Justin Herbert and Chargers hold back Raiders in season-opening win

Chargers linebacker Drew Tranquill, right, intercepts a pass in front of Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller.
Chargers linebacker Drew Tranquill, right, intercepts a pass in front of Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller in the second quarter of the Chargers’ 24-19 win Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Justin Herbert throws three touchdown passes and the Chargers defense holds back the Raiders in the fourth quarter of a 24-19 win at SoFi Stadium.

Justin Herbert leads Chargers to 24-19 victory over Raiders

Chargers wide receiver DeAndre Carter celebrates after catching touchdown pass.
Chargers wide receiver DeAndre Carter celebrates after catching touchdown pass in the second quarter of a 24-19 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium on Sunday.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Khalil Mack sacked Derek Carr three times, including on Las Vegas’ final offensive play, to lift the Chargers to a 24-19 season-opening victory at SoFi Stadium.

Playing against his old team, Mack finished with six tackles total.

Justin Herbert completed 26 of 34 attempts for 279 yards and three touchdowns for the Chargers, who lost wide receiver Keenan Allen in the first half because of a hamstring injury. Allen caught four passes for a team-best 66 yards before his injury.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr completed 22 of 37 passes for 295 yards, with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Wide receiver Davante Adams caught 10 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.

The Chargers play at Kansas City on Thursday night.

🏈 FINAL: Chargers 24, Raiders 19


Chargers can’t capitalize on interception; Raiders score TD

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr passes against the Chargers in the second half.
(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Las Vegas tightened the score to 24-19 with 4:32 left in the game when Derek Carr hit Davante Adams for a three-yard touchdown.

The Raiders went for two but failed when Carr’s pass for Hunter Renfrow fell incomplete.

The big play of the drive was a 31-yard completion from Carr to tight end Darren Waller.

The Raiders took over after Dustin Hopkins missed a 49-yard field goal.

4:32 fourth quarter — Chargers 24, Raiders 19


Raiders cut into Chargers’ lead with 55-yard field goal

Raiders running back Josh Jacobs carries the ball against the Chargers in the second half.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Las Vegas’ Daniel Carlson kicked his second field goal of the day to pull the Raiders to within 24-13 with 1:03 to go in the third quarter.

Carlson’s kick from from 55 yards after he hit a 23-yarder in the first quarter.

The Raiders’ drive stalled after Joey Bosa tackled Davante Adams for a 10-yard loss on a reverse, Asante Samuel Jr. broke up a pass intended for Adams and Samuel and Derwin James Jr. combined to stop running back Brandon Bolden for a three-yard gain on a reception.

Las Vegas also took a five-yard penalty for a false start during the sequence.

1:03 third quarter — Chargers 24, Raiders 13


Gerald Everett touchdown extends lead for Chargers

Chargers tight end Gerald Everett scores a touchdown against Las Vegas Raiders safety Roderic Teamer.
Chargers tight end Gerald Everett, bottom, scores a touchdown against Las Vegas Raiders safety Roderic Teamer during the third quarter.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

New tight end Gerald Everett fought his way into the end for an 18-yard touchdown to put the Chargers up 24-10 with 6:42 remaining in the third quarter.

Quarterback Justin Herbert rolled to his left and fired perfectly to the back shoulder of Everett, who dragged former Chargers safety Roderic Teamer into the end zone with him.

Herbert is up to 23 of 27 for 259 yards and three touchdowns. The Chargers have scored on four of their six possessions.

6:42 third quarter — Chargers 24, Raiders 10


Keenan Allen ruled out with hamstring injury

Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen hauls in a pass from Justin Herbert during the first quarter.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Bad news for the Chargers: Standout wide receiver Keenan Allen will not return to the game after sustaining a hamstring injury in the first half. The team initially said Allen was questionable to return before ruling him out early in the third quarter.


Derek Carr finds Brandon Bolden for touchdown in third quarter

Las Vegas pulled to within 17-10 by scoring on the opening possession of the third quarter.

Derek Carr hit running back Brandon Bolden for an 18-yard touchdown to finish off a five-play, 75-yard drive.

Bolden beat linebacker Kyle Van Noy on the route.

The Chargers also surrendered a 41-yard Carr-to-Davante Adams connection. Adams beat cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. on that play.

12:39 third quarter — Chargers 17, Raiders 10


Justin Herbert throws a TD dime to give Chargers 17-3 halftime lead

Chargers wide receiver DeAndre Carter, right, reacts after catching a touchdown pass.
Chargers wide receiver DeAndre Carter, right, reacts after catching a touchdown pass next to Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Divine Deablo during the second quarter.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Justin Herbert hit DeAndre Carter for a 23-yard score 35 seconds before halftime to put the Chargers up 17-3.

Carter was in the game as an injury replacement for Keenan Allen, who left the game on the team’s previous possession because of a hamstring injury.

The possession was set up by a Drue Tranquill interception over the middle. The pick was the first of Tranquill’s career.

