22 (18th)
  • Yards: 363.8 (11th)
  • Yards per play: 5.7 (10th)
  • Passing: 268.6 (sixth)
  • Rushing: 95.1 (28th)
  • Defensive scoring: 25.8 (26th)
  • Yards allowed: 337.2 (14th)
  • Yards per play allowed: 5.2 (ninth)
  • Pass defense: 222.9 (13th)
  • Rush defense: 114.3 (19th)

Las Angeles Chargers 2021 stats/rankings

  • Scoring: 27.9 (fifth)
  • Yards: 390.2 (fourth)
  • Yards per play: 5.9 (sixth)
  • Passing: 282.4 (second)
  • Rushing: 107.9 (21st)
  • Defensive scoring: 27.0 (29th)
  • Yards allowed: 360.1 (23rd)
  • Yards per play allowed: 5.6 (22nd)
  • Pass defense: 221.2 (12th)
  • Rush defense: 138.9 (30th)

Injuries to know

Las Vegas Raiders:
DE Jordan Jenkins (injured reserve)
LB Micah Kiser (injured reserve)
RB Sincere McCormick (injured reserve)
OT Brandon Parker (injured reserve)

Los Angeles Chargers:
CB J.C. Jackson (ankle, doubtful)
TE Donald Parham (hamstring, doubtful)
LB Drue Tranquill (back, questionable)
CB Tevaughn Campbell (injured reserve)
LB Damon Lloyd (injured reserve)
DL Forrest Merrill (injured reserve)
OT Andrew Trainer (injured reserve)
C Isaac Weaver (injured reserve)

Prediction

Betting line (courtesy of Caesars)
Chargers -3.5; Chargers -190, Raiders +158; O/U 52.

Dalton Miller’s Prediction
1-0 straight-up, 1-0 against the spread in 2022
Chargers 31, Raiders 30

Adam Beasley’s Prediction
1-0 straight-up, 1-0 against the spread in 2022
Chargers 35, Raiders 31

Dallas Robinson’s Prediction
1-0 straight-up, 0-1 against the spread in 2022
Chargers 27, Raiders 17

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