Ready for prime time Chargers (five times!) kick off 2022 season against Raiders
Touted as an interesting team on the rise, the Chargers figured to receive plenty of national exposure in 2022.
On Thursday, the NFL turned that expectation into reality, announcing that coach Brandon Staley’s team will play at least five games in prime time.
By so featuring the Chargers, the league is betting heavily that this will be a bunch worth watching all season.
The Chargers will play Kansas City on a Thursday night, San Francisco and the Rams on Sunday nights and Denver and Indianapolis on Monday nights.
With Pro Bowl quarterback Justin Herbert and his collection of offensive weapons plus a rebuilt defense, the Chargers likely will be significant playoff contenders.
NFL releases 2022 schedule with hints of many changes to come in broadcasting games with new TV deals ahead and streaming joining the picture.
They were eliminated last year on the final play of the final regular-season game, a 35-32 overtime loss in Week 18 at Las Vegas. Those two AFC West rivals will meet at SoFi Stadium on Sept. 11 to open 2022.
Even before the full schedule was released, the Chargers were set to be part of NFL television history. Their previously announced Week 2 date at Kansas City will be the first game shown exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
The Chargers’ preseason games will come against the Rams (Aug. 13, 7 p.m. PDT) and Dallas (Aug. 20, 7 p.m.) at home, and on the road against the New Orleans Saints, time/date to be determined.
A game-by-game look at the regular-season schedule. The Chargers are off Week 8, the Sunday being Oct. 30:
Sept. 11: LAS VEGAS, 1:25 p.m., (Channel 2) — During this offseason, the Raiders added wide receiver Davante Adams and the Chargers added cornerback J.C. Jackson. Those moves collide in this lid-lifting spot.
Sept. 15: at Kansas City, 5:15 p.m., (Amazon Prime Video, local TV TBA) — Another chapter will be written in what could be a career-long story line for Herbert: his twice-a-year battles with Patrick Mahomes.
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Sept. 25: JACKSONVILLE, 1:05 p.m., (Channel 2) — The Chargers will face quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick in 2021, for the first time.
Oct. 2: at Houston, 10 a.m., (Channel 2) — The Chargers return to the site of their worst loss of 2021, a still-stunning 41-29 defeat to the then three-win Texans on the day after Christmas.
Oct. 9: at Cleveland, 10 a.m., (Channel 2) — The Browns have a new quarterback in Deshaun Watson, but will he be eligible to play in this game as he still faces an uncertain future because of those pending civil lawsuits?
Oct. 17: DENVER, 5:15 p.m., (ESPN) — The Broncos made one of the biggest splashes of a splash-filled NFL offseason by acquiring quarterback Russell Wilson from Seattle. The Chargers get their first look at the Denver version of Wilson.
Oct. 23: SEATTLE, 1:25 p.m., (Channel 11) — The Seahawks, NFC West rivals of the Rams, will make their first trip to Los Angeles to play the Chargers. They most recently played the Chargers on the road in San Diego in September 2014.
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Nov. 6: at Atlanta, 10 a.m., (Channel 11) — The Chargers have played at the Falcons only twice since 1994. They won their most recent visit, in October 2016, when Philip Rivers threw for 371 yards.
Nov. 13: at San Francisco, 5:20 p.m., (Channel 4) — The Chargers have won five in a row against the 49ers — going back to the 2002 season — after losing six straight, including Super Bowl XXIX in January 1995.
Nov. 20: KANSAS CITY, 1:25 p.m., (Channel 2) — The Chiefs have won the AFC West each of the last six seasons. During that same time, the Chargers have finished second, third and fourth two times each.
Nov. 27: at Arizona, 1:05 p.m., (Channel 2) — The Chargers’ new defense gets a shot at Kyler Murray, the Cardinals’ dynamic quarterback who lost both his starts against Staley during the 2020 season when Staley was defensive coordinator of the Rams.
Dec. 4: at Las Vegas, 1:25 p.m., (Channel 2) — The Sequel in Sin City: The Chargers and Raiders finished the 2021 regular season by staging a Week 18, playoff-impacting, overtime classic won by Las Vegas as time expired.
Dec. 11: MIAMI, 1:05 p.m., (Channel 2) — When these teams met most recently — Nov. 15, 2020 — the Dolphins’ fan base was way fired up over then-rookie Tua Tagovailoa, who had just helped engineer a dramatic victory at Arizona.
Dec. 18: TENNESSEE, 1:25 p.m., (Channel 2) — After the defense struggled against the run in 2021, the Chargers’ decision-makers committed to a rebuild. Derrick Henry and the Titans should offer a significant test.
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Dec. 26: at Indianapolis, 5:15 p.m., (ESPN) — For the second consecutive year, the Chargers will face their former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who is now with the Colts after spending one season with the Raiders.
Jan. 1: RAMS, 5:20 p.m., (Channel 4) — Staley will match Xs and O’s for the first time as an opposing head coach with his old boss, Sean McVay.
Jan. 7 or 8: at Denver, TBD, (TBD) — As a franchise, the Chargers have lost eight of nine at Denver, dating to January 2014. The lone victory came in the 2018 regular-season finale, when the Broncos had nothing to play for.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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