Herbert is 17 for 20 for 204 yards and two scores. He threaded his pass to Carter low and between two defenders.

Halftime — Chargers 17, Raiders 3


Keenan Allen sustains hamstring injury, questionable to return

The Chargers lost Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen to a hamstring injury late in the second quarter.

He retreated to the locker room, the team announcing that Allen is questionable to return.

He had four catches for 66 yards before departing. DeAndre Carter replaced Allen.

0:45 second quarter — Chargers 10, Raiders 3


Justin Herbert connects with Zander Horvath for TD

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert looks to pass against the Las Vegas Raiders.
(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

The Chargers took a 10-3 lead when Justin Herbert connected with rookie fullback Zander Horvath for a one-yard touchdown with 9:34 left in the first half.

The possession was extended when Las Vegas safety Nate Hobbs was called for a personal foul on a third-down hit to Herbert two plays before the score.

With the touchdown, Herbert extended his streak of games with a passing score to 22, the second-longest active streak in the league and fourth-longest in franchise history.

Herbert is 11 for 13 for 109 yards through the Chargers’ first three series.

8:15 second quarter — Chargers 10, Raiders 3


Raiders miss out on TD pass, tie game on field goal

A giant American flag is unfurled during the singing of the national anthem.
A giant American flag is unfurled during the singing of the national anthem before Sunday’s game between the Chargers and Raiders at SoFi Stadium.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

The Chargers avoided falling behind when Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr threw behind tight end Darren Waller on what should have been a touchdown.

Instead, the pass went incomplete, leading to Daniel Carlson’s 23-yard field goal that tied the game 3-3 late in the first quarter.

The Raiders converted their first three third downs on the drive. The Chargers were the NFL’s worst defense on third down in 2021.

Las Vegas’ newest offensive weapon, Davonte Adams, had three catches for 54 yards on the series.

2:08 first quarter — Raiders 3, Chargers 3


Chargers take 3-0 lead on Dustin Hopkins field goal

A fan holds a "I love Justin Herbert" sign.
Fans cheer on Justin Herbert and the Chargers before the start of Sunday’s game against the Raiders.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Dustin Hopkins provided the game’s first points with a 43-yard field goal to cap the Chargers’ opening drive.

Justin Herbert completed five of six attempts for 36 yards as the Chargers went 50 yards in 12 plays.

After Hopkins’ kickoff. Kenneth Murray Jr. started at inside linebacker with Drue Tranquill. Murray missed more of training camp coming off ankle surgery.


Can Justin Herbert’s promise outweigh Chargers’ beleaguered past? They appear armed

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert stands on the sideline before a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 20.
(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

It’s not his fault.

Justin Herbert is beyond reproach at this stage of his career, his individual achievements sparing him from blame of the Chargers’ collective failures.

The inability of the Chargers to reach the playoffs in their franchise quarterback’s rookie season?

That wasn’t on Herbert.

The team falling short of the playoffs again last year?

That wasn’t on Herbert either.

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What’s new in the NFL? Plenty of coaching newbies and imminent player milestones

What to expect in the 2022 NFL season.
(Photos by The Associated Press; Photo Illustration by Tim Hubbard)

Matt LaFleur is the dean of NFC North coaches.

Seasons under his belt as the top man with the Green Bay Packers: Three.

Such is the nature of the NFL, where the revolving door of coaches spins at dizzying speed.

Nearly a third of the league’s 32 teams switched head coaches this offseason with 10 clubs making a change. The only divisions that remained the same in that regard were the AFC North and NFC West.

There were two head-coaching changes in LaFleur’s division, with both Minnesota and Chicago opting for first-timers. The Vikings hired former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, and the Bears went with a specialist from the other side of the ball, Matt Eberflus, former Indianapolis defensive coordinator.

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Mystery behind Raiders-Chargers matchup and L.A.’s revamped defense

Chargers outside linebacker Khalil Mack takes part in practice drills in July.
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

A year ago at this time, the Chargers had a new defensive scheme and the hope that — over the next 18 weeks — things would come together.

The fact they’ve since rebuilt their personnel on defense reveals just how much that hope wasn’t realized.

On Sunday, they’ll unveil a group with at least four new starters, a group expected to be much stingier, especially against the run.

Head coach Brandon Staley this week expressed “full confidence” in his revamped defense but also noted the uncertainty that exists entering the Chargers’ opener against Las Vegas.

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J.C. Jackson inactive for Chargers’ season opener vs. Raiders

Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson will not play against the Raiders on Sunday.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

The Chargers officially ruled out cornerback J.C. Jackson for Sunday.

Jackson is coming back from a surgical procedure on his right foot Aug. 23. He worked out on the SoFi Stadium field two hours before kickoff and appeared to be moving well.

Jackson’s availability for the Chargers’ next game — Thursday night in Kansas City — remains uncertain.

Starting linebacker Drue Tranquill, who was questionable because of a back issue, is active.

