Chargers’ week-by-week schedule prediction
By Daniel Lang
at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday, Sept. 23)
Finally, the two franchises that are entangled in a battle for the hearts and minds of Los Angeles will meet on the field of play.
The Rams have been one of the most active teams in the league over the offseason, snaring a number of high-profile new recruits and beefing up almost all areas of their roster.
With Ndamukong Suh, Brandin Cooks, Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Dominique Easley, Ramik Wilson, and Sam Shields coming onto a roster already boasting Jared Goff, Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley, it’s safe to say the Rams are going all-in for 2018 and they’ll probably hand the Chargers their first loss of the season.
vs San Franciso 49ers (Sunday, Sept. 30)
Alongside the Rams, the 49ers represent another team undergoing a major transformation over the offseason. With their biggest move a lock-down of quarterback Jimmy Garappolo and the addition of some handy weapons, the Niners should improve dramatically from their poor recent form.
That said, Week 4 is still pretty early in the season and there are some questions around how quickly Kyle Shanahan can bed in his system with a new-look roster. It’s also hard to tip against Philip Rivers at home, so there’s that as well.
Chargers bounce back from the first loss with a handy third win of the season.
vs Oakland Raiders (Sunday, Oct. 7)
It takes five weeks, but the Chargers get their first taste of bitter-rivals Oakland at home in early October. New head coach Jon Gruden will have bedded into his first NFL season as a coach since 2008 but there’s little understanding how the Raiders will look.
Quarterback Derek Carr suffered a steep decline last season and the franchise as a whole were bad enough to see Jack Del Rio sacked, so there are plenty of issues with the Vegas-bound Raiders.
While Oakland and Gruden continue their rebuilding process, I think the Chargers are much closer to ‘win-now’ mode and do enough to take care of Oakland at home.