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Justin Herbert: 3 bold predictions for Chargers QB in season opener vs. Raiders

NFL, Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders

With a Los Angeles Chargers Week 1 game scheduled against the Raiders, the spotlight will be on Justin Herbert. He has had some eye-popping numbers against the Raiders in the past, but can he put up big stats again? Ahead of this Chargers-Raiders game, we’ll be making our Justin Herbert Week 1 bold predictions.

The Chargers have one of the strongest lineups in the league and are poised for a deep postseason run, thanks in large part to Justin Herbert. Even with only two seasons under his belt, Herbert has already risen to the premier tier of quarterbacks, allowing the Chargers to safely spend large on his rookie contract.

The Chargers’ quest for their first Super Bowl appearance begins in Week 1 against the Las Vegas Raiders. This is an appropriate Week 1 game for the Chargers since they have the opportunity to right the wrong from Week 18 last season. They can demonstrate that this year’s squad is far superior to last year’s roster.

Needless to say, if Herbert goes off again — and it’s likely he will — the Raiders will be in for a very long night. Can they slow him down even for a little bit? Let’s now look at our Justin Herbert Week 1 bold predictions.

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3. Justin Herbert gets sacked twice

Justin Herbert still probably remembers Week 18 of last season. In fact, he might still have bad dreams about the Raiders’ Maxx Crosby.

The All-Pro defensive end was a recurrent matchup nightmare in the season finale, with two sacks and four pressures. He routinely beat Chargers right tackle Storm Norton to the snap, making it tough for Herbert to find time in the pocket.

The Chargers won’t start Norton at right tackle this season, but it’s not apparent that they improved much. Trey Pipkins is expected to start. He only got 173 snaps last season, but he saw 571 in 2020 and allowed five sacks in that limited sample size.

Even if Pipkins has improved since his last start, he faces an extremely difficult opponent to begin the season. Take note that Crosby is on track for a great start to his fourth season and a double-digit sack total in 2022.

Herbert will be wary of Crosby coming off the line quickly and strongly. It won’t matter, though. Herbert should get ready to be sacked twice in this game.

2. Justin Herbert goes for 300+ yards

Despite getting sacked multiple times, however, Justin Herbert should still be a force in this matchup. Take note that only five quarterbacks in NFL history have attempted more passes than Herbert against the Raiders while maintaining a higher passer rating. Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Alex Smith, and Peyton Manning are those five QBs.

Of course, that is a fantastic group to be a part of. Brady, Brees, and Manning are unquestionably Hall of Famers, and Mahomes will be as well if he continues to play the way he does. Smith is perhaps the exception in this group, but he still had a pretty good NFL career.

Mahomes is actually the only one of the five to have averaged more yards per game than Herbert versus the Raiders. Sadly, in the Raiders’ division, there are two quarterbacks who have historically dominated the team, and they’ll face one of them to open the season.

Having said that, Herbert should continue dominating the air against the Raiders. Expect him to throw over 300 yards against Las Vegas. For reference, he threw a total of 605 yards and six touchdowns against the Raiders in 2021.

1. Justin Herbert throws 3 TDs

Herbert recorded a throwing touchdown in each of last year’s 17 games, including two passing touchdowns in 12 of them. Last season, he actually threw 38 touchdowns for an average of 2.2 per game. Against the Raiders, he did even better, recording a total of six passing TDs. Herbert had three passing TDs in their first meeting last October and again had three passing TDs in Week 18.

Herbert just owns the Raiders, and he knows it. His receiving corps led by Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Joshua Palmer, and TE Gerald Everett are probably very excited and eager to see which among them will be on the receiving end of three more TDs in Week 1.

The Chargers should win this one by two scores or more thanks in no small part to Herbert’s three passing touchdowns.