3 potential trap games for the LA Chargers this season

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers
Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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3. Week 17 at the New England Patriots

This last one might get a chuckle at the onset, but it draws so many eerie comparisons to the fateful 2021 season that it's a matchup that cannot be overlooked.

That gave the Texans their fourth and final win of that season and set the Chargers up to eventually face a do-or-die game in Las Vegas against the rival Raiders. Beating a bad Texans team that year stood between the Bolts and a trip to the playoffs in Justin Herbert's sophomore season.

Could something similar be the case in 2024 with this Patriots matchup?

It's sandwiched between a home game against the Broncos and a road game against the Raiders in Week 18. In 2021, following the Texans' loss, the Chargers played the Broncos at home in Week 17 and at the Raiders in Week 18. The teams and locations are exactly the same, just in a different order.

The Pats already have a pretty good defense led by Kyle Dugger, Christian Gonzalez, Jonathan Jones, and Matthew Judon. They also added more pieces to the offensive side of the ball in wide receivers Ja'Lynn Polk and Javon Baker and quarterback Drake Maye out of North Carolina—a carbon copy of Justin Herbert, some would say.

This is not the outdated Patriots team of old, led by quarterbacks like Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe. This is a young, rebuilding Pats team with a supremely talented quarterback who can very possibly replicate Herbert's career path to date.

Like the Cardinals and Falcons games, this is a revenge game for the Chargers' opponent. The Cardinals lost a close game at the very end to the Bolts in 2022, Kirk Cousins lost a very close game to the Bolts last year, and the Patriots lost a 6-0 defensive battle to the worn-down Brandon Staley Bolts last year as well.

These are three very dangerous trap games that (hopefully) the new-look Chargers don't get caught napping in.