Los Angeles Chargers’ 2021 opponents and strength of schedule

Who are the Los Angeles Chargers’ 2021 NFL opponents as they look to bounce back from a poor performance in the 2020 season? Let’s look at who the Chargers will play in 2021, and what that means in terms of their strength of schedule ranking compared to their rivals.

Who do the Chargers play in 2021?

The Chargers’ list of 2021 opponents will see them play the typical six games against the AFC West: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, and Las Vegas Raiders. As is customary, the Chargers will face each of those three teams both at home and on the road during the 2021 season.

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The 2021 season will also see the AFC West compete against the AFC North and NFC East for another eight games. The traditional schedule’s final two games will see the Chargers face the two teams that finished in third place of the AFC East (New England Patriots) and AFC South (Houston Texans).

What about the Chargers’ 17th game in 2021?

The 2021 season expects to introduce a 17th regular-season game for all NFL teams. Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport reported on NFL.com that plans are in place to expand the regular season, although their report has yet to be officially confirmed by the NFL. Therefore, who would be the opponent for the Chargers’ 17th game in the 2021 season?

Reports suggest that a decision has been made on how the 17th game opponent will be decided. The matchup will be an interconference tilt based on standings on a rotational basis.

Albert Breer reported that the divisional alignments for the 2021 season had already been set. According to Breer, the AFC West will match up with the NFC North for the 17th game. Therefore, the Chargers’ opponent for their 17th game in 2021 would be the Minnesota Vikings.

The Los Angeles Chargers’ 2021 opponents

Here are the teams that the Denver Broncos will play against in the 2021 NFL season:

Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, New York Jets

Road: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Jacksonville Jaguars

17th game (location TBD): Minnesota Vikings

Los Angeles Chargers’ strength of schedule for 2021

As we look ahead towards the 2021 NFL season, how does the Chargers’ strength of schedule for 2021 shape up? The strength of schedule rankings are compiled from the 2020 records of the Chargers’ 2021 opponents.

The Chargers have one of the easiest schedules in 2021

The Chargers’ 2021 strength of schedule ranks 17th in the league. They have the second-easiest schedule in the AFC West while ranking as the ninth most difficult in the AFC overall. Only the Broncos have an easier schedule than the Chargers in the AFC West.

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The Chargers’ schedule sees them play six games against opponents who made the playoffs in 2021. Two of those games will be against the AFC champion Chiefs. However, one of those games is against the seven-win Washington Football Team.

With the NFC East on their 2021 schedule, the Chargers face four opponents who won an average of just 5.8 games in 2020. However, their games against the Patriots, Browns, Steelers, and Ravens, will see them face four teams who won an average of 10.3 games in 2020.

How does their schedule at home compare to their schedule on the road?

The Chargers’ 2021 opponents coming to SoFi Stadium ranks as the ninth-toughest home schedule. At home in 2021, the Chargers will face three playoff teams. All but one of their opponents won six or more games in 2020.

Meanwhile, their road schedule ranks as the sixth-easiest. Three of their games will be against teams who won a combined nine games last season.

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Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.