4. What’s one game the Chargers might unexpectedly lose? An unexpected win?
Faustino Felix: One unexpected loss could be against the Patriots. Many are already dismissing them, but let’s not forget how dominant their defense was last year. Bill Belichick is also a specialist in beating Seattle-style defenses like the one Gus Bradley runs. Their unexpected win could come against Tom Brady and the Bucs, who I don’t think are as legit as most people give them credit for.
Steven Haglund: I’m not expecting a Chargers win in Week 1 against the Bengals. Mike Williams and Mike Pouncey might not play. Pouncey in particular is a huge loss, because Geno Atkins is still a game wrecker at defensive tackle. Mobility at the quarterback position doesn’t matter if there’s constant interior pressure in your face.
Don’t be surprised if the Chargers offense struggles this week. As for the unexpected win, I’m going with the Saints game. If there’s a cornerback duo that can contain Michael Thomas, it’s Casey Hayward and Chris Harris. Once you add in Alvin Kamara’s health issues and the lack of fans, it becomes a pretty winnable game.
Devon Auriemma: Unexpected win- Week 2 against the Chiefs. The Chargers have played Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs pretty well. While they didn’t come away with a win in either game last season, they held Mahomes to under 200 passing yards in both games.
The new offense should limit the number of turnovers, which is why the Chargers lost so many close games last year.
Unexpected loss- Week 1 against the Bengals. Joe Burrow is making his first career start with no preseason action, which is a tough task for a rookie going against an elite defense. However, the Bengals have a ton of talent on offense, a very solid defensive line and could surprise a lot of people this year.
Alexander Insdorf: The unexpected loss is definitely the Miami game for me. The Chargers should and will be favored in that game. They looked pretty sluggish in the first half against Miami last season, and this Dolphins’ team is significantly improved at key positions.
I’ll go with the November game in Buffalo as an unexpected win. It’s pretty easy to stop Josh Allen and the Bills offense with the secondary the Chargers have. Neither of their running backs has emerged as a threat yet. If the Chargers keep the turnovers down, it’s very winnable. Plus, good chance for a Tyrod revenge game!
Jason Reed: The unexpected loss in against Miami for reasons that have already been explained. I don’t want to hurt you anymore by continuing to bring it up.
As for a surprise win, I tab the Tampa Bay game. Some may think the Chargers should win that game but they will be underdogs against Brady and they are catching them at the perfect time in Week 4 instead of, say, Week 13.