The Los Angeles Chargers are officially set to open play at the StubHub Center beginning with their very first preseason game. Following back-to-back games in Carson, the Chargers will not have far to travel for their third game against the Rams. Finally, new coach Anthony Lynn and his team will conclude the preseason with a visit to San Francisco traveling on an approximate one-hour flight for the entire preseason.
Being able to remain in Los Angeles for the majority of the time should assist everyone in getting accustomed to a new city. Players, coaches and team personnel all will be able to focus solely on preparations for the upcoming regular season. The Chargers, remaining in San Diego, have already begun preparations for the year but are scheduled to hold their first official training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex, just outside their new home in Orange County.
Week 1: vs. Seattle Seahawks (Aug. 10-14)
Football returns albeit in preseason form for a familiar franchise in a new location. Fans will get their first glimpse of the 2017 team and Lynn will want to make a quality first impression.
Week 2: vs. New Orleans Saints (Aug. 17-21)
Typically fans do not get to see starters play very long during a preseason game, especially in the second and fourth weeks. An unfortunate situation here following last year’s collapse and rally by the Saints’ Drew Brees, though the first few minutes should provide a glimpse at how stout the Los Angeles defense can be this season.
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Week 3: at Los Angeles Rams (Aug. 26)
The battle for Los Angeles kicks off in a big way with a nationally televised preseason contest. Preseason game number three is the prototypical dress-rehearsal for teams as they prepare for the regular season opener. Hosted by the Rams, new fans now welcoming of two franchises can decide for whom their loyalties lie.
Week 4: at San Francisco 49ers (Aug. 31-Sept. 1)
A final game for guys on the bubble trying to make the final 53-man roster. Also, two rookie coaches will be facing off for the first time in Lynn and new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.
A majority of players feel playing four essentially meaningless games is too many but the NFL has done a nice job of offering up a few things to be excited about for the Chargers. Opening in a new city in front of new fans and getting an opportunity to play your in-city rival, regardless of the timing, will be special.