As training camp comes to a close, the major roster additions and signings have taken place, and rosters are beginning to round into shape. The Los Angeles Chargers have had one of the better-looking teams on paper, with the 2018 team being the only team in recent years that actually backed up the praise. This year is no different as the offense looks to build upon a promising offensive campaign that saw them produce a passing offense ranked 6th in the league.
Justin Herbert looks to continue his growth after an outstanding rookie season, while Derwin James looks to finally get started again after having back-to-back injuries take him off the field since his own dominant rookie year. The defense is also looking stellar, should they stay healthy which has been their biggest opponent for the last few years. Joey Bosa has been a consistent top-five pass rusher in the league the last 2 years when he is on the field. This year, I think they do remain healthy.
Below are my predictions for the 2021 season for the Los Angeles Chargers, complete with a score and all! So I guess this is a good spot for:
SPOILER ALERT: If you do not wish to know the results for the upcoming 2021 season for the Los Angeles Chargers, close this window! Below are accurate, penultimate, blazing predictions that will come true over the next 7 months.
The Los Angeles Chargers 2021 Season Predictions
Week 1 @ The Washington Football Team
Right out of the gate, this is an ugly match-up for the Bolts. Washington boasts one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, with four first-round draft picks starting in all four positions. Chase Young was a terror last year in his rookie debut and looks to continue his dominance of rookie quarterbacks. Four of five starters along the offensive line were not on the Chargers last year, and their chemistry will be put through a rigorous test immediately.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, the Football Team will have their share of explosivity on offense, also with their share of boneheaded, head-scratching plays that the Charger defense could capitalize on. While starting roles remain undelegated, this will most likely be Asante Samuel Jr.‘s first NFL start, and no one better to have it against with the wily Fitzpatrick making decisions.
This one will be a defensive slugfest, with both the Chargers and the Football Team accruing 5 sacks each. This will be a huge test for the newly constructed offensive line in front of Justin Herbert. Also, the running game will be stifled for the Bolts, as they will only gain 60 yards on the ground. A pick-six of Fitzpatrick will seal the deal for the Chargers getting a win on the road.
FINAL SCORE: LAC 26 – WAS 13
Week 2 vs. The Dallas Cowboys
The home opener for the Chargers is a doozy, as Dak Prescott and the Cowboys come into town with an itinerary of their own to recover from last year’s injury-plagued season. With the newly-ensured quarterback coming back from a gruesome ankle injury (seriously, viewers advised), he is surrounded by a team brimming with talent, that looks quite scary at a paper glance.
Injuries have plagued the Chargers for years, almost as if the universe had set aside a certain amount of energy to promise its occurrence on a usually hot sweaty day in late July/early August for most Southern California residents and fans. As of this piece, and I’m knocking on any and all wood, we have a healthy roster. The Washington game the week prior will have been a very large wake-up call and the injuries sustained from that game will have huge impacts on how this team gets going early in the season, with the lack of depth in key positions slightly alarming.
Being home feels good, but I think the Chargers were just up against the wrong, healthy team in a shoot-out. With CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup healthy and a year of experience, the Chargers will get bested by the ‘Boys in their home opener. Herbert has a game with 400+ yards passing and five touchdowns, but Dak gets his five as well, and the Dallas defense gets a safety to keep the game off-kilter in a nail-biter for the Bolts.
FINAL SCORE: DAL 40 – LAC 38
Week 3 @ The Kansas City Chiefs
The first of two highly anticipated contests between these divisional rivals takes place in Arrowhead Stadium with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs hosting the Chargers early in the season. Luckily, as the weather deteriorates quickly in the Midwest the later the year grows, the Bolts will get this away game out of the way and stay a little warmer. With the last match between them “not counted” amongst fans as Mahomes didn’t start, Justin Herbert has a .500 winning percentage against the Chiefs for his career, with his win coming against Mahomes’ back-up.
This is the game the Chargers have circled in September as their opportunity to announce their position as a division threat. Splitting the beginning games of the year won’t mean much in the long run, as they are inter-conference games and not a viable tiebreaking impact for playoff seeding. This is the game the Bolts want to win badly. If not a win, looking like a viable opponent that will compete earnestly for the division title each year.
As a true Charger fan, I’ve seen this movie before. This is a game the Chargers usually get demolished in. I see this game being no different, with Mahomes at face value having the advantage of being fluent in his offense and coaching staff. It’s a beating, but not the ending of the story in any way, shape, or form.
