As of this morning, we knew the Chargers were guaranteed at least two primetime games in 2019.
Well, that total doubled at 5:00pm today.
With the 2019 regular season schedule officially released, as of now, the Bolts will play at least four primetime games this season.
- Week 6 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Oct. 13 at 5:20pm PT on NBC)
- Week 10 at Oakland Raiders (Nov. 7 at 5:20pm PT on FOX)
- Week 11 vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Nov. 18 at 5:15pm PT on ESPN)
- Week 15 vs. Minnesota Vikings (Dec. 15 at 5:20pm PT on NBC)
I say at least because there's a chance the Week 16 home game against the Oakland Raiders could possibly be flexed into primetime as the team's game against the Baltimore Ravens was a season ago. That move (to be decided after Week 8) would give the team five games in the national spotlight.
Plus, there's always the chance more games can be flexed at any point after Week 5.
"Primetime games, everything about them, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, this is the stuff you grow up watching," Michael Badgley said. "Anytime you get a chance to go out there and play in front of the bright lights in primetime, it's a good time."
"It's kind of dope going from one (primetime game originally on the schedule last season) to four," added Casey Hayward. "We get to showcase our team, individual guys and hopefully go out and win those primetime games."
What's special about this year's slate of games on the national stage is that two of them will be broadcast from ROKiT Field at Dignity Health Sports Park. After getting a taste of night games at home last season, it's safe to say the Bolts are excited to rekindle that feeling again.
"Playing Pittsburgh and Minnesota at home will be (fun)," Philip Rivers said. "Last year's Pittsburgh game was unbelievable, and it was a Sunday Night game as well. Minnesota, we only cross every so often, but they've been a heck of a team in that NFC North the past few years."
"The nighttime game was really dope," Hayward mentioned. "We don't get too many nighttime games, so to get (another one) will be dope. When it's dark in the stadium, it's a little different. It's great."
The Chargers haven't had four primetime games originally on the docket since 2014. Additionally, if they do get a fifth flexed into a primetime slot, that will mark only the second time in team history, the first and last coming in 2008, they've notched five regular season primetime games. As the players can attest, it's nice to get the national recognition after the season the team had in 2018.
"For sure (it's a sign of respect)," Badgley added. "That means everybody wants to see you. The whole league gets a chance to watch you, too, since it's the game(s) everybody's watching."
"It's the first time since 2014, well what happened in '13?" Rivers reflected. "We made a late season push, made the playoffs and won a playoff game. So in 2014, that's kind of how it shook out. Last season, we had a heck of a season, won a playoff game, and I think it's a little bit based on what you've done the previous year and what expectations are (for the following year). They're probably high on the outside and they're certainly high on the inside. It's exciting."
Please note, all Sunday games from Week 5 – Week 17 are subject to NFL flex scheduling.