A whole lot of things can change from now until the NFL regular season kicks off September 8th. Heck, for that matter, training camp and the preseason could hold some unforeseen “issues” that could throw a monkey wrench or two into every team’s plans for this year.
Having said that, let’s operate under the assumption that the Los Angeles Chargers will get through camp and into the real thing completely unscathed. Here, then, is the Chargers game by game prediction for the upcoming season.
Way Too Early Chargers Game By Game Prediction
Week 1 – Indianapolis Colts
One of the offseason darlings of the sports media comes to town. The Colts are one of Vegas’ trendy picks right now. But the Colts have a long-standing tradition of slow starts. Playing at home, and with a surely newly-energized Philip Rivers under center to start yet another season, I like the Chargers in this one.
Week 2 – @ Detroit Lions
This could just be the perfect time for the Lions to jump up and bite one of the league’s big boys. But then again, maybe not. I can see the Lions spitting the bit at the beginning of this season just as they did last year. They seemed totally unprepared for the first few games of last season. I think that might just happen again, especially with the veteran coaching staff standing on the Bolts’ sideline.
Week 3 – Houston Texans
Riding high off of a 2-0 start, and with a Houston team that for the past couple seasons has seemed hit or miss (and the hits haven’t been all that impressive) coming to town, I like Rivers and Co. to win this one as well, possibly in a big way.
Week 4 – @ Miami Dolphins
Heading to South Beach at 3-0 could very well spell letdown for the Chargers, especially seeing as the Dolphins might not be in the best of moods after a tough 3-game stretch to open the season. L.A. plays well but drops their first of the season.
Week 5 – Denver Broncos
At this early stage of the season, I’m thinking the Broncos might be having a few growing pains, if you will, adjusting to the new men in town, coach Vic Fangio and QB Joe Flacco. That, and the distinct possibility that Denver comes in at 1-3 or worse, makes this seem like an easy pick. The Chargers’ D could have a big day in this one.
Week 6 – Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers will have come into this season with a gigantic chip on their shoulders after having missed the playoffs last year, a no-no in the Steel City. A relatively easy early-season schedule will help Pittsburgh in this one. This game could end up being a shootout, but I think given all of the above that the Steelers are able to sneak away with a W.
Week 7 – @ Tennessee Titans
This game could very well be a tale of two teams heading in opposite directions. While the Chargers should be a legitimate Super Bowl contender as the season wears on, I don’t see the Titans being anywhere near that level. It could very well be a blowout. I think L.A. plays its best game yet in this one, with Melvin Gordon having a big day and taking some of the load off of Rivers’ ageless arm.
Week 8 – @ Chicago Bears
Yet another team that seems very much over-hyped heading into this season, the Bears nevertheless will be a load for the Bolts to deal with in the windy city, even in October. But I just have a feeling (and that’s all I have to go by) that the Chargers will have some answers for a Chicago defense that wants to lay claim to the title of “Best in the NFL”.
Week 9 – Green Bay Packers
At the halfway point of the season, the Packers have had a tough schedule and will be coming off a rough one at Kansas City. The Chargers will be nursing a few wounds of their own after a tough game in Chicago, but they get it done here in close fashion.
Week 10 – @ Oakland Raiders
Having played two tough, tight games and heading into the black hole on a Thursday night, this one could prove to be a tough get for L.A. Playing at home and coming off another home game against the Lions, the Raiders will be an absolute handful.
Week 11 – Kansas City Chiefs (In Mexico City)
This game is one I really have a hard time getting a feel for. So, after wracking my brain for hours on end and then flipping a coin, I’m going with the Chargers. I think the grittiness and ultra-competitiveness of Rivers somehow edges out Patrick Mahomes in an offensive fireworks display.
Week 12 – Bye
Week 13 – @ Denver Broncos
Something tells me the growing pains the Broncos were feeling the first time these teams met might not have worked themselves out. The Chargers win handily.
Week 14 – @ Jacksonville Jaguars
I think the Jaguars will have rebounded from last year’s disaster of a season, but not enough to handle L.A. in this game. This could just be the coming out party for the Charger defense.
Week 15 – Minnesota Vikings
Another slugfest against the NFC North. Kirk Cousins will have adapted just fine after another year with the Vikings and the Minnesota defense will be one of the best in the league. Add in the fact that the Vikes will have just come off a home game against what will probably be the doormat Lions and this would seem to be a tough game for the Chargers to pull out. It will be a tough one. But I see them doing it, anyway.
Week 16 – Oakland Raiders
You guessed it, Rivers turns the tables on the Raiders in the rematch. He might just have his best game of the year in this one. And the D continues to progress nicely.
Week 17 – @ Kansas City Chiefs
It wouldn’t shock me to see the Chargers have the division wrapped up and Anthony Lynn and his staff decide to rest a few players. On second thought, that wouldn’t really mesh well with the competitive type of guy that Lynn is. So I think that won’t actually come to pass. Nevertheless, I think this game will mean more to the Chiefs in the closing week than it does to L.A.
Overall 2019 Record: 12-4