The LA Chargers are on the road to kickstart the 2021 season as they take on the Washington Football Team in Week 1. Every Charger fan is itching for some Chargers football as the excitement for the season is at an all-time high.
No matter what happens on Sunday it is important that fans do not overreact one way or the other. Just take last season for example. After Week 1 we were all convinced that Joshua Kelley would be hugely impactful in his rookie season. We were wrong.
While it is important not to overreact, this is a very unique case for the Chargers. There is a chance that Week 1 showdown vs. Washington will have season-long repercussions for the Chargers.
If the Chargers win they are not guaranteed to make the playoffs and if they lose they are not guaranteed to miss them. However, the result, and what happens in the game itself, could shape the 2021 season as a whole.
Why the LA Chargers Week 1 game vs. the Washington Football Team could be so impactful:
First, let's talk about the result. The LA Chargers could very well lose this game against Washington and still make the playoffs. In fact, it would not be that surprising if that is the case as the team has a new head coach and did not play most of its starters in the preseason.
The Bolts could very well start slow in Week 1 against Washington's defense and get into form throughout the season, making Week 1 a thing of distant memory.
While that could definitely happen, it is also important that the Chargers pick up as many wins as they can early in the season. The beginning of the season is extremely tough for the Bolts and having a slow start is the last thing this team needs.
Washington is no pushover in Week 1, then they have to take on Dallas in Week 2. Dallas' overall roster is not that great but they are going to have a three-day rest advantage to scheme for the Bolts. With that high-powered offense, that could be an issue.
Week 3 is on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs, which will be the toughest game for the Bolts all season. Week 4 should be a victory against the Las Vegas Raiders and then the Bolts host the Cleveland Browns in Week 5.
The Browns have one of the most well-rounded rosters in all of football. This is another extremely tough game. The Bolts wrap up the tough start with a road game against the Baltimore Ravens.
That is not the most favorable six-game start and while it is not the most likely outcome, there definitely is a reality in which the Chargers lose Week 1 against Washington, things don't go their way in close games and they start the season 1-5.
That would give the Chargers only 1-2 more losses throughout the rest of the season to make the playoffs. While every situation is different, only three of the 111 teams to start 1-5 since 1990 have made the playoffs. That is 2.7% for those counting as home.
A loss in Week 1 does not mean this will happen but it is something to consider.
More importantly, though, is the health of the team. The LA Chargers have not had the best injury history in recent years and they are starting the season in the absolute worst place to start a season: FedExField.
FedExField has been known for its poor playing conditions that have caused injuries in the past. Week 1 is also a prime time for someone to get hurt as it is the first time they are truly hitting each other.
It is worrisome that a lot of the starters did not play any snaps in the preseason and have to kickstart the 2021 season on the worst playing surface possible. Injuries are bound to happen, and expecting the team to be completely healthy is only setting up for disappointment, but the Chargers have to get out of this game with a clean bill of health.
Perhaps it is the doomsday thought process in my mind that comes with being a Chargers fan but we have seen this happen before. An extremely promising season going down the drain before it even starts.
This Week 1 game scares me. Not only could the LA Chargers lose the game, but if the worst-case scenario happens, they could lose the 2021 season as well.