FINAL SCORE: KC 31 – LAC 14
Week 4 vs. The Las Vegas Raiders (MNF)
Coming back home from Kansas City with two losses on the record won’t feel very good, but the opportunity to blow off some steam and take out their frustrations on the Raiders, on Monday Night Football no less, is exactly what the doctor ordered. The Black and Silver will be thinking the same thing, as no love is lost from these bi-annual meetings, looking to right their own ship as the Raiders finish a grueling stretch of games to start the season against Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Miami.
In this game, the Chargers look like the threat everyone sees when they look at the roster on paper. A dominant performance by the defense allowing less than 200 total yards, coupled with Justin Herbert throwing for 360+ yards with 3 touchdowns and Austin Ekeler having his first 150-yard ground effort in a shellacking of the Raiders in prime time. Derwin James has an interception for a touchdown, and a huge third-down sack to keep Jon Gruden in a black hole of offensive ineptitude.
Getting to 2-2 is the first step to righting the ship after two brutal losses. With Kansas City most likely being undefeated up to this point in the season, wins are a premium commodity. This win in the division is also part of the cornerstone of winning THE division. There’s also nothing as cathartic as destroying hated rivals on prime time, and proving the spotlight is warranted.
FINAL SCORE: LAC 38 – LVR 10
Week 5 vs. The Cleveland Browns
Staying home, the Bolts face a daunting team on paper, and most likely a front-runner in the AFC Playoff race in the Cleveland Browns. Beating AFC opponents in back-to-back weeks will be the next step of the Chargers championship push. Baker Mayfield has shown improvement over a dreary sophomore season, and the roster is loaded almost to the point of being forced to register as a deadly weapon in Ohio. This will be a classic game of football with outstanding defense played and a real electric feel that will continue a rivalry, which I believe is very real between fans at the very least, to bubble and froth with build-up towards a possible rematch in the playoffs.
The offenses will gain some yards, but not a lot of points in this game, as the red-zone defenses play some of their best football of the season. O’dell Beckham Jr. and Keenan Allen will have the same amount of catches in this game, and neither will score a touchdown. Nick Chubb grinds out 80 hard-earned yards and a score on 25 carries, and third-round selection Josh Palmer has a coming-out party for his young career with a 50+ yard touchdown in the game. Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett are dominant all game, with the Chargers finally forcing Mayfield to commit an untimely turnover with minutes remaining, dooming them to the leg of Michael Badgley in the waning seconds of an October afternoon.
This hard-fought old-school win will be a message across the league that even when the team doesn’t play their best game, they can still win football games. Winning these close, one-score games has been the bane of the Bolts’ existence, and the source of many “Chargers gonna Charger” jokes. This year, the Browns will be a quality football team, and this win will have large implications at the end of the year. Also, funky scores are awesome to me.
FINAL SCORE: LAC 23 – CLE 22
Week 6 @ The Baltimore Ravens
Another huge slugfest on the slate as the Chargers, having strung two wins together, come rolling into town against the Ravens, a consistently solid test for the Bolts over the years. Lamar Jackson has gotten better and better at the quarterback position as he’s gotten more and more starts under his belt. No longer simply the running threat of 2019, he has developed a discernable pinpoint passing game, in which he heavily utilizes his big tight-ends to use their frames to ensure catches. With the addition of Rashod Bateman in the first round of the draft alongside fellow first-rounder Marquise Brown, the fire-power is there for this Ravens offense to take a rather large leap forwards in scheme and performance.
The Chargers come out firing and eventually just out-pace an offense, getting their groundings in the air scheme. Justin Herbert can find time behind a newly-constructed offensive line playing with punch, and dice up a defense known for making it tough on air raid schemes. The Bolts pull no punches and attack the secondary with over 40 attempts from Herbert, another 2+ touchdown game under his belt. The score gets close enough to look like a game, but those who watched it will know.
Three huge AFC wins in a row have the Bolts white hot going into the bye week. With a hard part of the schedule done and over with, having four wins to show should be a welcomed sign of growth from this team. Most would predict them to be 2-4 with franchise old tendencies weighing them down, but this year reeks of 2018 when the Chargers were a stunning 12-4 in a dead heat with the number one seed in the AFC.
Be excited and “ice up son” and Steve Smith Sr. would say.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read my article on my schedule predictions for the Los Angeles Chargers football team this season. I’ll be releasing weeks 7-12 shortly, with weeks 13-18 swiftly after that! I’m always learning, and I hope to learn from you someday! Follow Overtime Heroics Football @OTH_Football and myself @Mark_H_Miller1 for more football articles!