Aug 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Kendall Hunter (32) is tackled by San Diego Chargers cornerback Gregory Gatson (31) and safety Sean Cattouse (40) during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
There are 107 days left until the Chargers go into Glendale to take on the Cardinals on Monday Night Football on September 8th. That does seem like forever, especially now that there is no draft to analyze and predict, just workouts and camp to look forward to. Think of it this way Chargers fans, it has been 112 days since the Super Bowl. For me, that went quickly. So we have less time until Week 1 than the time that has passed since the Super Bowl. Keep your heads up, everyone.
The Bolts have an interesting, ominous schedule. They open up the preseason on August 7th against the Cowboys. Then their final 3 games are against teams of the NFC West that they will see during the regular season. August 28th they play the Cardinals in the preseason finale, then, 11 days later, they play the same Cardinals to kick off the regular season. There is something to be said about playing 3 of the NFC West teams in the preseason before playing them in the regular season. The Chargers will get a good, long look at this conference before they play games that count.
The NFC West is arguably the best conference in football. The Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks reign supreme, not far behind them is the San Francisco 49ers. Some argue that the “real” Super Bowl last year was the NFC Championship Game between those two teams. The Cardinals and Rams should also be pesky. 3 teams in that division had 10+ wins. The Rams were the only one left out, but they will be much improved this year.
The Chargers last played the NFC West in 2010. They were 2-2, beating Arizona and San Francisco. Obviously, that conference is completely revamped with the Legion of Boom in Seattle, Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco, Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson in Arizona and the strong draft that St. Louis had a few weeks ago.
In 2014, the Chargers have their work cut out for them. They have gotten stronger over the offseason. There is plenty reason of optimism heading into summer camps. There is no reason the Chargers can’t play at the level of the top teams of the NFC West. We should expect nothing less, given the success of last year. The defense should be improved. The already talented offense got better. If the Chargers can handle the gauntlet that is the NFC West well, they will be playing come January.