- Aug 7, 2013
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NEWS AND NOTES
L.A. will enter the game with a new head coach, Brandon Staley, and plenty of new players. They’ll also return several familiar faces, headlined by 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year, Justin Herbert.
Washington, on the other hand, will boast a star-studded defense and an offense led by veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
In the past five meetings, Los Angeles is 4-1 against Washington, with its most recent victory coming back in 2017.
With a record of 34-27 in season openers, the Chargers face off with Washington in an opener for the third time in history and the first since a 30-3 victory to kick off the 2001 season. Los Angeles has won the last two season openers and has won four of the last five matchups in the series with Washington. The game marks just the second season opener on the road for the Bolts against an NFC squad in the last 30 years.
History: Los Angeles Chargers vs Washington Football TeamWinners in four of the last five matchups in the series with Washington, the Chargers head to the Nation's capital for the first time since 2013. Every game in the series since 1980 has seen the Bolts top 20 points scored, including the 17-point home victory in 2017 that saw the Los Angeles offense sport a 300-yard passer and a pair of 100-yard receivers.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Washington Football Team PredictionComing off back-to-back losing seasons, the Chargers enter the 2021 campaign with a new coaching regime. Former Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley has replaced Anthony Lynn as head coach, while new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi joins the staff after serving as the quarterbacks coach alongside Sean Payton for the New Orleans Saints for the past five seasons.
Meanwhile, the reigning NFC East champs enter the 2021 season with a new starting quarterback in 38-year old Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 16-year NFL veteran has 146 career starts under his belt and should provide a level of consistency after Washington was forced to use four different starting quarterbacks last season. He’ll square off against 23-year-old Justin Herbert, who is looking to build off an impressive rookie campaign in which he set a rookie record with 31 passing touchdowns.
Heading into his second season, look for Herbert to pick up where he left off last year. After starting the season 3-9, Los Angeles won its final four games to end the year on a high note. A healthy Austin Ekeler along with wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams should help the Chargers find early success in Lombardi’s new offensive scheme.
Los Angeles has struggled defensively over the past two seasons, but Staley is expected to turn things around after overseeing the NFL’s best defense last year. Derwin James is finally healthy after playing in just five games the past two seasons, so he and Joey Bosa will anchor what should be a much-improved unit this year.
Washington projects to have one of the best defenses in the NFL after allowing the fourth-fewest points per game last year. That starts up front with Chase Young, Montez Sweat, and Jonathan Allen wreaking havoc for opposing teams. On the offensive side of the ball, Antonio Gibson, Logan Thomas, and Terry McLaurin all figure to take another step forward in their respective development. If we get a good Fitzpatrick, this could be a dangerous team in 2021.
Staley’s Rams limited a high-powered Dallas Cowboys offense to 17 points in a Week 1 win last year, and I think he produces a similar result here. Look for Herbert and LA’s offense to charge into FedEx Field and take down Washington in Week 1.
Prediction: Los Angeles Chargers 24, Washington Football Team 17