(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Los Angeles Chargers successfully opened their new 2022 season with a very complete and highly convincing victory over their AFC/Western Conference nemesis, the Las Vegas Raiders. And in so doing, avenged last year’s heartbreaking and season-ending loss to the Silver & Black.
With arriving fans still reeling from our Southern California heatwave, Mr. Sun was bathing the lush green turf at “kick-off” time with the weather outside once again climbing into the mid 90s.
As usual, in the countdown to the “kick-off,” other activities took place, some were more special than others. Undoubtedly, to signify the importance of keeping this date in our national observance on this game day, a gigantic American flag that covered the entire field. was carried in SoFi Stadium by hundreds of individuals. And to publicly manifest the 21st Commemoration of the 9-11-2001 terrorist attacks on our Nation, all Charger players wore the emblematic red, white, and blue ribbon/decal with 9/11 shown on the back of their helmets. We will never forget!
[Pre-Game Notes]: Chargers Head Coach, Brandon Staley sent out his offensive unit led by #10/QB Justin Herbert, who potentially has a no ceiling limit to his eventual rankings with the most memorable of NFL signal callers. Leading the way onto the SoFi Stadium matrix turf for the defensive unit was Chargers veteran #97 Joey Bosa and #52 Khalil Mack, defensive end and former Raider, who was acquired during the off-season.
In assessing these two new and powerful team facts, Chargers fans can now point to a greater and stronger “full” balance on the team as they quickly rise in the “buzz” and the conversation of the NFL’s Top 10 teams after the first week of the season.
[1st Qtr]: The Bolts scored first at (9:03) left when placekicker, Dustin Hoffman split the uprights from 43 yards out, for a (3-0) lead. The Raiders answered back with their trey at the (2:29) mark which tied the game at (3-3). The rest of the period went back and forth with no further scoring.
[2nd Qtr]: This period basically foretold what the match-up would measure up to because of the fluidity and accuracy of Herbert’s air attack into the teeth of the Raider secondary. At the (9:34) mark, he found Zander Horvath, a seventh-round pick, open in the end zone for his first TD pass. With the PAT, it was Chargers 10, Raiders 3. After the Bolts defense limited Derek Carr’s air game from developing momentum, the Chargers and Herbert struck pay dirt again, this time with just (00:35) seconds left as DeAndre Carter made a nice 23 yard, near “shoe-string” catch of the rocket fired to him by his QB. This gave the Chargers a (14) point lead at halftime. Worthy of mention here just before halftime was Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill, who stepped up to make his first interception of the season at the (00:57) second mark. He returned it upfield for a net (20) yards.
[HALFTIME SCORE]: Chargers 17 Raiders 3
[3rd Qtr]: The Raiders finally found some momentum on offense and marched down the field on a 75 yd drive resulting in an 18 yard TD pass from Carr to Brandon Bolden. This score came at the (12:39) mark and cut the lead to 10, (17-10) Chargers.
Both teams were playing rather competitively until the big sack-man, Khalil Mack, arrived on scene, and began to make dominant plays. Mack’s aggressiveness earned him a game high three sacks. These game-changing and momentum boosting plays gave Herbert more reps from center and more completions as he struck gold for the third time in the game when he connected with tight end, and former Ram, Gerald Everett who simply used his strength to “back-pedal” his way into the end zone for an 18 yard TD pass, Herbert’s third of the game.
It was certainly an unfamiliar way of scoring but the Charger faithful raised the measurable decibel level inside to a huge reading after they saw that. The score was now, Chargers 24, Raiders 10.
The Raiders later took possession of the ball with (5:39) left in the period and ran an 11 play, 38 yard drive down to the Chargers 45, and asked their placekicker, Daniel Carlson to put up another three points, which he did. That made the score (24-13) Chargers.
[4th Qtr]: The Raiders made a few more productive drives but were hampered by turnovers and the Chargers kept their defensive pressure and temperature at high degrees. With (4:32) left to play, the ever-dangerous Carr connected with his former Fresno State and new Raider teammate Davante Adams, on a quick “down-and-out” for the 3 yard TD, moving the score to (24-19). Their 2-point pass conversion failed. Keeping the defensive lid on tightly in this period were cornerbacks, Bryce Callahan and Asante Samuel, Jr. who both contributed big time with their first interceptions, making it a total of three thrown by Carr for the game.
With the Raiders attempting to mount a last minute drive, Mr. Mack and Company were there to detour his plan of connecting with his wide receiver, Davante Adams one more time. Instead Mack sacked Carr causing him to fumble and the Chargers recovered, thus ending any other Raider chances. With only (1:52) remaining in the contest, the Chargers took over on their own 28 and managed to make a “key” first down inside of a minute. And with no more Raider time-outs, the Chargers simply just ran out the clock, with Herbert taking the victory kneeling position, much to the delight of their jubilant and supportive fans.
[FINAL SCORE]: Chargers 24 Raiders 19 [ATTENDANCE]: 70,240
[Next Up]: Kansas City Chiefs, (1-0), on this Thursday, 9/15. Kick-off is set for 5:15 PM and can be viewed on Prime Video. To Listen, tune in to ALT FM-98.7 called by Matt “Money” Smith, analyst Daniel Jeremiah and sideline reporter Shannon Farren. To listen en Espańol, Adrian Garcia-Marquez and Francisco Pinto will call the Spanish broadcast on Que Buena FM 105.5/94.3.