LA Chargers schedule: The toughest stretch of the 2020 season
By Jason Reed
The 2020 LA Chargers schedule was released on Thursday and while we already knew who the Chargers were going to play this season, we did not know the order nor what days the Chargers were playing.
The team currently has two primetime games slated for the 2020 season, one in Week 5 against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football and one in Week 15 against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday Night Football.
The order of the schedule is still important, though. While we already knew who the Chargers played, having the complete picture can help us break down when in the season the team must step up, when in the season they must capitalize, and when the most important matchups are.
Here is the toughest stretch of the 2020 LA Chargers schedule:
When looking at the LA Chargers schedule, it is actually hard to find a consecutive string of games where the team is going to have to prove itself. Almost every tough game is followed by an easier game.
You could make the case for the last three games of the season being the toughest, as the Chargers have three straight divisional games with, assumingly, playoff implications on the line, but we don’t know right now how good the Raiders and Broncos will be as they could be in the playoff picture or be losing teams for all we know.
Instead, the toughest four-game stretch of the entire season appears to be from Week 4 to Week 7, which might be a bit of a surprise based on who they are playing.
- Week 4: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Week 5: @ New Orleans Saints
- Week 6: vs. New York Jets
- Week 7 @ Miami Dolphins
The only team that instantly jumps out as a problem is the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have been the best regular-season team in the league for the last three years and will most likely be over a touchdown favorite against the Chargers at home.
It is going to be the story of the last time Drew Brees plays the team that drafts him. It will be a fun narrative and an even more fun game to watch as the Saints’ offense looks to drive against a stout and versatile Chargers defense.
That is easily the toughest game of the year, but I would not discount who they are playing the week prior. Some Charger fans have disregarded the Tampa Bay Bucs as being a much better team with Tom Brady while I personally believe they will be a playoff team.
They have the experience of Brady, perhaps the best weapons he has had around him since the 2007 season, a solid and underrated offensive line (especially with the addition of Tristan Wirfs) and a good linebacker unit and defensive line.
Even if they don’t end up being a playoff team, the Chargers are playing two of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, on the road, on the East Coast, in back-to-back weeks.
Next up is two seemingly roll-over games in the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. The Chargers should beat the Jets every single time at home and I would not assume otherwise. Of course, anything can happen, but it is safe to expect a win in that one.
Then you have the Dolphins on the road, which might not seem like that big of a challenge. It will be, even if the Chargers killed the Dolphins last season.
This is the team’s third game on the East Coast in a four-week span and they are coming up against a Dolphins team that is really well-coached, overachieved despite tanking last season and now has Tua Tagovailoa.
Say what you will about Justin Herbert, I think Tua is next level and I personally believe the Dolphins will win at least seven games in 2020. If this was in LA it would be a different story, in Miami, I am not overly confident in the Bolts pulling through.
The best-case scenario in this four-game stretch is probably 3-1, as I doubt the LA Chargers could beat the Bucs and Saints in back-to-back weeks. However, all it takes is for a costly turnover against the Jets and the Dolphins to capitalize on the home-field advantage and this could be an 0-4 stretch for the Bolts.