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Breaking Down the Chargers' 2018 Opponents
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The final schedule for all 32 teams will be released in April, but it’s never too early to break down the opponents the Chargers will face in 2018.
All-Time Series: Chargers 9, Arizona 4
More: The Cardinals head to StubHub Center with a new head coach and quarterback as Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer each retired following the 2017 campaign. However, they’ll get a big boost by the return of David Johnson after the Pro Bowl running back spent virtually the entire season on the Reserve/Injured list. While Arizona won the most recent meeting in 2014, the Chargers have a two-game winning streak against them at home.
All-Time Series: Baltimore 6, Chargers 5
More: Former Chargers Eric Weddle and Danny Woodhead lead the Ravens out west for the first time since 2012. The two teams have alternated victories over their last seven meetings dating back to 2006. Baltimore came out on top the last time they squared off, hitting a game-winning field goal as time expired for the 29-26 win back in 2015.
All-Time Series: Chargers 20, Cincinnati 15
More: Cincinnati has won the last four regular season contests between the two teams dating back to 2010. However, the Chargers did beat them when it mattered over the eight-year span, defeating the Bengals 27-10 on the road in the Wild Card round of the 2013 playoffs. L.A. last defeated Cincy at home back in 2009 as the victory clinched the AFC West crown for the Bolts.
San Francisco 49ers
All-Time Series: Chargers 7, San Francisco 7
More: While the intrastate foes face off against one another each preseason, this marks a rare regular season game between the two California teams. Their last game ended in memorable fashion as the Chargers authored their largest comeback in team history, rallying from 21 points down to earn a 38-35 OT victory in 2015. The Chargers boast a four-game winning streak over San Francisco dating back to 2004, yet will face a Jimmy Garoppolo led team that went 5-0 after he took over the reins as starting QB down the stretch in 2017.
Tennessee Titans (in London, Week 7 or 8)
All-Time Series: Chargers 27, Tennessee 17, 1 Tie
More: Instead of taking the field at StubHub Center, the two teams will meet across the pond as the Bolts will be the host team against the Titans at Wembley Stadium. Tennessee is coming off a postseason appearance, but they will be guided by a new head coach in 2018. The Bolts have had marked success against the Titans, winning 10 of the last 11 times they faced off dating back to 1993.
All-Time Series: Chargers 24, Buffalo 12, 1 Tie
More: Buffalo may be fresh off their first playoff appearance in 17 years, but the Chargers got the better of them in 2017 in a 54-24 dismantling at home. The secondary forced six turnovers, including five interceptions at the first half. This time, it’s the Bolts who hit the road as they’ll visit Buffalo for the first time since 2014. L.A. has won five of the last six meetings between the teams dating back to 2005.
All-Time Series: Chargers 16, Cleveland 9, 1 Tie
More: The Chargers and Browns face off for the fourth-straight season with the teams alternating wins over their three previous meetings. L.A. was victorious in 2017, defeating the Browns 19-10 largely thanks to Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen. Rivers completed 31-of-43 passes for 344 yards and one touchdown while Allen posted 10 receptions for 105 yards and a TD. However, it figures to be a new-look Browns squad in 2018 as they hold the first and fourth overall selections in the NFL Draft.
Los Angeles Rams
All-Time Series: Rams 6, Chargers 5
More: The Bolts won’t have to travel far as they’ll simply head crosstown to take on the Rams at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. The Chargers proved victorious the last time the teams met when former safety Marcus Gilchrist picked off the Rams’ potential game-winning pass in the end zone. This year’s game will feature two of the league’s most explosive offenses as the Chargers ranked fourth and the Rams 10th in 2017.
All-Time Series: Pittsburgh 23, Chargers 9
More: The Chargers head to the Steel City for the first time since 2012, when Philip Rivers and Danario Alexander helped power a 34-24 upset over the Steelers. They most recently met in 2015 with Pittsburgh exacting revenge with a walk-off touchdown on Monday Night Football. Perhaps most notably, the game will once again feature two QBs from the famed class of 2004 in Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger, as well as two of the most productive wideouts in the league in Keenan Allen and Antonio Brown.
All-Time Series: Seattle 26, Chargers 24
More: Two former divisional foes will renew their rivalry, although now that they are in different conferences, they see each other only once every four years. The two teams have split the series 2-2 since the Seahawks moved to the NFC West in 2002. However, the Bolts did come out on top the last time they squared off, emerging with a 30-21 victory with temperatures soaring well over 100 degrees.
All-Time Series: Denver 65, Chargers 51, 1 Tie
More: The rivals have split the season series for two straight years with each team defending their home turf. The Bolts made a statement in their 2017 victory, shutting out the Broncos by a score of 21-0. It marked the first time Denver was shut out in 25 years, ending the longest-running streak in the NFL at 394 games. As always, the pair of meetings figure to feature three of the league’s premiere pass rushers in the Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram and Von Miller.
Kansas City Chiefs
All-Time Series: Kansas City 60, Chargers 55, 1 Tie
More: It’s no secret the Chargers have struggled against the Chiefs in recent years, riding an eight-game skid heading into 2018. Each team features one of the game’s elite running backs in Melvin Gordon and Kareem Hunt, as well as two of the most productive tight ends in Hunter Henry and Travis Kelce. However, it’s the marquee matchup between Keenan Allen and Marcus Peters that is always a must-watch event.
All-Time Series: Oakland 63, Chargers 51, 2 Ties
More: Jon Gruden’s return to helm the Raiders is one of the top storylines of the 2018 offseason. He’ll guide an Oakland squad featuring Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack that has authored some memorable games against the Chargers in recent years. The Bolts did sweep the season series in 2017, beating the Raiders 17-16 on a field goal at the buzzer in the Black Hole before dismantling them 30-10 in the season finale.