The Chargers got the job done in week one by surviving a pesky Raiders team 24-19. They did it behind a massive effort from their defense that recorded six sacks and three interceptions on Derek Carr.
The offense looked efficient for three quarters of the day and Justin Herbert finished with 279 passing yards, three touchdowns, and zero turnovers.
Heck, even special teams played a big role in the win as first-year Chargers punter JK Scott averaged 49.0 yards per punt to help flip the field on several occasions.
The Chargers were already among the top teams in the NFL, mainly floating around the bottom of the top 10 in last week’s power rankings. After starting the year 1-0 over a good Las Vegas team, let’s go ahead and see where analysts ranked them heading into a primetime matchup against the Chiefs.
New York Post - #3
“Spoiling Josh McDaniels’ first game as Raiders head coach still doesn’t make up for losing that win-and-in matchup and missing the playoffs last season. Justin Herbert threw for three touchdowns — all to players added in the offseason — and the defense intercepted Derek Carr three times. There’s concern for receiver Keenan Allen’s hamstring, however.” - Ryan Dunleavy
Sporting News - #4
“The Chargers showed off their new-look defense well against the Raiders, with Khalil Mack on the revenge attack, even without new shutdown corner J.C. Jackson. MVP candidate Justin Herbert and the offense are a given every week and they seem to have found more sources of lightning.” - Vinnie Iyer
ESPN - #4
“A seventh-round pick from Purdue, Horvath made his debut in a 24-19 win over the division rival Raiders. The rookie fullback proved dependable in the second quarter, when he caught a 1-yard pass from quarterback Justin Herbert to put the Bolts up 10-3. He finished the game with one carry for 2 yards and two catches for 6 yards and a touchdown. Not huge numbers by any stretch, but a solid — if not unexpected — contribution from a seventh-round pick.” - Lindsey Thiry
The Athletic - #4
“So many of the big-name players to change teams this offseason made immediate splashes. A.J. Brown caught 10 passes for 155 yards, setting a record in his first game as an Eagle. Von Miller was as advertised for the Bills, with two sacks against his former team. Davante Adams caught 10 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders, while Hill caught eight passes for 94 yards for the Dolphins. But perhaps no team needed its contribution from the big-ticket newcomer more than the Chargers needed Khalil Mack, who had three sacks, including one on the game-deciding play against the Raiders.”
“‘People who are trying to figure out Khalil Mack — what they’re gonna get or is he the same Khalil Mack? — are out of their mind,’ Chargers defensive lineman Morgan Fox told Daniel Popper after the game. ‘He’s the same or better. He’s an amazing, amazing player.’”
“After finishing 20th in the league in sack rate in 2021, the Chargers sacked Derek Carr five times in Sunday’s 24-19 win, the most sacks of Carr since 2018.” - Bo Wulf
CBS Sports - #5
“With that passer in Justin Herbert and those pass rushers in Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, they have the two main things needed to win it all. Now they have a chance to show the Chiefs this week in a big early game.” - Pete Prisco
NFL.com - #5
“The Chargers received impact performances from a host of newcomers in a promising 24-19 win over the Raiders. TE Gerald Everett and WR DeAndre Carter both scored touchdowns, while OLB Khalil Mack had three of L.A.’s six sacks of a rattled Derek Carr at SoFi Stadium. Justin Herbert was predictably great, finding ways to move the offense even after Keenan Allen left the game with a hamstring injury. Allen’s availability is in doubt on Thursday night for a huge early-season litmus test against the Chiefs at Arrowhead. Will J.C. Jackson, the team’s prized free-agent addition at cornerback, make his debut? The Bolts sure could use him with that Mahomes guy looming.” - Dan Hanzus
USA Today - #5
“As his remarkable young career continues to unfold, QB Justin Herbert has thrown at least three TD passes in 14 of his 33 NFL starts.” - Nate Davis
Yahoo Sports - #6
“The Chargers didn’t play great but still won, which is actually a step forward. This Thursday night, when the Chargers play at the Chiefs, will be a phenomenal measuring stick for Los Angeles in what’s supposed to be a breakout season.” - Frank Schwab
Pro Football Talk - #11
“Great start. Consistency, and health, will be the key.” - Mike Florio