3 ways the NFL screwed Chargers with 2024 schedule

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers
Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages

The 2024 LA Chargers schedule is out and the team is under fire for their controversial schedule release video. Simply put, the Chargers took shots at everyone. Nobody was safe. In terms of the schedule itself, though, Jim Harbaugh and Co. made out pretty well.

Coming off a 5-12 finish last season, the Chargers have the fifth-easiest schedule in the league based on their opponent's 2023 win percentage. That gives Harbaugh a great chance of leading LA back to the playoffs for just the third time in the last decade.

While the Chargers' strength of schedule might be favorable, the league didn't do them many favors elsewhere. With that in mind, let's highlight a few ways the NFL screwed the Bolts with their 2024 schedule.

3. Chargers once again have an early bye week

What is it with the NFL and giving the Chargers the earliest possible bye week? For the second straight season, Los Angeles will have a Week 5 bye.

Coaches and players normally hope its slotted at the midway point or shortly thereafter. That would allow for an even split of games pre- and post-bye, or something close to it. That can't be understated now that the league has shifted to a 17-game season.

Having a bye four games in after a seven-month offseason is absolutely ridiculous. This means the Chargers will play 13 games in a row to close the campaign. They are one of four teams with a Week 5 bye so they're not alone in receiving the short end of the stick, but this is far from ideal for a team that navigated myriad injuries in 2023.

2. Chargers will travel more than any team in 2024

With AFC teams getting an extra road game this season it was always expected that the Chargers would travel a lot. What we didn't know, though, is that they would travel more miles than any team. Per betting analyst Bill Sperros, the Chargers will travel a whopping 26,803 miles this year. That is 935 more miles than the second-place Dolphins and 1,006 more miles than the third-place Seahawks.

Aside from the Dolphins, the Raiders (seventh) are the only other AFC team that resides in the top 10 in expected travel mileage. The Jaguars are 11th. You have to scroll all the way to the 20th slot to locate the AFC heavyweights. The Texans, Chiefs, Bills and Ravens fill the 20-24 spots, respectively.

The Chargers don't have the best home-field advantage in the NFL (that would be an understatement). Every team travels a decent amount, but LA's projected air miles could loom large in the second half of the season with 13 straight games on the docket.

1. Chargers have a brutal start and finish

Piggybacking off the fact that the Bolts will be well-traveled in 2024, four of their first six games are on the road. Two of those games are extremely winnable: Week 1 vs the Raiders and Week 2 at the Panthers. If they were to slip up in one of those games, though, they face the always-competitive Steelers on the road in Week 3 and then the Chiefs at home in Week 4.

Coming out of the bye, LA has two straight road games against tricky opponents: the Broncos in Week 6 and Cardinals in Week 7.

Ironically, four of the Chargers' final six games are on the road. Those opponents include back-to-back road tilts against the Falcons and Chiefs in Weeks 13 and 14, respectively. They have two straight home games sprinkled in against the Buccaneers and Broncos before they wrap the campaign with road dates against the Patriots and Raiders.

A lot of these road opponents are beatable, but the Chargers will have to become road warriors if they are to claw their way into the playoffs.

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