Passing the time during the offseason can be rough. You sit around, waiting for something to happen that’s worthy of blogging. If that doesn’t happen, then you start staring at the schedule until your eyes cross… hence the following.
Looking at the Chargers ’08 slate, a few obvious games stand out, a few are outstanding, and the other is out of the country.
But first- this schedule has two very different halves. Their bye is Week 9, splitting the season down the middle. The first half is rough. Five out of the first eight games are on the road, with Week 8 being in London, England. Before that, the team goes to Miami in Week 5, comes home to duel with the Patriots (more on that later), goes back east to Buffalo, then heads over the pond. That’s a lot of frequent flyer miles.
The second half is much more kind. Obviously we have the flip side, with five home games and three away. That includes a three game home stand.
Another small caveat is those Denver Broncos. The Bolts will see their divisional rival in Week 2 and not again until Week 17. The Bronco bookend could pan out into something special. If Denver wants a shot at the division they must have both games scheduled in obnoxious orange.
As for the games in particular…
Whenever the Patriots go anywhere it’s a parade. Pats come to town in Week 6 for a little ’07 AFC Championship Game rematch. Could easily be a postseason preview redo. Boils down to how hungover the Pats will be from the Super Bowl.
In Week 12 the Colts gallop into San Diego to avenge their Divisional Game upset at the hands of the Chargers. The Bolts did manage to take care of Indy twice last year, albeit the first time was a bit of an aberration. Manning had a terrible game, tossing up pick after pick. The playoff win was legit on every level and the defending champs of the time were humbled.
There could be a couple gimmies, like at Atlanta and against Miami… of course, let’s not forget the NFL credo: any given Sunday.
The 2008 season breaks down to escaping the first half without disaster. It’s going to be rough in the outset. Better to have it this way to begin with and have things lighten up on the back eight.
Chargers also get a Monday game Week 3 against the Jets. Could be a snoozer, but up on the national stage is always good for business. The Pats game will be a Sunday nighter, so could the Indy contest and Week 16 at Tampa Bay if the flex schedule gods see fit. NFL Network holds a Thursday night Week 14 game against the Raiders.
The Bolts will get their share of TV time this season. It’s a well-deserved reward. The Chargers have proved they can hang with and put down the big dogs.
Personnel wise, the Chargers are poised to make their best case for the Lombardi Trophy than they ever have. The schedule shows there are going to be some big tests throughout, mentally and physically. We will see what this team is truly made of.