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Raiders-Chargers Breakdown: The Division Race Begins

Chargers' Mike Williams vs. Raiders' Nate Hobbs
Jan 9, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) reaches for a pass as Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs (39) defends during an overtime period at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It's a division matchup this week, the Las Vegas Raiders at the Los Angeles Chargers. We all know that the AFC West is a juggernaut this year, a lot of great teams, lot of great quarterbacks, and really good defenses. Everybody in that division bolstered its defense for this season.

McDaniels Inherits an Offense

The Raiders got Josh McDaniels in there in his second go-round as a head coach. He inherits a great offensive team. They had Derek Carr and brought in Davante Adams to reunite them from their college days, and already had Hunter Renfrow at receiver and Darren Waller at tight end. McDaniels will go a great job of designing that offensive gameplan, he's a great play-caller.

A Feared Pair Along the Line

Las Vegas got Chandler Jones to come over in free agency, and paired him up opposite Maxx Crosby. Those two are going to wreak havoc not only in the run game, but rushing the passer. They've got a good defense, which is a big part of why they have a good overall team there.

L.A. Lighting It Up

The Chargers are really good on offense, starting with Justin Herbert at running back and Austin Ekeler out of the backfield. Outside, they have Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, guys Herbert is very comfortable with. They're going to be really tough to defend. Expect a lot of yards, a lot of points, and for them to throw the ball all over the playground.

Bigger Expectations for the Defense

The Chargers' defense didn't play up to coach Brandon Staley's standard from a year ago. I don't think they sacked the quarterback at the rate they wanted, so they went out and traded for Khalil Mack. Staley had a relationship with Mack from his days in Chicago. They have studs at all three levels, and they expect great things out of that defense in year two in Staley's system.