With the 2019-20 NFL schedules released, NFL Fan Blitz continues its tour around the league with the Los Angeles Chargers.
This season, the Chargers will tackle two other divisions in addition to their own. The first is the AFC South. That division, full of uncertainty, is home to the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans.
In 2017, even though they had their fair share of struggles, the Titans and Jaguars still played impressively. The two teams have almost become the spoilers of the NFL, often winning games they have no business winning and jeopardizing their opponent’s playoff standings. The Colts, who the Chargers will kick off their season against, got off to a rather slow start last season but still made it to the playoffs. The Texans were one of the top-ranked teams in the league for the majority of 2018.
The second division the Chargers will take on is the NFC North. This division is home to the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. This makes the division one of the more daunting ones going into the 2019-20 season.
In 2018, the Lions were the model of inconsistency: a powerhouse in some games and below average in others. For Green Bay, they experienced their first bad season in years but with Aaron Rogers at the helm, it makes any team nervous. The Bears and the Vikings each had a dominating season last year, which will make those contests some of the Chargers’ most difficult.
The Chargers will also have two additional games against the Miami Dolphins and the Pittsburgh Steelers. With the Dolphins heading into the season without Ryan Tannehill, it will be hard to gauge the difficulty of that matchup. The Steelers, however, will be coming in with a chip on their shoulder.
When the two teams faced off in 2018, the Chargers shocked the football nation by winning the primetime matchup in Pittsburgh, albeit with the help of some arguably bad calls by the referees. It was one of the first games that proved their presence in the league was not the joke it once was.
Despite all of these tough matchups, the most glaring obstacle in Los Angeles’ schedule lies in the divisional games. All teams have six games within their division; however, they are usually spread out across the 17 weeks. Aside from facing the Denver Broncos in Week 5, the Chargers do not face another team in the AFC West until Week 10.
Los Angeles missed out on a division title last season by one game. If the 2019 season is anything like the 2018 season, the Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs will be fighting for the AFC West title once again. Due to the frequency of divisional matchups, they always hold their own air of uncertainty. Coupled with not knowing where they’ll be in the division, it is an extra layer of stress for the Chargers.
Another noticeable obstacle is their bye week. The Chargers don’t rest until Week 12, the last bye week of the season. Right before the bye week, they’ll face the Chiefs. It’s important to note that the Chiefs also have their bye in the same week as well. The only saving grace is that the Week 10 matchup against the Oakland Raiders will be on a Thursday Night Football game on Nov. 7.
The matchup against the Chiefs (in Mexico City), is a Monday Night Football matchup Nov. 18. That means they’ll have over a week to prepare for the tough matchup while the Chiefs will only a normal week.
At the end of the day, no amount of predicting can determine how a season will turn out. The draft hasn’t taken place yet, injuries haven’t occurred yet, and with new talent comes new team dynamics. Right now, Chargers fans will have to wait and see what the team will do in the draft to prepare them for the upcoming seasoning. See the full schedule below:
Week 1- September 8th 4:05 pm Indianapolis Colts @ LA Chargers
Week 2 – September 15th 1:00 pm LA Chargers @ Detroit Lions
Week 3 – September 22nd 4:25 pm Houston Texans @ LA Chargers
Week 4 – September 29th 1:00pm LA Chargers @ Miami Dolphins
Week 5 – October 6th 4:05 pm Denver Broncos @ LA Chargers
Week 6 – October 13th 8:20 pm Pittsburgh Steelers @ LA Chargers
Week 7 – October 20th 4:05 pm LA Chargers @ Tennessee Titans
Week 8 – October 27th 1:00 pm LA Chargers @ Chicago Bears
Week 9 – November 3rd 4:25 pm Green Bay Packers @ LA Chargers
Week 10 – November 7th 8:20 pm LA Chargers @ Oakland Raiders
Week 11 – November 18th 8:15 pm Kansas City Chiefs @ LA Chargers (Mexico City)
Week 12 – Bye
Week 13 – December 1th 4:25 pm LA Chargers @ Denver Broncos
Week 14 – December 8th 4:05 pm LA Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 15 – December 15th 8:20 pm Minnesota Vikings @ LA Chargers
Week 16 – December 22nd TBD Oakland Raiders @ LA Chargers
Week 17 – December 29th 1:00 pm LA Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs