With the LA Chargers’ season opener against Cincinnati a few days away, how will each game of their 2020 season play out?
Last year, my game by game prediction for the LA Chargers didn’t quite pan out. I had them at 11-5 and well…they went 5-11. A decline in Philip Rivers‘ play, injuries, and a weak offensive line were the main causes of the down year.
To be fair, I got the record right in 2017 when the LA Chargers went 9-7! Another year means another record prediction. In this case, another year also means a very different team. Tyrod Taylor is the new starting quarterback with new acquisitions Kenneth Murray, Linval Joseph, Chris Harris, Bryan Bulaga, and Trai Turner playing critical roles.
Let’s go opponent by opponent:
Week 1: @ Cincinnati Bengals
While this feels like an easy opponent, this isn’t one the Chargers should take lightly. The Bengals have improved their team from last year and added the number one pick in the draft, Joe Burrow. While the 2018 season was good for the Chargers, many fans remember the first game of that season being the launching pad for Patrick Mahomes’ MVP run.
It’s important not to underestimate the Bengals, especially when it comes to their offensive weapons and bulked up defensive line. At the same time, the Bengals supporting cast isn’t reminiscent of the 2018 Chiefs team around Mahomes. Burrow is also going into this season totally cold from a professional standpoint with no preseason this year.
Even with the loss of Derwin James, the Chargers’ secondary is still a tough challenge for a rookie quarterback. Their defensive line will be gunning for Burrow from the start of the game as well. This could be a trap game to start the season, but I see the Bolts starting off with a win in Cincinnati.
LA Chargers’ record: 1-0
Week 2: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
This is one of those games that could have a snowball effect on the rest of the season. If the Chargers manage to win here and get to 2-0, that’s a huge momentum boost for the rest of the first half of the season. However, they could also lose to Cincinnati and then lose to the Chiefs on top of it, creating a slump that’s hard to get out of.
The Chiefs are one of the toughest teams to play this season. Their team is virtually the same as it was in their Super Bowl season and there was a shortened offseason that didn’t help others teams trying to catch up to them.
The good news for the Chargers is that they’ve played the Chiefs relatively well in recent years. In the 2019 Mexico game, they only allowed 24 points to Kansas City when the Chiefs averaged 30 points per game over the course of the season.
It’s about whether the Chargers have enough offense to keep up with them. It will take time for the team to find their offensive footing with such a new group, so I’ll say the Chiefs take it by seven in Week 2.
LA Chargers record:1-1