San Diego Chargers' Road Performance Will Signal Success…or Lack of It

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San Diego Chargers' Road Performance Will Signal Success…or Lack of It
(Photo by Kevin Terrell/Getty Images)

This article also appears on NFLTouchdown.com

Aside from traditional visits to division rivals Kansas City, Denver, and Oakland, the San Diego Chargers will face off against the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, NFC East Champs New York Giants, AFC South winners Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, and Cleveland Browns.

Last season's combined record of San Diego's non-divisional 2009 away opponents is 50-30.

While the Chargers also face difficult home opposition in Baltimore, Philadelphia and others, how the Chargers do away from Qualcomm Stadium will eventually dictate the overall success of their season and their opportunities for a potential playoff run.

The Chargers will get a chance to avenge two losses to the Steelers in 2008 with a Sunday Night showdown on October 4. 

After a goodbye and three consecutive division matchups, San Diego will travel to Giants Stadium to take on Eli Manning & Co. on November 8, the first game in New York since Phillip Rivers and Manning came into the league in 2004.

Adding to that, the Bolts will open the season at Oakland, exposing their 11-game win streak against the Raiders.

At Denver last season, the Chargers were involved in a shootout that resulted in, well...that game.

Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium is always a brutal stadium for opposing teams, and the Oct. 25 matchup against the Chiefs will be a good barometer for Todd Haley's progress as KC's coach.

In December, the Bolts will face off against the Browns, Cowboys (in their brand new stadium) and Titans on the road with only one home game in-between.

That, and the short week between the Dec. 20 showdown at home against the Cincinnati Bengals and their Christmas battle in Nashville against the Titans, will be crucial to the Chargers postseason hopes.

How important is road success for playoff bound teams? Last season's champion, the Pittsburgh Steelers, went 6-2 on the road.

In 2007, the New York Giants won 7 games on the road in the regular season. In the playoffs, the Giants knocked off Tampa Bay, Dallas and Green Bay—all on the road.

The 2008 Chargers, on the other hand, won three games on the road...and lost their only playoff game away from home.

Will 2009 be different?

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