The release of the Los Angeles Chargers schedule proves to have both challenging and hopeful opponents as Los Angeles prepares for the 2018 season.
After close examination of the schedule and the way the team is built, it should be a fun year for Chargers fans. With several mock drafts pointing toward the Bolts addressing their run defense, I’m going to assume that the Chargers will do just that and I will predict the Chargers 16-game season. This prediction is solely based off of players staying healthy and no crazy trades that affect the team at the time I am writing this.
Overview: The Chargers start the first quarter of the season with a chip on their shoulder and the momentum from the last season where they finished strong. Not many changes will come in the offense except for an Antonio Gates-less offense and a more heavy run game. If the team can avoid another slow start, they will already have an advantage from the 2017 season.
Toughest Opponent: The Week 3 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams is going to prove challenging as the Rams continue to build their defense and build around a group of young offensive talent. The Chargers have yet to face Todd Gurley and his powerful running style. If the team cannot fix their holes on defense, they’re going to be in for a long game with no answers. The only way I could see the Chargers take this first matchup for the battle of .LA. is by closing the running lanes and forcing Jared Goff to throw the ball and let the team’s secondary control the game.
Game To Watch: The true test of the Chargers’ fate lies in the Week 1 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. For the last few years, Los Angles has struggled against Kansas City and have fallen to them in ugly ways. in 2017, Rivers threw seven of his 10 interceptions against Kansas City and as a result they got swept in the series against their AFC West opponent. Fortunately for the Chargers, the Chiefs have changed up their game and have decided to put the offense in the hands of a young Patrick Mahomes. If they can find a way to exploit the 22-year old and they can find a way to take care of the ball, the team can walk away Week 1 with a victory and a one-game lead over the Chiefs.
Overall Record: 3-1
Overview: With a hot start, it’s pretty tough to touch Los Angeles, and they head into the halfway point pretty much right where they want to be. Assuming there are no major injuries from the team’s top players, they continue to dominate on both sides of the ball.
Toughest Opponent: In Week 9 (the team has a Week 8 bye week) they play against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. Although the team might not look intimidating, I believe the Seahawks will get off to a good start in the season and much like the Chargers, they will have something to prove. With a banged up Legion Of Boom, Rivers will find a way to take advantage and possibly win the game with the offense on his back.
Game To Watch: Although it will be at 6:30 am on a Sunday, a fun game to watch will be the game in London where the Chargers will take on Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. in 2016, the Chargers took the W and it was because of Melvin Gordon who tore up the defense with 261 total yards (196 rushing, 65 receiving). With an aging defense and Mariota’s inconsistent playing, it might not be a fun game to watch but watching the Chargers win in another country might a good game to watch.
Overall Record: 4-0 (7-1)