The Chargers’ other inactives: Tight end Donald Parham Jr. (hamstring), defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko, running back Isaiah Spiller, offensive lineman Brenden Jaimes, cornerback Kemon Hall and quarterback Easton Stick.


Why no one will recognize rematch between Chargers, Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) rushes during the second half of an NFL football game.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert carries the ball against the Raiders in January.
(Jeff Bottari / Associated Press)

Half of Las Vegas’ 22 starters Sunday against the Chargers will be different from when these teams concluded the 2021-22 regular season against each other in January.

The Raiders also will have a new coaching staff led by Josh McDaniels.

The Chargers will look different too, including one player who started that game Jan. 9 in Las Vegas. Safety Derwin James Jr. arrived at the team’s facility this week with a very obvious haircut, his short dreadlocks replaced by a smooth buzz.

“I just wanted to get it a little cleaner,” James explained Wednesday. “I want to go back to the real DJ3.”

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Reshuffled booths, streaming, mega TV deals: Inside the changing landscape of NFL broadcasts

Troy Aikman, left, and Joe Buck attend the Disney 2022 Upfront presentation at Basketball City Pier 36.
Troy Aikman, left, and Joe Buck, who spent the first two decades of their broadcast booth partnership at Fox, are the new voices of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”
(Charles Sykes / Invision / Associated Press)

The landslide, triggered by Tony Romo, has rumbled into America’s living room.

CBS backed up the Brinks truck for Romo in early 2020, signing him to a deal that pays him $18 million per year, and that instantly reset the market for NFL announcers.

Two years later, an unprecedented reshuffling.

Al Michaels to Amazon, which will stream Thursday games. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN. Mike Tirico promoted to the No. 1 play-by-play chair at NBC. And Jim Nantz getting a sweetened deal to stay at CBS, where he and Romo are in their sixth year and suddenly the longest-tenured active tandem at a given network.

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Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders: Betting odds, lines, picks and predictions

Expectations are high in Los Angeles as the 2022 NFL season gets fully underway. The Chargers are +1400, one of the six shortest prices on the odds board. They are also about a field-goal favorite against the new-look Las Vegas Raiders in the 1 p.m. PDT window Sunday.

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5, 52.5)

To say that the storylines are rich for this game would be an understatement. Justin Herbert’s last-second touchdown pass in the fourth quarter tied the Week 18 game against the Raiders and sent it to overtime. A tie meant that both teams would make it. The teams traded field goals in overtime and then the Raiders kicked a 47-yarder with no time left on the clock to win the game and send the Chargers home.

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Justin Herbert and Chargers pick up where last season ended, against Raiders

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert passes under pressure against the Raiders.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert passes under pressure during a season-ending loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in January.
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

For someone paid well to harass them, Joey Bosa recently found himself disarmed by a quarterback.

The moment came during Chargers training camp, right after Justin Herbert scrambled out of the pocket and sprinted down the sideline for a long gain, delighting the fans in attendance.

Of course, his teammates on defense weren’t permitted to tackle, hit or get particularly close to Herbert. So …

“I talked some crap to him,” Bosa recalled. “Then I instantly felt terrible because he’s like, ‘What, Joey, come on. I love you.’ That’s Justin, such a great guy, exactly the type of person you want at that position.”

Entering his third season, Herbert is coming off the first of what could be many Pro Bowl selections, already an NFL record-setter and undeniably established as this team’s next franchise quarterback.

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Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders matchups, start time and how to watch

Chargers head coach Brandon Staley paces the sidelines.
Chargers coach Brandon Staley will be looking for a different result Sunday after his team lost to the Las Vegas Raiders in last season’s regular-season finale.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Breaking down how the Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders match up heading into their game Sunday at 1:25 p.m. PDT at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. The game will be shown on CBS.

When Chargers have the ball: In the offseason, while they rebuilt their defense, the Chargers only tinkered with their offense. They brought in new starters at tight end (Gerald Everett), right guard (Zion Johnson) and fullback (Zander Horvath), with holdover Trey Pipkins III taking over at right tackle. The Chargers also added depth at running back in Sony Michel after their initial 53-man roster was set. There was no reason for significant change after Justin Herbert led the Chargers to top-five finishes in points and total yards. This season, more of the same is anticipated. “There’s no drama, right?” running back Austin Ekeler said of having a certainty such as Herbert running the offense. “We don’t have the media talking about, ‘Who’s the quarterback? What are they doing? What’s going on?’ None of that. We’re good.” Ekeler is coming off a 20-touchdown season, and wideouts Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both topped 1,100 receiving yards. Williams also set an NFL single-season record in 2021 with five go-ahead touchdowns in the fourth quarter or overtime. “He’s a guy the quarterbacks have a lot of trust in,” offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said. “He doesn’t have to be open to be open.” Of note: In 10 career games against the Raiders, Williams has only one touchdown.

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