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2014 San Diego Chargers Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV Info

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2014 San Diego Chargers Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV Info
Charlie Riedel

After surprising many by playing their way into the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, the San Diego Chargers will look to repeat their success in 2014.   

The organization was relatively quiet in the offseason, making few additions besides running back Donald Brown on a three-year deal. However, the squad also retained most of its key players, including Donald Butler and Chad Rinehart, and will hope that this consistency will help going forward.

Philip Rivers is one of the most important players returning after arguably the best season of his career. The quarterback led the NFL with a 69.5 completion percentage and was fourth in the league with a 105.5 passer rating.

With young targets like Keenan Allen, Eddie Royal and Ladarius Green all looking to take a step forward, the passing attack should be even better in 2014.

If the defense can gain more consistency, the Chargers have the opportunity to be one of the top contenders in the AFC. However, they must first find a way to navigate an incredibly difficult slate of games.

Here is a look at the 2014 schedule with analysis for the upcoming contests (via NFL.com):

2014 San Diego Chargers Regular-Season Schedule
Week Date Opponent Time (ET) TV
1 September 8 at Arizona 10:20 p.m. ESPN
2 September 14 vs. Seattle 4:05 p.m. Fox
3 September 21 at Buffalo 1:00 p.m. CBS
4 September 28 vs. Jacksonville 4:05 p.m. CBS
5 October 5 vs. New York Jets 4:25 p.m. CBS
6 October 12 at Oakland 4:05 p.m. CBS
7 October 19 vs. Kansas City 4:05 p.m. CBS
8 October 23 at Denver 8:25 p.m. CBS
9 November 2 at Miami 1:00 p.m. CBS
10 Bye Week N/A N/A N/A
11 November 16 vs. Oakland 4:05 p.m. CBS
12 November 23 vs. Seattle 4:05 p.m. Fox
13 November 30 at Baltimore 1:00 p.m. CBS
14 December 7 vs. New England 8:30 p.m. NBC
15 December 14 vs. Denver 4:05 p.m. CBS
16 December 20 at San Francisco 4:30 p.m. CBS/ NFLN
17 December 28 at Kansas City 1:00 p.m. CBS

via NFL.com

 

Analysis

Harry How/Getty Images

It is hard not to get intimidated while looking at this schedule. According to ESPN, it ties for the fourth hardest in the NFL by last season's winning percentages.

Things would have been tough regardless in a division that produced two additional playoff teams a year ago. The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs will be difficult matchups both home and away, and the Oakland Raiders are certain to improve with a young roster.

However, things get even tougher when you look outside the division, where the entire AFC West will battle against the NFC West. This includes the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and NFC runner-up San Francisco 49ers.

Additionally, the squad will have road games against playoff contenders in the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins.

Matt Williamson of ESPN believes this tough schedule will cause a setback for the Chargers after being fortunate last season. He argues that they would not have made the playoffs in a tougher conference, via Eric D. Williams of ESPN:

They're talent deficient throughout the roster. The schedule helped them last year. I thought Mike McCoy or Bill Belichick should have been voted the coach of the year last year. They got the most out of their roster. 

I think the AFC was so putrid, that wasn't a playoff-caliber team. Don't me wrong, they won games and got hot at the right time. But all of those teams that were fringe playoff teams in the AFC, none were quality options. None of them had a chance to contend for a title.

If this assertion is correct, San Diego will have a difficult time surviving against a tough schedule. 

 

Pivotal Matchups

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Even with a tough overall schedule, the Chargers have to first look to take care of business within the division. 

Where will the Chargers finish in the AFC West?

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According to ESPN.com, Broncos coach John Fox explained it from his perspective in saying, "You know they’re working their tails off to change things. We’re working hard to keep going, but your first goal always is to win the division; that’s the only guaranteed way to get in the tournament."

San Diego had an impressive 4-2 record against AFC West opponents last season, including a win over the Broncos in Denver. This win was the first of three straight division wins at the end of the year that helped the squad sneak into the postseason.

If the Chargers want to have more success in 2014, they will need to take care of business against the teams that know them best. While all the divisional games are important, the two against the Broncos could possibly end up deciding the division.

If they cannot beat Denver or Kansas City, fans should expect a big decline from the 2013 season.

 

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