Reasserting their home dominance in 2012 could be a difficult task for the San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers were a dominant team at home from 2006-2010. The Chargers had a combined record of 32-8 during this five year period. San Diego was 5-3 at home during the 2011 NFL season. San Diego’s eight home games in 2012 are against teams that had a combined 34-30 record on the road in 2011. Their home schedule will start with a week two game against the Tennessee Titans who were 4-4 on the road in 2011. The Atlanta Falcons, who were 4-4 on the road in 2011, will come to San Diego in week three.
The Lightning Bolts will begin their first home game against a division rival when the Denver Broncos come to town in week six. Denver was 5-3 on the road last season. San Diego will face the Kansas City Chiefs in week nine and K.C. was 4-4 on the road in 2011. The Chargers will have AFC North foes coming to San Diego in weeks 12 and 13 as they will play the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore was 4-4 on the road in 2011 while Cincinnati was 5-3. Finally, San Diego will face the Carolina Panthers and the Oakland Raiders in weeks 15 and 17. Carolina was 3-5 on the road in 2011 while Oakland was 5-3.
San Diego beat Kansas City 20-17 at home last year, beat Baltimore 34-14, lost 24-17 against Oakland and 16-13 against Denver. These teams will have a different outlook in 2012 thanks to free agency, the 2012 draft and the return of inured players. Atlanta added former Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel, and Denver added one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history by signing Peyton Manning. Kansas City will have 2010 All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles and 2010 Pro Bowl strong safety Eric Berry who combined to miss 29 games in 2011. Oakland RB Darren McFadden missed nine games last season including both against San Diego, and he was fourth in the NFL in rushing yards per game in 2011. San Diego added Melvin Ingram and Kendall Reyes in the draft to improve on a pass rush that was tied for 23rd in sacks last season among NFL teams. Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson and strong safety Atari Bigby were added through free agency to help a run defense that ranked 20th last season. Tennessee, Atlanta, Denver, Baltimore and Cincinnati finished with winning records and or made the playoffs in 2011. Kansas City did not have Charles and Berry in their 20-17 loss against the Chargers last season. I expect San Diego to have a 5-3 or 6-2 home record in 2012 with their losses coming against two or three of these teams.