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Predicting the 2024 prime-time matchups

Predicting the 2024 prime-time matchups

The Chargers’ 2024 schedule will be announced on Wednesday as part of the NFL’s coordinated league-wide release event. Several matchups could wind up as potential primetime games for the team. While the Bolts are coming off of a disastrous 5-12 season, I could still see them being slated for a healthy amount of primetime games, with Jim Harbaugh now in LA and Justin Herbert still at quarterback.

At the time of schedule release last year, the Chargers were scheduled to have six primetime games. A bumpy 2023 will knock that number down, but I’d expect LA to still be in the mix for some high-priority games. For now, I’m going to predict four games that get the primetime treatment.

vs. Chiefs (Sunday Night Football)

2023 marked the first time since 2020 that a Chargers-Chiefs matchup didn’t wind up in primetime. Granted, one of the games was a Week 18 contest that didn’t matter much for either team. But I’d expect one of the matchups this year to get on national television.

Herbert and Patrick Mahomes’ last three primetime matchups have all been decided by one score each. Outside of one other potential game on this list, there’s no other matchup where I feel more confident in getting the late-night treatment.

vs. Ravens (Thanksgiving night game)

Maybe this one’s a little bold! The last time the Chargers played on Thanksgiving was seven years ago against Dallas at AT&T stadium. What better way to celebrate family and brotherhood than a Thanksgiving Harbowl?

Jim and John Harbaugh did coach against each other once on Thanksgiving in 2011 before their famous Super Bowl matchup in the following season. Also, a nightcap with Herbert vs. Lamar Jackson is one way to keep me awake after the turkey tryptophan makes me sleepy.

@ Raiders (Monday Night Football)

Despite both teams perhaps not being considered strong playoff contenders this year, it feels like, somehow, the Chargers/Raiders always ends up being a primetime affair. From the play-in playoff game a few years ago to last year’s evisceration of Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco on Thursday Night Football, there’s always something eventful between LA and Las Vegas.

Herbert and Harbaugh look to restore the Chargers’ glory and avenge last year’s 63-21 loss in Vegas.

vs. Bengals (Monday Night Football)

In the vein of the Ravens and Chiefs QB matchup picks on this list, Justin Herbert vs. 2020 draft classmate Joe Burrow feels like another potential primetime showdown. Herbert and Burrow…

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