The Los Angeles Chargers 2020 schedule is released. Regardless of who you listen to, it is clear that the Chargers schedule is manageable. Well, it is supposed to be.
If you break the schedule down to two halves, the first half looks easier than the second half. But as we all know, it takes two halves for a playoff run to make.
Yes, they will play the reigning champions Kansas City Chiefs twice. Hard. But this is about what three games are going to be the most challenging for the Chargers outside of the division.
Here are the three most challenging games for the Los Angeles Chargers.
3. Week 1, September 13 @ Cincinnati Bengals
Stay with me here; this is the first game of the season. A game against a team that went 2-14 last season. A team that will start a rookie quarterback, the first pick of the draft, Joe Burrow, under center.
That should be a solid win. Then the next week, the Chargers’ home opener is against the reigning champions, Kansas City Chiefs.
Here lies the challenge. It would only be human nature to overlook the Bengals and look towards playing against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
2. Week 14, December 13 vs Atlanta Falcons
For this game, the playoff picture will be in focus. I expect both teams to be in the playoff picture fighting for that expansion spot.
The challenge is, can the Chargers keep up with the firepower of the Falcons? Last season the Falcons finished 13th in offensive points scored (23.8), fifth in offensive yards (379.7), and third in passing yards (294.6) per game.
The Chargers have added Joe Reed and K.J. Hill to the offense for more firepower. And if all is going well, Tyrod Taylor is still under center. Will the Taylor driven offense be enough to compete with the likes of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, newly acquired tight end Hayden Hurst, and running back Todd Gurley?
1. Week 4, October 4 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Do not be distracted by the ‘old man under center.’ Bruce Arians and company have built this team for a Super Bowl run this season. And while there will be growing pains, by week four, the Bucs will be starting to gel.
The challenge again will be, can the Chargers offense keep up with the Buccaneers offense?
Last season, with quarterback Jameis Winston tossing 30 interceptions, the Bucs offense managed to finish third in points scored (28.6), third in yards (397.9), and first in passing yards (302.8). Imagine what they can be capable of with a quarterback less prone to turnovers?
I am not discounting the formidable defense the Chargers will put on the field. A defense built better in free agency and the 2020 NFL draft.
But this has turned into an offensive game. And without a potent offense, even the best defenses get tired of being on the field for most of the game.
It is up to the 2020 Los Angeles Chargers to step up to the challenges. Challenges that every NFL game will bring. Especially the challenges these three games will bring.