Week 2: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Other than just being a very important divisional game for the LA Chargers in general, Week 2 will also serve as their first game at SoFi Stadium. There’s no bigger way to open your new stadium than against the defending Super Bowl Champions. The Chiefs managed to keep mostly the same team together while adding some key pieces in the draft like Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Willie Gay Jr.
As currently constructed, the Chiefs probably have the best odds to repeat and defend their Super Bowl title when comparing them to other recent winners. For the Chargers, this is a massive game for them, especially considering the 0-6 divisional record last year. The last divisional win for the Chargers was in 2018 vs. the Chiefs.
What to watch for: Without a doubt, the game comes down to the Chargers’ defense vs. Mahomes. In all honesty, the defense has played pretty well in the last few games vs. the Chiefs. In last season’s Mexico matchup, the Chiefs only scored 24. The secondary of the Chargers held Mahomes to just 182 yards passing, without James and Adrian Phillips.
The Chargers get off their divisional schneid and upset the Chiefs in the SoFi Stadium opener.
Week 3: vs. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers will be an interesting team to watch this year. Gone are the days of Riverboat Ron Rivera and Cam Newton. Matt Rhule has started the rebuild of the Panthers roster with the 2020 NFL Draft. The Panthers went all defense with their draft selections, headlined by Derrick Brown out of Auburn.
Teddy Bridgewater is an upgrade at quarterback from the inconsistency of the Kyle Allen experiment last year. He’s not the most dynamic quarterback, but Bridgewater is a smart player who doesn’t make big mistakes. The Chargers need to take advantage of Carolina’s weak offensive line and get to the quarterback.
What to watch for: Christian McCaffrey has serious MVP potential this season. With a weaker than average offense, the Panthers are going to feed the star running back as much as possible. The Chargers’ defense needs to be able to contain him, both at the first and second levels.
The Chargers continue their winning ways against a team that still is a year or two away from being complete.