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McDaniels, Raiders open year with loss at SoFi Stadium

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr throws under pressure during the team's Week 1 loss to the LA Chargers. Photo Credit: Terrel Emerson

A loss in an AFC West rivalry was the official introduction for head coach Josh McDaniels and his Las Vegas Raiders.

Las Vegas dropped its season opener, 24-19, to the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Sept. 11 from SoFi Stadium.

“There’s a lot to learn from this game in terms of how we want to play and win,” head coach Josh McDaniels said. “Obviously, it’s difficult to win when you lose the turnover margin the way we did.”

Last season, the two teams split both meetings during the regular season including a 35-32 win for the Raiders in Week 18 to knock the Chargers out of playoff position while claiming a spot.

Once again these two teams will meet again Sunday, Dec. 4 as Los Angeles makes the trip to Las Vegas for a date inside Allegiant Stadium.

For now, the Raiders will turn their attention to its home opener where it will host the 0-1 Arizona Cardinals. It will be a reunion game for newly-signed defensive end Chandler Jones, who spent the last six seasons in Arizona.

“We’ll start looking at film tomorrow,” tight end Darren Waller said. “Dive deep into, look at every single detail of every play and then it's Arizona from there starting tomorrow evening.”

That game is set for Sunday, Sept. 18 from Allegiant Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 1:25 p.m.

Trailing by one possession on the team’s final drive of the game, Las Vegas starting quarterback Derek Carr suffered the same fate on back-to-back plays to squander the Raiders’ chances at taking the lead.

On a 3rd and 3, Carr was sacked before fumbling and recovering the ball himself. Moments later, he went down the same way on a 4th and 8.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr slings a pass to his left during the team's series opener at SoFi Stadium. Photo Credit: Terrel Emerson

Sacks were a problem all night long for the Las Vegas offensive line that gave up six in total on the day.

“I know what the ultimate sack number was,” McDaniels said. “I thought we did a decent job in many ways of just giving ourselves a chance to get the ball out on time.”

On the second offensive play of the game, Carr was sacked, the first of three first half sacks. The final sack of the first half came just before his first interception of the season.

In fact, Carr threw three interceptions in this Week 1 matchup, one season after reaching the mark in Week 4 of the 2021 campaign.

“We’re going to turn the film on and I’ll be better about making too aggressive decisions when I don’t have to,” he said. “That’s really what it came down to, me forcing the ball to my guys in moments where I didn’t need to.”

Carr finished with 295 passing yards on 22-of-37 with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

His last two interceptions on the day both came in the fourth quarter including an under thrown ball to new No. 1 option Davante Adams.

Carr and Adams hooked up on the first Raider offensive play of the game for an 11-yard gain. Later in the quarter, the pair connected for a 22-yard reception on a 3rd and 6.

“We did some good things,” Carr said. “There’s also some things that him and I were just talking about in the locker room. The way I see it, the way he sees it.”

Adams hauled in a 41-yard catch early in the third quarter before scoring his first touchdown in Silver & Black in the fourth quarter from three yards out. In his debut, he racked up 141 yards and a touchdown on 10 receptions.

Waller made his first catch of the season in the second quarter. Saturday, he signed a three-year extension with Las Vegas worth $51 million in new money.

“I think it’s really cool timing,” he said. “I think that’s what plays into faith sometimes. I don't know why I even worry about things anymore. I really appreciate the Raiders because they didn’t have to do what they did, especially with two years left.”

Waller struck big twice in the second half, first on a 23-yard reception just before the under thrown interception by Carr. Additionally, Waller’s 31-yard catch set up Adams’ touchdown.

Raiders tight end Darren Waller reels in a midfield pass from quarterback Derek Carr during the team's 24-19 loss to the Chargers. Photo Credit: Terrel Emerson

He ended the day with 79 yards receiving on four catches.

Las Vegas rushed for a total of 67 yards on 13 attempts including three rushes for six yards in the first quarter. Starting running back Josh Jacobs accounted for 57 yards on 10 carries.

By halftime, the Chargers had outgained the Raiders, 234-95, in terms of total yards.

Defensive back Nate Hobbs made his presence felt early, racking up two tackle-for-losses in the first 16-plus minutes of the game.

His aggressiveness got the better of him when he was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty for hitting a sliding Justin Herbert on a 3rd and 4th down during that same drive.

“That wasn’t a flag at all,” Hobbs said. “I think it was a bad call. We were running to each other and in the middle of me launching to make the tackle, he slides in the middle of me making the tackle.

“[The referees] say my helmet touched him but I seen the replay and my helmet didn’t touch him.”

Herbert would later find fullback Zander Horvath for a touchdown to give Los Angeles the, 10-3 lead.

The Las Vegas defense gave the team several chances at a Week 1 win including back-to-back stops on 3rd and 4th down from one yard out late in the second quarter. Additionally, the unit forced a missed field goal from 49 yards out by the Chargers’ Dustin Hopkins.

On a 3rd and 3, Hobbs injected himself into the game in the form of a pass breakup to give the offense another shot to take the lead with less than four minutes to go in regulation.

“I knew that third down potentially is going to tell the tale of the game,” Hobbs said. “The game was on the line and I knew when [Chargers wide receiver] Mike Williams came at No. 2, I knew what they were doing – they were trying to single me up on him. And I just thought that was a bad idea.”


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