#4 and #3 toughest matchups of 2020: Kansas City Chiefs, Weeks 2 and 17
I have the Kansas City Chiefs back to back here. As much as I respect the Chiefs and know how great of a team they are, the LA Chargers have shown the ability over the last couple of seasons to be able to somewhat contain their high octane offense or at least do it better than most.
I love the fact that the Chargers get to have their home opener against the defending world champions. We’ll get to see just how good this team is going to be right off the bat. I’m pretty surprised this one didn’t get pegged as one of the Chargers’ prime-time games to be honest.
We know the Chiefs offense is going to put up points and they did address their one weak link on offense by drafting Clyde Edwards-Helaire at the end of the first round, but did they improve at all on defense? Willie Gay Jr is an uber-athletic linebacker but he was rarely on the field at Mississippi State. They’ve been weak at the corner spot for years and didn’t address that until the seventh round in the draft.
I think the Chiefs will win the division again this year. I also think the Chargers will be able to split the season series, as they did in 2018. Obviously closing the year out in Kansas City is always a challenge, but the Chargers have shown the ability to win and be competitive at Arrowhead. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chargers won in week 17 and lost in week two but that season finale is clearly the tougher matchup.
#2 toughest matchup of 2020: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Week 4
The good news here is that the LA Chargers get Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before they are humming on all cylinders. The bad news is they will have to travel to Tampa Bay and New Orleans on back to back weeks. I was really hoping the league would do the Chargers a favor and split these two games up, but alas, that is not the case.
The Buccaneers will obviously improve this year by replacing Jameis Winston with the greatest quarterback of all time. At the very least, they will be safer. Brady’s career-high in interceptions was 14 and that was all the way back in 2005.
He only had double-digit interception totals three times in the last decade. Winston threw 44 interceptions in the last two seasons, while Brady threw 45 in the last SIX seasons combined.
That being said, I don’t love the fit of a 43-year-old quarterback in an air raid offense. The Buccaneers had a few holes on the roster other than quarterback and offensive line. Is Ronald Jones really who you want leading your running back room in a Brady led offense? The defense improved a lot over the back half of the season but who knows if that will continue in 2020.
I think this will be a very tough game for the Bolts and Brady has always had their number for some reason, but I’m not ready to anoint them as contenders for this season just yet.
#1 toughest matchup of 2020: New Orleans Saints, Week 5
We all knew that the LA Chargers were going to have a game in New Orleans this year. Now we know that it comes in week five, on Monday Night Football.
This is pretty easily the toughest game on the Chargers’ schedule. If it weren’t in primetime then maybe I would have moved it down a spot, but the combination of Drew Brees and Sean Payton have been nearly unbeatable at home and even more so in primetime games. That stadium is going to be rocking like crazy for this game.
The Chargers obviously have had their own struggles against the New Orleans Saints and it seems like Brees always play well against them, but one Charger in particular has had his own fair share of rough games against the Saints recently and that’s the likely starting quarterback.
Taylor traveled to New Orleans as the starting quarterback for the Bills and Browns and has come away with losses and was benched as well. Hopefully neither of those things happen this time around. They will definitely have to conquer some demons if they are to win this game.
Add in how the Saints have improved this offseason by adding Emmanuel Sanders and Malcolm Jenkins and the back to back weeks of traveling and this has recipe for disaster written all over it for the Chargers.
Not much is guaranteed on a week to week basis in the NFL, but I’d be pretty surprised if the Chargers came out of New Orleans with a win this year. Hopefully they can at least play well and keep it competitive.
Well there ya have it, the 2020 matchups ranked by difficulty. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I for one believe this will be a fun season and hopefully one that ends with another playoff birth. I’m just happy that football season is inching ever so closer.