The LA Chargers' schedule for the 2023 season is going to be released on Thursday, likely with another home-run video by the social media team. We already know who the Chargers are playing but we do not know the order, how many primetime games, and when the bye week will be.
It may not seem like a big deal as we already know the opponents but the construction of the schedule absolutely plays a factor in the kind of season a team can have. Sometimes it is better to catch certain teams earlier in the season than later. Plus, you have to factor in days of rest and any disadvantages the Chargers may have there.
There are definitely advantages and disadvantages that teams can have in the schedule depending on how it is put together. And as far as the Chargers are concerned, there are three doomsday scenarios that would not be great for the 2023 season.
Doomsday scenarios for the Chargers 2023 schedule:
1. Multiple Thursday Night Football games
The NFL has changed some of the scheduling rules for the upcoming 2023 season and perhaps the most contention change is the addition of a second Thursday Night Football game. Teams can be put on Thursday more than once, which is a huge disadvantage.
Playing on Thursday is inherently harder than getting the normal rest in a week and can change the outcome of a game. Granted, the other team also has to deal with the short rest but that opens the variability that may not be present on a Sunday game.
Hopefully if the league was smart any team with a second Thursday game would at least get one of those games after a bye week but that could be too hard to coordinate. Speaking of bye weeks.
2. Getting an early bye week
Early bye weeks are the worst. While there is something to be said about being able to get in a rhyhtm late in the season, it is also nice to get that bye week in the middle-to-back end of the schedule in order to rest and reset for a potential Super Bowl push.
Bye weeks start in Week 6 and go all the way through Week 14. If the Chargers were to get a bye week in the Week 12-14 range it would be great for the team. However, if they get it on the ealier end like last season it could be rough.
If the Chargers have a Week 6 bye that means they might have to play 16 weeks straight if they were going to make a Super Bowl run. That is a big ask.
3. Multiple East Coast afternoon games
The Chargers have a lot of games that are being played in or close to the Eastern time zone. The AFC West plays the AFC East and NFC North this season. All in all, the Chargers have two games in the Eastern time zone and four games in the Central time zone.
It is really tough for a West Coast team to travel East and play in these games, especially if they are in the early slate of games that start at 10:00 a.m. PT. The Chargers had three games played at 10:00 a.m. PT last year. One of which came off of a bye and another came after a 10-day break in Week 3.
There is potential for the Chargers to have quite a few of these games played at 10:00 a.m. PT. Some of the six games will end up on primetime but if they have to go into New England, or Green Bay, and play in the early slate of games it is only going to make things tougher.
Hopefully, the number of these games are limited and when they do happen they will hopefully come after some kind of extended rest.