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LA Chargers: Early game-by-game 2020 record prediction

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 18: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs thorws the ball during the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers at Estadio Azteca on November 18, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by S. Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 18: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs thorws the ball during the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers at Estadio Azteca on November 18, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by S. Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

With the LA Chargers’ schedule now released, it’s time to break down all of their opponents and make a record prediction.

The LA Chargers are coming off of a disappointing 2019. A litany of factors including Philip Rivers‘ poor play, a bad offensive line, injuries, and more doomed the team last season. The Chargers are making a lot of changes this year in a semi-reboot. Rivers and Melvin Gordon are both gone as the team is overhauling their offensive and defensive schemes. That’s before even getting to the big free agency moves and draft class.

The 2020 schedule has been released. Yes, we knew the opponents would be the AFC West, AFC East, NFC South, and the fourth place AFC divisional finishers beforehand. However, the order of the schedule is also important in trying to create a realistic expectation for the Chargers.

I’ll leave games scores out of it until my final predictions in August or September. For now, let’s look at how the LA Chargers match up against each opponent and what the chances of them winning each game are.

Week 1: @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Chargers’ season starts off with a road trip to Cincinnati to take on the new-look Bengals. While the Cincinnati is rebuilding, the draw to this game for a lot of people will be the debut of first overall pick Joe Burrow. Looking at the long term, it’s hard to say if Burrow will be the best quarterback in this class, but he is the most NFL ready quarterback in the short term.

The Bengals will have some good offensive skill players, like A.J. Green and new receiver Tee Higgins. Their defense got some quality pieces in the draft as well. At this point though, it’s hard to see the Cincinnati pulling off the upset. It’s a home game for them, but it’s asking a lot of Burrow to go against a loaded Chargers’ defense with the likes of Casey Hayward, Joey Bosa, and Derwin James.

What to watch for: While the eyes of the national media will be on Burrow, it’ll be important to see how Tyrod Taylor performs in his first game as the starting quarterback. The Bengals’ defense will be a rather simple test for Taylor with the state they’re in, but it’s important to have a good game nonetheless.

The Chargers start the season off on the right foot with a win in Cincinnati.

Record: 1-0

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