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My favorite matchups for the Chargers in 2020

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Here are the five games I’ll be circling on my calendar.

NFL: DEC 29 Falcons at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In reality, if I didn’t want to waste an entire marker, I would highlight every single game on the 2020 schedule, in three different colors. I’m excited. I’m ready. Can we please skip the whole offseason thing? No? Bummer.

Anyways, I went ahead and wrote down the five games I’m looking forward to the most this year. They either come with elite talent matchups they simply have interesting storylines that go with them.

When you’re done reading these, tell me your favorites on the 2020 slate in the comments.

*In order of schedule

1.) Week 1 @ Cincinnati Bengals

Although unlikely that Justin Herbert will be starting this one, the excitement that would be building up to potentially see two first-round rookie quarterbacks duke it out on opening weekend would be palpable.

I mean, it’s the runaway first-overall pick, artist of the best college football passing season in history - with a less talented overall team - against a quarterback some deemed a reach who gets to play with a host of talent around him. Specifically, the Chargers get the edge with their talent on the defensive side of the ball but both offenses are filled with talented pass-catchers and dual-threat running backs. It’s going to be exciting.

Should Herbert start, that’s must-watch television. If it’s Tyrod Taylor, then at least it’s the Chargers’ chance to give Joe Burrow a big, fat welcome to the NFL.

2.) Week 4 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This matchup was my dream for the week one contest but I’m also content with it happening within the first month of the season.

The Chargers secondary versus the Buccaneers high-profile, dynamic offense. Best-on-best. These types of game are what the NFL fans live off of. I mean, just imagine:

  • Casey Hayward v. Mike Evans
  • Chis Harris v. Chris Godwin
  • Derwin James v. Rob Gronkowski
  • Desmond King v. OJ Howard

Also, Joey Bosa would be lined up opposite Tristan Wirfs, the team’s rookie right tackle.

I think this game is the first real test of what this defense is capable of and it’ll likely set the tone for the rest of the season.

3.) Week 5 @ New Orleans Saints (MNF)

Just one week after facing the Bucs, the Chargers stay out east to take on the Saints in a Monday Night Football contest. With Philip Rivers at the helm, this matchup could have had even more hype for fans, but a primetime game this early in the year will still do just fine.

Depending how the Bucs game goes, this contest could also mean a whole lot for the team. If they won last week, then a win here would be astronomically huge. If they lost, they would need to dig this one out in order to not fall behind so early in the season. After all, there’s a game against Kansas City prior to both.

But overall, this is another awesome matchup with tons of offensive firepower. Yes, it’ll be a future Hall of Fame quarterback versus.....NOT that....but the chance for points on top of points remain. The Saints have also had a consistently strong defense the last few years, even without big-name players being littered throughout. Guys like Cameron Jordan, Marshon Lattimore, and Demario Davis have been enough to keep them near the top of the NFL.

4.) Week 13 vs. the New England Patriots

I don’t know about you all, but this one is going to be awesome. Who cares if it’s not against Tom Brady and Gronk anymore. This is a chance to make Patriots fans and feel like the rest of the NFL for the first time in two decades. This is a chance to get revenge on that fan base for the first time in God knows how long.

I initially wanted to use the Patriots potentially being quarterbacked by a former late-round pick as a reason to potentially win this one big but, you know, that’s a little ironic at this point.

At the end of the day, I don’t believe Jarrett Stidham is anywhere near the quarterback Tom Brady was at that age and without some of the pieces from last year’s defense, I like this matchup a lot. Just being able to FINALLY talk some smack to my NE fan of a friend will be oh-so glorious.

5.) Week 15 @ Las Vegas Raiders (TNF)

This will be the first game that the Chargers get to play at the Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas. These divisional matchups are already super heated and very intense. It transcends the sport. There’s real-life hate here.

Depending on how things shakeout in the first 14 weeks, this game could mean a lot in terms of earning the final AFC playoff spot. Also it’s in primetime, so heck yeah let’s go.

The Raiders added speed and production at the wide receiver spot in this year’s draft and the Chargers added some help at the second and third across free agency. While the Raiders may be faster, the Chargers look to be smarter. By this time we will have already seen these two teams play, so my thoughts on this matchup would change by the start of this but we don’t need to get that in depth.

Primtime + new Death Star stadium = major hype. I pray this game means SOMETHING come late December.