Week 1 Preview: Los Angeles Chargers vs Las Vegas Raiders

It begins as it ended. In a tantalizing Week 1 matchup, the Los Angeles Chargers host the Las Vegas Raiders in a rematch of last year's unforgettable regular-season finale. The teams played to a near-tie before the Raiders kicked a game-winning field goal in the final seconds of overtime to take the contest 35-32. Now the Raiders find themselves 3.5-point underdogs as they travel to Los Angeles for a pivotal divisional tilt against a Chargers team desperate for revenge.

The Chargers are finally looking to deliver on the immense promise their third-year quarterback Justin Herbert has demonstrated. Herbert has set NFL records for passing yards and passing touchdowns for a player in his first two seasons by completing 839 passes for 9350 yards and 69 touchdowns. But all that production hasn't led to much winning; the Chargers sport only a 15-17 record under Herbert and have yet to make the playoffs. They're hoping a massive offseason that has seen the additions of cornerback J.C. Jackson and edge rusher Khalil Herbert can reshape a defense that has hamstrung Herbert by finishing in the bottom 10 in points allowed in each of the past two years.
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The Las Vegas Raiders also had a notable offseason this year, adding All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams and edge rusher Chandler Jones. The Raiders expect Adams in particular to unlock a new level of play from quarterback Derek Carr; they were teammates in college at Fresno St. The team also hopes stability at head coach after last year's tumultuous John Gruden experience can help them exceed last year's 10 wins. New head coach Josh McDaniels is also likely eager to erase memories of his disastrous tenure as head coach of the Denver Broncos; he was promptly fired after a mere 28 games.

The Raiders and Chargers have played two overtime games in the four times they've played since Herbert was drafted and they've split the contests 2-2. They meet again this Sunday in Week 1 of the NFL regular season.

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