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Chargers schedule analysis

4/14/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Breakdown: All eyes on will be on coach Norv Turner and his Chargers at the start of the season. While the Chargers have won three playoff games under Turner in two seasons, they have started slowly in both seasons. In 2008, San Diego became the first team to make the playoffs after starting the season with a 4-8 record.

If the Chargers are going to avoid yet another slow start, it will depend on the first month of the season.

After starting the season on the road in Oakland, the Chargers play 2008 playoff teams Baltimore, Miami and Pittsburgh. Two of the three games are at home. If the Chargers, who play at Pittsburgh for the third time in less than 11 months, can get out of the first quarter of the season with a 3-1 record, they could be off to the races.

The Chargers move out of the early stretch with three straight games against AFC West foes Denver, Kansas City and Oakland. The Chargers went 5-1 in division games last season.

Complaint department: After their Week 2-4 stretch, the Chargers have a couple of tough stretches. They have to play the New York Giants and Philadelphia in back-to-back weeks in November. San Diego has to play at Dallas and Tennessee (on Christmas night) in December. Both teams will likely be on the playoff hunt.

Starting in Oakland again: This will be the seventh time the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders open the season against each other. The Raiders have been the host team every time. The trend continues with a Monday Night Football game this season. The Raiders have won five out of the first six games. San Diego's only win against the Raiders on opening day was in 2006 on a Monday night game in which the Chargers won 27-0 in Philip Rivers' first NFL start.

Chargers regular-season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Monday, Sep. 14, at Oakland 8:30 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sep. 20, BALTIMORE, 4:15 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sep. 27, MIAMI, 4:15 p.m.
Week 4:
Sunday, Oct. 4, at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:20 p.m.
Week 5:
Sunday, Oct. 11, BYE     
Week 6: Monday, Oct. 19, DENVER, 8:30 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 25, at Kansas City, 1  p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Nov. 1, OAKLAND, 4:05 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 8, at N.Y. Giants, 4:15 p.m.
Week 10:
Sunday, Nov. 15, PHILADELPHIA, 4:15 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 22, at Denver, 4:15 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 29, KANSAS CITY, 4:05 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 6, at Cleveland, 4:05 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 13, at Dallas, 4:15 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 20, CINCINNATI, 4:05 p.m.
Week 16: Friday, Dec. 25, at Tennessee, 8:30 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 3, WASHINGTON, 4:15 p.m.