Get ready for another exciting year in America's Finest City as the San Diego Chargers 2016 season is now official.
The Bolts hit the ground running with a rivalry road game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and play four of their six AFC West matchups within the first eight weeks. Other highlights include the home opener Week 2 vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars, a Thursday Night primetime game at the Q against the defending Super Bowl Champions and Drew Brees' first game back in San Diego. The 2016 schedule isn't without its quirks as the Bolts open and close the season against the Kansas City Chiefs and play the Denver Broncos twice in a 17 day span.
"The day the NFL releases the schedule is always an exciting one for our fans," said Head Coach Mike McCoy. "As a coaching staff, we are excited to get to work on the 2016 season. We already knew who and where we would be playing, but now we know when. We've got some very talented teams coming here, including all three of our very tough division rivals. We have the world champions (Denver) as well as the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers on our schedule. But right now our first priority is to get ready for the opener on Sept. 11 in Kansas City."
The Chargers 10:00am PST Week 1 visit to Kansas City marks the team's first Sunday afternoon road opener since 2004 when they defeated the Houston Texans 27-20. After having to wait until Week 7 last year for their first AFC West game, the Bolts will be put the test immediately against a Chiefs squad that has won four in a row.
San Diego takes on the Jacksonville Jaguars for the fourth straight season in what will be the Chargers home opener at Qualcomm Stadium. The Bolts are 6-2 all-time against the Jags, and won their most recent showdown in America's Finest City 33-14 in 2014.
Hitting the road in Week 3, the Chargers head to Indianapolis for the first time since a 36-14 win in 2010. San Diego hasn't lost in Indy in 12 years when they fell 34-31 in overtime. The game marks the team's first meeting vs. Andrew Luck and the Colts since a 19-9 home victory on Monday Night Football in 2013.
Week 4 finds the New Orleans Saints paying their first visit to San Diego in 12 years in what is also Drew Brees' return to America's Finest City. The Bolts own a 7-4 all-time record against the Saints, including that 43-17 win in 2004.
A list of the Pro Bowlers the Chargers will face in 2016.
The Chargers then have back-to-back AFC West clashes beginning with a Week 5 trip to visit the Oakland Raiders. They return to action just four days later to host the Denver Broncos for their lone scheduled primetime game on Thursday Night Football. This is the third time in four years the two teams square off on Thursday night, and the Chargers first home Thursday night game since 2012's 31-13 victory over the Chiefs.
Week 7 marks the Bolts first visit to Atlanta in 12 seasons when they face Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Atlanta holds a 7-1 series lead, with San Diego's lone victory a 10-7 win back in 1988.
For the second time in just 17 days, the Chargers will face the Broncos in the mile-high city. It marks the only time the Bolts are on the road in back to back weeks as well as their fourth AFC West game at the close of the first half of the season.
The Bolts then return home for their only back to back games at Qualcomm Stadium, starting with a Week 9 tilt against Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. It will be the first time the teams play each other since the Bolts dropped a 20-17 heartbreaker in Nashville in 2013. It was the Chargers first loss in 10 meetings vs. the franchise dating back to 1993 as they maintain a 26-17-1 all-time record against Tennessee. Philip Rivers fired three touchdowns to Dante Rosario the last time they hosted the Titans in a 38-10 win in 2012.
The Miami Dolphins come to the Q one week later for the second straight year. The Bolts pulled out an emotional 30-14 win last season over the Dolphins as Danny Woodhead became the first Charger to score four touchdowns in a single game since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2007.
After a Week 11 bye, the Bolts hit the road to take on Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans. The last time the Chargers visited Reliant Stadium came in 2010 when they came home with a 29-23 victory. The Bolts have never scored less than 24 points in five meetings vs. the Texans dating back to 2002.
Top photos from past games against the Chargers 2016 opponents.
Jameis Winston and Vincent Jackson lead the Bucs into Qualcomm Stadium in Week 13 for the first time since a 31-24 victory at Qualcomm Stadium in 2004. The last time these teams squared off was in 2012 when Tampa Bay won 34-24 at home. These two games mark the Buccaneers only victories in the series.
The Chargers head to the east coast in Week 14 to face the defending NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. It marks the first visit to Bank of America Stadium since a 17-6 Bolts victory in 2004, and will be the second time in three seasons the team will face the reigning NFC Champions (Seattle Seahawks in 2014).
Week 15 finds the Chargers facing off against an AFC West rival for the first time since Week 8 when they host the Raiders. Oakland owns a 61-50-2 all-time record, but the Chargers have won three of the last four at home.
The Bolts play on Christmas Eve for the second straight year as the majority of NFL action will take place on Saturday in Week 16. This time, the Chargers head to Cleveland in what will be Travis Benjamin's first game against his former team. San Diego looks to avenge a 7-6 loss on a rainy, windy day in 2012 at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Bolts came out on top, 30-27, over the Browns at Qualcomm last season as Josh Lambo booted a game-winning field goal with no time remaining in regulation.
Finally, the Chargers ring out the regular season on New Year's Day against the team they opened against when the Chiefs come to town. The last time the teams faced off in San Diego to end the season came in 2013 when the Bolts clinched a postseason berth with a 27-24 overtime win.
Individual game tickets for Chargers home games are not yet on sale. The only way to secure your seat is by becoming a Season Ticket Member