Photo via Kelley L Cox - USA Today Sports
The initial excitement behind the Los Angeles Chargers’ 2017 schedule’s reveal has passed, and the disappointment in seeing both of the Bolts’ primetime games scheduled on the road has surfaced.
Having finished among the bottom feeders of the league last season, the Chargers were expected to see very little of the NFL’s biggest stage. However, setting both primetime matchups away from Stub Hub Center is a tough pill to swallow.
No, the NFL shouldn’t have to force the spotlight onto a 35,000-seat stadium, but keeping the spotlight off of the Chargers’ new home won’t help the franchise fill their stadium amidst their transition to Inglewood.
Here’s a closer look at the Chargers’ two road affairs scheduled for primetime.
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos
Monday, Sep. 11 at 7:20 p.m. (PT) on ESPN
The Denver Broncos will replace the San Francisco 49ers as the featured host for the latest Monday Night Football game scheduled for Week 1. The Chargers will look to spoil the Broncos’ home opener to set the tone for their 2017 campaign beneath the limelight.
Two rookie head coaches in Chargers’ Anthony Lynn and Broncos’ Vance Joseph will also make their debuts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Additionally, the Chargers will square off against their former head coach in Mike McCoy, as he will wear the headset for Denver as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Broncos’ projected starter under center Trevor Siemian will captain Denver’s offense in hopes of flashing dramatic improvements from his performance in 2016.
Similarly, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will aim to protect the football at a much better rate than last season to keep his defense off the field and put points on the board. He led the league in interceptions last season with 21.
The Bolts took down the Broncos in San Diego last season in Week 6, 21-13. However, the Broncos later evened the series at 1-1 with a 27-19 win in Denver.
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
Saturday, Dec. 16 at 5:25 p.m. (PT) on NFL Network
The NFL has not done the Chargers any favors by having them go to play the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on a short week.
The Chargers will take the road to bear the freezing temperatures of Kansas City in mid-Dec. to play beneath the roars of the Chiefs’ dedicated fan base.
Last season, the Oakland Raiders went on a similar endeavor and put on one of their worst performances of the season. The Bolts could easily slip into the Raiders’ shoes in 2017.
The Chargers lost both games against the Chiefs last season, opening and closing the season beneath a sea of Kansas City red. The Bolts lost 33-27 in Week 1 and again at home in Week 17, 37-27.
Ryan is currently a student at the University of North Carolina. He grew up in the Bay Area and has had Raiders season tickets his entire life fostering his love for the NFL. He has founded his own sports website, thejrreport.com and works at the Sports Desk for the Daily Tar Heel. You can follow Ryan on twitter @rytime98 if you want to discuss anything sports.