Worst-case schedule scenarios that could derail the Chargers in 2024

Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

The LA Chargers schedule release it right around the corner. While fans already know who the Chargers are going to play next season, the order of the games absolutely can have an impact on the outcome of the 2024 season.

There are unpredictable factors such as injuries that will impact the exact schedule. Sometimes a team can simply catch a good break by playing an under-manned team at the right time. This is something that is situational and won't matter until the season starts.

But then there are things like road trips, timing of games, when a team plays outdoors, or who a team plays in key weeks. The schedule can absolutely make a difference on a team's performance, and as far as the Chargers are concerned, there are some specific hurdles they are hoping the NFL doesn't throw their way.

Worst-case scenarios for the Chargers schedule in 2024:

1. Playing the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 18

It has become a tradition for teams to play division foes in the last week of the NFL season. Last year, the Chargers hosted the Chiefs in a game that had absolutely nothing going for it as the Chiefs were playing backups and the Chargers were better off losing.

While Kansas City didn't have anything to play for last year and that was a good thing, the Chargers still don't want to see the best team in the division the last week of the season. There is a chance that the Bolts are in some kind of playoff contention and it would be much easier to play either the Las Vegas Raiders or Denver Broncos in the final week.

2. Getting an early-season bye week

Nothing is worse than getting a bye week in the fifth week of the season. That is exactly what the Chargers got last year.

With such an early bye week, the Chargers had to play 13 weeks in a row to finish out the season and that streak would have only continued if they made the playoffs. If LA was an actual Super Bowl contender then it would have had to play (assuming no first-round bye in the playoffs) 16 weeks in a row to make the Super Bowl.

That is just a tough pill to swallow. Bye weeks obviously don't dictate who wins the Super Bowl, but it is interesting to see the trend of when previous Super Bowl-winning teams got to take a break during the season.

  • 2023 Kansas City Chiefs: Week 10
  • 2022 Kansas City Chiefs: Week 8
  • 2021 LA Rams: Week 11
  • 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Week 13
  • 2019 Kansas City Chiefs: Week 12
  • 2018 New England Patriots: Week 11
  • 2017 Philadelphia Eagles: Week 10
  • 2016 New England Patriots: Week 9
  • 2015 Denver Broncos: Week 7

Only two of the last 10 Super Bowl Champions had a bye week before the halfway point of the season (which is now Week 9). We have to go back 10 years to find the last winner that had a bye week before Week 8. With the 18-week schedule, teams can have a bye week as early as Week 5. History tells us that anything before Week 8 is bad news, and ideally the bye week would be in double-digits.

3. Getting the same bad home draw as 2023

Last season the Chargers did not have back-to-back weeks with a home game once. The Chargers only had back-to-back home games once but it came with the bye week sandwiched in the middle in Week 5.

After the bye week, the Chargers had the recurring trend of playing one game at home, and then traveling, and then another game at home, and then traveling again. It is rare for a team to get more than two home games in a row, but just having those two weeks to stay at home and not have to worry about traveling can make a difference.

Just look at the 2022 season as a perfect example. The turning point of that season was when the Chargers beat the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins in back-to-back home games. Then the team got to play Nick Foles and the Indianapolis Colts on the road, before returning to LA to play the Rams.

Having three games at SoFi Stadium in a month, in the most important part of the season, was massive for that Chargers team.

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