Los Angeles Chargers: at Los Angeles Rams
The Chargers nearly rallied from an 0-4 start to make the playoffs last year, with six wins in their last seven games. A better mark within the AFC West (3-3 last year) would be helpful this year, but I’m highlighting a game with some wider implications for the Chargers on their 2018 slate.
In the initial (and sure to be ongoing) battle for the Los Angeles NFL market, the Chargers are already falling behind. They’ll continue to play their home games in a soccer stadium for the next year or two, before sharing a state-of-the-art new stadium with the Rams when it opens. The Rams are also coming off a resurgent division title-winning season, and have been incredibly active this offseason in an effort to climb the ladder in the NFC.
The Chargers could make their own big win-now move, with subsequent headlines, by trading for Odell Beckham Jr. or signing Dez Bryant.
Shy of a preseason game or a Super Bowl, the Chargers won’t play their proverbial “landlord” rival again for a while after this season. So this will be the year to take on the Rams in a road game (in name only, really), pull a mild upset and put some sort of stake in the ground to win over Los Angeles NFL fans.