Los Angeles Chargers Defense Comes Up Huge in Win Over Las Vegas Raiders

The Los Angeles Chargers' revamped defense proved too much for the new-look Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday in Week 1 of the NFL regular season. Led by recent trade acquisition Khalil Mack, the Bolts overwhelmed Raiders quarterback Derek Carr with a relentless pass rush, sacking him five times and forcing three turnovers in a narrow 24-19 victory.

The Chargers entered this past offseason with a plan to improve last year's 29th-ranked scoring defense, and it immediately paid dividends. Even without free agent splash J.C. Jackson on the field, the Bolts stormed out the gates a completely different squad than the one that allowed 35 points to the Raiders in the 2021 regular-season finale. Mack dominated with three sacks, including a game-sealing one on fourth down of the Raiders' final drive, and the Chargers offense contributed a mistake-free game to earn the important division win.

Photo Credit: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Raiders got everything they could have hoped from their biggest offseason addition, but it wasn't enough. Wide receiver Davante Adams was spectacular in his black and silver debut, nabbing 10 receptions for 141 yards and one touchdown. The Raiders trailed all day and couldn't overcome the 11-point deficit they faced in the fourth quarter. They had the ball with a chance to take the lead in the final three minutes of regulation, but consecutive sacks on third and fourth down snuffed out the rally.

Looking ahead to Week 2, the Los Angeles Chargers visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football in a pivotal AFC West clash, and the Las Vegas Raiders have a chance at redemption in their home opener against the Arizona Cardinals.
Photo Credit: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports