- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Breakdown: The schedule-makers must think Mike McCoy can fix Philip Rivers and the Chargers, because even though San Diego has been shut out of the playoffs the past three seasons, the team is on prime time three times this season.
It all starts in Week 1 on the back end of a "Monday Night Football" doubleheader when the Chargers host the Houston Texans in what will be a tough test for McCoy in his head-coaching debut. It will be the seventh time in eight seasons that the league has had a Week 1 MNF doubleheader involving an AFC West team. The Chargers host Andrew Luck and Indianapolis on a Monday night in Week 6, and then the Chargers play at Denver on a Thursday night in Week 15 in a game that has some serious chill potential. But the Chargers will be rewarded for that game by getting to finish the season at home against the Raiders and Chiefs.
Complaint department: The Chargers play five of their first eight games away from home. They have some long trips during that stretch as well. The Chargers have to go all the way to Philadelphia in Week 2, and then they have to load up and go to Tennessee in Week 3. The other first-half road trips are long treks, too -- Jacksonville in Week 7 and then to Washington in Week 9, sandwiched around a bye week, during which I’m sure the team will not want to think about an airplane.
Easy road work: The one good thing about all those early road games is that the schedule is not difficult. San Diego has the easiest road schedule in the NFL this season. So if the Chargers can take care of business at home, they have a chance to string some victories together in McCoy’s first season.
Chargers Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Monday, Sept. 9, Houston, 10:15 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15, at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22, at Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29, Dallas, 4:25 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 6, at Oakland, 4:25 p.m.
Week 6: Monday, Oct. 14, Indianapolis, 8:30 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20, at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 3, at Washington, 1 p.m.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 10, Denver, 4:25 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17, at Miami, 1 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 24, at Kansas City, 1 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1, Cincinnati, 4:25 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8, NY Giants, 4:25 p.m.
Week 15: Thursday, Dec. 12, at Denver, 8:25 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 22, Oakland, 4:25 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29, Kansas City, 4:25 p.m.