The Los Angeles Chargers have made some key changes this offseason. After Philip Rivers spent 16 seasons with the club, 14 campaigns as the starting quarterback, the franchise and veteran quarterback parted ways this offseason. Rivers found a home in Indianapolis as a member of the Colts, while the Chargers have selected Justin Herbert No. 6 overall to be the franchise's future under center. There's no Rivers reunion set for the 2020 campaign, nor do we know when Herbert will get the nod to start under center over veteran Tyrod Taylor, who appears to have the inside track at the Week 1 job.
What we do know now is when these games will occur next season as the NFL has released its regular season schedule for 2020. Below, you'll see a week-by-week breakdown of what's ahead for Los Angeles, along with a list of all the prime-time games and the team's strength of schedule ranking.
The Pick Six Podcast gang fired up a new episode breaking down every eye-catching aspect of the NFL's schedule release. Give it a listen below, and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:
- Week 1, Sept. 13: at Bengals (4:05 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 2, Sept. 20: vs. Chiefs (4:25 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 3, Sept. 27: vs. Panthers (4:05 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 4, Oct. 4: at Buccaneers (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 5, Oct. 12: at Saints (8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN - Monday Night Football)
- Week 6, Oct. 18: vs. Jets (4:05 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 7, Oct. 25: at Dolphins (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 8, Nov. 1: vs. Jaguars (4:05 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 9, Nov. 8: vs. Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET on Fox)
- Week 10: BYE
- Week 11, Nov. 22: at Broncos (4:05 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 12, Nov. 29: at Bills (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 13, Dec. 6: vs. Patriots (4:25 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 14, Dec. 13: vs. Falcons (4:25 p.m. ET on Fox)
- Week 15, Dec. 17: at Raiders (8:20 p.m. ET on Fox, NFL Network and Amazon - Thursday Night Football)
- Week 16, TBD: vs. Broncos
- Week 17, Jan. 3: at Chiefs (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
The Chargers will break in SoFi Stadium in Week 2, but they'll hardly get a warm welcome as they have the daunting task of facing the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. What will be interesting to see is whether or not this will be the Los Angeles introduction to rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, who was taken No. 6 overall at the 2002 draft.
As noted above in the week-by-week schedule rundown, the Chargers will be playing two prime-time games in 2020. They'll be packing their bags and heading on the road for both of them. In 2019, Los Angeles played three games in prime time and went 0-3 over that stretch. The first was a 24-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football in Week 6. After that fell to the Raiders on Thursday Night Football in Week 10 and were taken down their AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football the following week.
Week 2 to Week 5 seems like it may be a rough go for Los Angeles as they'll face a number of quality teams and elite quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees and Tom Brady. They'll also see Teddy Bridgewater and the new-look Carolina Panthers, who could be a tough out this season. Luckily for the Chargers, they'll be able to square up against the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs at home, but will have to go on the road to face the Bucs and Saints, which will be no picnic.
Strength of schedule
Earlier this offseason, John Breech broke down the 2020 strength of schedule for all 32 NFL teams based on combined opponent winning percentage in 2019. After finishing behind the Saints and Falcons in the NFC East, the Chargers have the tenth-easiest strength of schedule in 2020. For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule, check out Breech's breakdown here.
However, when basing strength of schedule on the over/under win totals for each team's opponents during the 2020 season at William Hill, Los Angeles is tied with the Ravens, Bears and Browns for the third-easiest schedule in the league. For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule using this methodology, check out Jared Dubin's full breakdown here.