The San Diego Chargers 2012-2013 schedule has officially been announced. A few things to notice from this schedule is that the Chargers will be on national TV five times this year, the difficulty of their schedule, and how it impacts the whole AFC West.
The first piece of good news is the abundance of national TV games. Their first game of the season will be September 10, 2012 at the Oakland Raiders on ESPN Monday Night Football. October 7, 2012 they will play at the New Orleans Saints on NBC Sunday Night Football. October 15, 2012 they will host the Denver Broncos on ESPN. November 1, 2012 they will host the Kansas City Chiefs on NFL Network Thursday Night Football. Finally, they will play December 23, 2012 at the New York Jets on NBC. It will be exciting to see them getting more exposure on national TV. Sadly with good news, there is also bad news.
The bad news is that the Chargers have a very difficult schedule this year. The Chargers defense will be matched by many teams with good quarterbacks. These teams include the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Carolina Panthers. The Chargers defense will also have to play the Denver Broncos twice this year who brought in future hall of famer Peyton Manning. If the Chargers want to make a playoff run this year then there defense will be key to winning games.
The best thing about the Chargers schedule is that the AFC West teams will all be trying to define themselves. The Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs both have new coaches this upcoming season. They will be challenged by finding a winning formula between the new coaching staff and players. The Denver Broncos also signed quarterback Peyton Manning and it will be interesting to see how he plays coming off of his neck injury. Manning has not played for a year and it could take him a couple weeks to find his rhythm with a young receiving corps. All eyes will be on the Broncos when most people look at the AFC West. The Chargers already know that their offense is built around Phillip Rivers. They have done a good job of getting the pieces to build around him with offensive line and wide receiver needs being answered. With the AFC West spotlight on the Broncos then the Chargers can easily go under the radar and shock everyone. The Chargers will win the AFC West if they can find consistency during the season and be prepared for the playoffs.
From seeing the Chargers schedule, I am expecting them to go 11-5 and win the division. If they want to have a better record or have a high seed for the playoffs, then they will have to stay consistent the entire season. It’s good to see a preview of games to look forward to and it will be entertaining to see the 2012 season play out.