The 2015 NFL schedule was announced last week, giving Chargers fans several dates to circle on their calenders. The Chargers will play on Monday Night Football twice, Sunday Night Football once, and a special Christmas Eve game in Oakland. Here’s a look at the 2015 schedule:
Preseason: Chargers are at home against Dallas Aug. 13-17 (no specific date has been named yet), in Phoenix Aug. 22, home versus Seattle Aug. 29 and in San Francisco Sept. 3.
September 13 – Detroit Lions: The Chargers open the season at home against the Lions. The Lions were a Wild Card team last year and will be without Ndomukong Suh, who signed with the Dolphins as a free agent. Calvin Johnson will test the Chargers’ secondary.
September 20 – at Cincinnati Bengals: The Bolts’ first road game will be against another Wild Card team from last year — the Bengals. San Diego’s secondary will get its second workout in as many weeks in the form of A.J. Green.
September 27 – at Minnesota Vikings: The Chargers play each NFC North team this year. There’s been speculation that star running back Adrian Peterson wants out of Minnesota, but if the Vikings don’t deal him before the season begins, he’ll have few choices other than to play for Minnesota.
October 4 – Cleveland Browns: The Chargers will also play each AFC North team this year. The Browns are the only AFC North team that didn’t make the playoffs last year, but the Cleveland’s defense will challenge Philip Rivers and the San Diego offense.
October 12 (Monday Night) – Pittsburgh Steelers: San Diego lost its lone Monday night game last year to Arizona. They hope to fare better against a Pittsburgh team which has lost several defensive starters, including Troy Polamalu, Jason Worilds and Ike Taylor.
October 18 – at Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers isn’t exactly the quarterback you want to go up against after a short week. Also, cold weather sometimes comes early in Green Bay.
October 25 – Oakland Raiders: Did we mention calendar circling? The Raiders will be chomping at the bit to bring down San Diego after the Chargers swept the season series last year.
November 1 – at Baltimore Ravens: The Chargers squeaked by the Ravens last year, 34-33. It’s doubtful Baltimore will have forgotten about that and the Wild Card team from last year’s playoffs will be a formidable challenge.
November 9 (Monday night) – Chicago Bears: The Chargers return to prime time, this time to play another NFC North team. The scheduling gods were kind to the Bolts this time, giving San Diego a bye week following the Monday night game.
November 22 – Kansas City Chiefs: This will be another prime-time game on Sunday Night Football against another division rival. Should be a good one.
November 29 – at Jacksonville Jaguars: Jacksonville will look to avenge last year’s 33-14 drubbing at the hands of the Chargers, but do they have enough weapons to do it?
December 6 – Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning and the Broncos swept the Chargers last year. Playoff positioning will be taking shape as the Chargers take on last year’s AFC West champs.
December 13 – at Kansas City Chiefs: Not that the Chargers need motivation against the Chiefs, but they do not want to be swept by Kansas City two years in a row.
December 20 – Miami Dolphins: The Chargers’ last game at Qualcomm Stadium? Other story lines include Ndomukong Suh coming to town and the Chargers avenging last year’s 38-0 thrashing by Miami.
December 24th – at Oakland Raiders: It’s national TV time again, this time against the Chargers’ least favorite opponent, at a time when San Diego could be fighting for a playoff spot.
January 3 – at Denver Broncos: There’s that Peyton guy again. Maybe the Broncos have already clinched home field throughout the playoffs and he doesn’t play? Or maybe it’s the Chargers potentially eliminating Denver from playoff contention? Weather could be a factor.
Scott Neinas has worked as a journalist since 1993. He covered the U.S. Hockey National Development Team in Ann Arbor, Mich., and worked as a staff reporter for the Monroe Evening News. Follow him on Twitter: @scott9s.