The Las Vegas Raiders are looking to make a good first impression on their opening season in Las Vegas. The Raiders are currently sitting at 5-3 and are in sixth position in the AFC playoff race. Las Vegas is doing this with a decent defense.
The Los Angeles Chargers have found their franchise quarterback and he looks to be heading down the same success path as Philip Rivers. One thing is for sure the Chargers (2-6) are only two years away from getting back into the playoffs.
Both the Raiders and Chargers have left us with 5 great takeaways from their game on Sunday, which the Raiders won 31-26.
5. The Las Vegas Raiders need to beef up their secondary
The Las Vegas Raiders pass defense gives up 267.1 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. This season, the Raiders have given up 13 passing touchdowns and have only forced 3 interceptions. Justin Herbert proved to Las Vegas that they need improvements in their secondary.
The Las Vegas Raiders defense needs help everywhere on defense, but they should take care of their secondary before moving on. Las Vegas could get a good corner in the second or third round of next year's NFL Draft. They could also go out and sign a corner in free agency. One thing is for certain if you're going to play Patrick Mahomes twice a year and Justin Herbert twice, you need a good pass defense.
4. Los Angeles Chargers have a lot talent at wide receiver
Justin Herbert is the future of the Los Angeles Chargers at quarterback. Herbert fell into a position where he has two gifted wide receivers and a tight end that can make an impact. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are very talented and both can make plays that could change the game.
The Chargers have the talent to play with the top teams in the NFL, they just need time. Herbert is having a great year but he is still learning. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are going to be there for the long run. Once Herbert develops completely the Chargers will be contenders with the talent they have catching the football.
3. The Las Vegas Raiders have a good chance at making the playoffs
The Las Vegas Raiders are currently sitting in the number six position in the AFC. They're holding on to that last playoff spot. They cannot afford to lose football games but they do have a favorable schedule.
They have already played Kansas City once and snuck out of Arrowhead with a victory over the Chiefs. They play the Chargers, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, and Denver Broncos. If the Las Vegas Raiders can win those four games they will make the playoffs.
Currently they own the head-to-head tiebreaker against Cleveland and they own both tiebreakers with the Colts and Dolphins. The Las Vegas Raiders play both the Indianapolis Colts and the Miami Dolphins in the second half of the season. Beating both the Colts and Dolphins will cement their chances of making the playoffs.
2. Derek Carr is having an undercover great season
The Las Vegas Raiders came into this season with questions about starting quarterback Derek Carr. He has shown with his play on the football field that he belongs at the starting spot. Carr has put the Raiders' offense on his back and has shown great leadership in the process.
This season Derek Carr has thrown for 2,002 yards, 16 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. He is on pace to beat his numbers in 2016 where he led the Las Vegas Raiders to the playoffs. Carr threw 28 touchdowns and 6 interceptions that season and the Raiders finished at 12-4. If Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders can hold off on a bad loss they will be playoff-bound at the end of the season.
1. Justin Herbert is the future of the Los Angeles Chargers
Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert is having an amazing year for the Los Angeles Chargers. The best part about his amazing year is that he hasn't even scratched the surface of his potential yet. Herbert is currently 10th in the NFL in total passing yards this season.
He has also thrown 17 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions, which is good for a rookie quarterback. He is battling with Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Herbert has had three or more touchdown passes in four games this season. The rookie can throw the football. It will be interesting to see how this season plays out, but one thing is for sure we can look for the Chargers to start building around Herbert.