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Key Matchups for the Chargers

The NFL season is long and tough. It’s a season where you need to focus on the present. Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future are two ways to derail your season. However, if you don’t learn from your mistakes and if you don’t prepare enough for the future, these are two other ways your season can turn to shambles. Having one of the more difficult schedules this season, here are some matchups that could be important to the Chargers success. 


Dolphins to face Chargers Week 1 to open their 2023 season

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Week 1 vs Miami Dolphins

Week 1 sets the tone for the rest of the season. It’s normal for there to be some rust given that not a lot of starters play in the preseason, but a win here is important for the Chargers given the strength of their division. The Dolphins have a strong offense and a solid defense but could be missing key players. Jalen Ramsey underwent surgery to repair his meniscus in late July and isn’t projected to return until December. For their offense, their unit may be lacking at the LT position as Terron Armstead is working back from an injury sustained in a joint preseason practice. Currently, it’s up in the air as to whether Armstead will play Week 1. But if he doesn’t, the Chargers will need to take full advantage of playing a Dolphins team that isn’t at full strength. 


Los Angeles Chargers fall short 39-10 in home game against Minnesota Vikings - ABC7 Los Angeles

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Week 3 at Minnesota Vikings

Given the Chargers inability to defend the run over the years, some might say their Week 2 matchup at Tennessee is more important. Moreso, many are also expecting the Vikings to decline in their level of play this year. They lost Erick Kendricks, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook, but they still have a veteran QB in Kirk Cousins, a solid OL, and the best receiver in football in Justin Jefferson, not to mention Danielle Hunter and Harrison Smith on defense. US Bank Stadium isn’t a fun atmosphere for away teams. And given that the Vikings are the reigning NFC North champs, they should be treated as such.


New York Jets vs. Los Angeles Chargers game recap: Everything we know

Image: Jets Wire – USA Today

Week 9 at New York Jets

There’s a lot of hype around the Jets this year. They made an immense trade with the Packers for Aaron Rodgers, they were featured on Hard Knocks, and they have a decent blend of established veterans and an explosive young core. Furthermore, MetLife Stadium isn’t a forgiving atmosphere for opposing teams just as US Bank isn’t. The Jets aren’t expected to win their division, but they are a fringe playoff team with the talent, coaching, and determination to prove their doubters wrong with upset wins along the way. 


Austin Ekeler's costly fumble one of many Chargers miscues - Los Angeles Times

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Week 10 at Detroit Lions

The first word that comes to mind when thinking about the Lions is grit. Ever since Dan Campbell’s first press conference when he was talking about biting off kneecaps, you knew games against them were going to be a brawl. In the middle of the season, this is one of those games that tests how bad a team wants it. Are they willing to play every snap through the whistle for a full 60 minutes? Or are they only going to play when they want to? The Chargers have the talent, but do they have the grit to will themselves to victory?


Bills offense tries to blow it but Buffalo beats Chargers 27-17

Image: Democrat and Chronicle

Week 16 vs Buffalo Bills

The Bills are another team many are expecting to slightly regress this upcoming year. Still, like the Vikings, they are divisional champs and must be respected as such. There’s no denying the talent of their offense with Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen just as there’s no simple way to beat their impressive defense. Additionally, many are also expecting second-year RB James Cook to have a breakout season. In Week 16, this is when teams are often scrambling trying to heal or replace banged-up players. This is a game that won’t only show how good the players on the field are, but the coaches, front office personnel, and athletic training staff as well. 


Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Game Day Betting Odds: Week 11 Point Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - Sports Illustrated Los Angeles Chargers News, Analysis and More

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Weeks 7 and 18 vs Kansas City Chiefs

I feel as if these games go without saying, but I’m going to mention them anyway. The past few years, the Chargers-Chiefs matchups have been close with the Chiefs always seeming to come out on top. If the Chargers are going to do anything this year, they first need to get through the Chiefs. Winning against Kansas City isn’t only important given they’re the reigning Super Bowl champs, but it’s important because it will help paint the playoff picture that’d be more favorable for the Bolts. 


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