Antonio Gates will be entering his 12th season this year. Getty Images/Donald Miralle
The San Diego Chargers will be facing foes from the AFC East and the NFC West this season, as they try to build off of last year's playoff run.
Week 1 MONDAY NIGHT:
This will be the fifth time in six seasons that San Diego starts its season on Monday Night. The last team the Chargers will see in the preseason, the Arizona Cardinals, will be the first team they see in the regular season.
The Cards went 10-6 last year and just missed the playoff's. Arizona will be in year two with Quarterback Carson Palmer & All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald, the duo should have more chemistry by week one.
The second week brings the Chargers their first home game of the season, another opponent from the preseason schedule and from the NFC West. The 2013 Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.
Russell Wilson threw for 2 Touchdowns and over 200 yards in last years Super Bowl. But its the defense that the Chargers need to worry about. Getty Images/ Elsa
We all saw what Seattle did to the Denver Broncos high-flying offense in last year's Super Bowl.
The Chargers will definitely need to be on their A game in this one.
Last year would have been great for fans to travel on the road to watch the Bolts play, because they would have racked up some serious airfare reward miles, with how many times the Chargers went to the East Coast.
Only two cross-country trips, the first Buffalo, NY. Good thing is it will still be late September, and the weather should not be a problem. The Bills are an unknown at this moment.
With the death of the only owner in their teams history, Ralph Wilson Jr. only time will tell what happens to the Buffalo franchise.
Speaking of a rebuilding franchise, in week four, the Chargers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars. San Diego beat Jacksonville last year in week six, 24-6.
Don’t think the Jags have rebuilt or will rebuild in time to have a different outcome than last year.
A team that has been at a crossroads for the last couple of seasons comes to San Diego in week five, the J-E-T-S, New York Jets.
With big name signings of Quarterback Michael Vick and Running Back Chris Johnson, the Jets may actually finish above .500 this year.
The first division game of the season, and who else would it be, but the Oakland Raiders.
Oakland has been busy this offseason, with the additions of pro-bowlers Lamar Woodley and Justin Tuck on defense and Aging Quarterback Matt Schaub and Running Back Maurice Jones-Drew, the Raiders finally have that veteran leadership they have been missing.
Don't think it makes them any better.
The Kansas Chiefs come to Qualcomm in week seven, trying to prove that last year's playoff run was no fluke.
The Chiefs will be better in the second year under the helm of Head Coach Andy Reid. Especially if he can mold Quarterback Alex Smith from a game manager to a game changer.
Week 8 Thursday Night:
Why not make it three in a row? In week eight the Chargers will head to face their biggest challenger to the division, the Denver Broncos.
It was a tough loss for Peyton and Broncos in last year's Super Bowl. They will be stronger this year. Getty Images/Stephen Dunn
The Broncos split the season series with San Diego last year, with each road team winning.
However, it was Denver who was able to get the last laugh by beating the bolts in the AFC Division round last year. These two teams know each other extremely should make for exciting football.
Speaking of last year's playoff's, many Charger fans didn't think they would make it after they lost to the Miami Dolphins in Week 11.
Well, San Diego will again travel to South Beach, hopefully this team with coming out with a win.
BYE WEEK. Nine football games in a row, a break is much needed here.
The second meeting against the Oakland Raiders, and who knows how bad they will be by then. I am thinking Starting QB Schuab gets benched and MJD suffers another ankle injury.
The Chargers take on another second year coach in his tenure with a team, Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams.
The Rams, potentially could be loaded even more on defense if, South Carolina Defensive End, Jadeveon Clowney falls to them with the number two pick. And not to forget they have the number 13 pick, via Washington, that was included in the Robert Griffin trade.
In a division that has great defenses in Seattle and San Francisco, St. Louis could have the best in the league.
The Chargers last trip to the Eastern Seaboard, and by this time in the year it will most likely be cold. San Diego goes up against the 2012 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens were in contention for the final playoff spot last year, but lost their final two games by giving up a combined total of 75 points.
The Ravens defense is not as good as it was two years ago.
Week 14 Sunday Night :
The characters may be different but the rivalry remains the same in week 14, when the New England Patriots come to town.
Chargers face yet another tough QB when the Golden Boy, Tom Brady comes to town. Brady lead a less than stellar Pats team to the AFC Championship game last year. Getty Images/Elsa
I know that New England is not technically a rival of the Chargers, because, well they always beat San Diego when it mattered.
This game could have some serious playoff implications.
Home game against Denver. This one could be for the AFC West crown.
Week 16 Saturday Afternoon:
San Diego will head up to Northern California to face the San Francisco 49ers in the brand new Levi Stadium.
The Chargers have had a problem in the past of handling running QB's, and this could be no different with San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The final week of the season will take the Bolts to Arrowhead Stadium to finish the regular season against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Who can forget the shootout that occurred last year between these two teams. The Chargers won in a thriller, 41-38 on a game winning drive and touchdown catch with under 30 seconds to play. Both teams made the playoff's last year, as 5th and 6th seeds respectively.
Will this game determine playoff seeding once again?
Predicition:10-6, 2nd in the AFC West
The Chargers, always start off the season slow and then make a late season run. This may not be so easy to do when you finish three out of your last five on the road, and four games in the final month are all against teams that reached the playoff's last year.
If San Diego can win close games, they were 3-5 in games decided by 10 points or less last year, than they will be a definite threat in the post-season.