Tuesday, April 15, 2008

2008 San Diego Chargers Schedule Announced


The National Football League clearly feels the San Diego Chargers are among the League’s elite and most popular teams.

Today the NFL unveiled its schedule for the 2008 season and six of the Chargers’ 20 games are national, prime-time contests. Among the six are five home games for Chargers faithful, including games against New England, Indianapolis, Seattle (preseason), Oakland and the New York Jets.

Tickets to games at Qualcomm Stadium are sure to be a hot commodity and a limited number of season tickets are currently on sale at the Chargers Ticket Office at Gate C at Qualcomm Stadium or by calling 877-Chargers.

The Bolts open the season at home for the third time in the last four years, hosting the Carolina Panthers for NFL Kickoff Weekend. Carolina, which played in the Super Bowl following the 2003 season and the NFC Championship Game following the 2005 season, is looking to rebound from an injury-marred 7-9 campaign in 2007. The Panthers are expecting the return of their star quarterback Jake Delhomme who missed most of the ’07 season after undergoing elbow surgery. Delhomme threw eight touchdown passes and only one interception before the injury. The last time these teams met was during the Chargers’ miraculous 2004 AFC West Championship season and the Bolts shocked the defending NFC Champions, 17-6, in Charlotte. This year’s season opener will mark the Panthers’ first visit to Qualcomm Stadium since 1997.

The team’s first regular-season prime-time tilt is set for Monday, Sept. 22 as ESPN’s Monday Night Football sets up shop in San Diego for the Chargers and the New York Jets. The Jets are a dangerous offensive team featuring the likes of Chad Pennington, Thomas Jones, Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles.

The Chargers next home game is also under the lights – a much-anticipated matchup against the defending AFC Champion New England Patriots on Sunday, Oct. 12 on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. In January, the Patriots defeated the Chargers, 21-12, on a frigid afternoon in Foxbourough, Massachusetts in the 2007 AFC Championship Game. It was one of three losses the Chargers suffered at the hands of the Patriots in a little more than a year and marked the second year in a row that the Chargers’ season came to an end versus New England. The game against the Patriots, who went a perfect 16-0 in the 2007 regular season, will mark the seventh year in a row that the Chargers will have a regular-season game scheduled against one or both of the participants from the previous year’s Super Bowl.

Two original AFL franchises, the Chargers and Patriots have established quite a rivalry as that game will mark their eighth meeting (regular or postseason) since 2001. The Chargers (46 wins), Patriots (52) and Indianapolis Colts (51) are the NFL’s three winningest franchises over the last four regular seasons.

Speaking of the Colts, they too have built quite a rivalry with the Chargers. The two teams meet again in front of another NBC national TV audience on Sunday night, Nov. 23, kicking off a stretch in which the Chargers play three straight and four of their last six games at home. Fans can be sure that Indianapolis will be looking to enact revenge against the Chargers for a 28-24 loss in the AFC Divisional Playoffs that eliminated the defending Super Bowl Champs from last year’s postseason race. The game also marks the second season in a row that the Chargers and Colts will meet during the regular season in a nationally-televised game. Last year’s game, played on a cool and rainy night in San Diego, was highlighted by a three-interception performance by Antonio Cromartie and a two-touchdown night by Darren Sproles. Cromartie helped the Bolts pick off Colts quarterback Peyton Manning a career-high six times and Sproles returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown as the Chargers squeaked out a 23-21 win against Indy on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

The Bolts’ three-game home stretch, their first since 2001, concludes with games against the Atlanta Falcons and an NFL Network nationally-televised home game against the Chargers’ arch-rivals, the Oakland Raiders, on Thursday night, Dec. 4. The Chargers-Raiders game will be the Bolts’ first-ever televised on the NFL Network. The Atlanta game will mark the return of Michael “The Burner” Turner to San Diego. Turner was one of the NFL’s biggest free-agent signees this offseason, inking a six-year deal with the Falcons in March. The Falcons are looking to Turner to help turn the fortunes of the franchise around after a 4-12 season in 2007. The Falcons were beset by injuries during the ’07 season, finishing the year with 14 players on their “Reserve-Injured” list, including standout defensive tackle Rod Coleman.

The Chargers will shoot for their third-straight and fourth AFC West title in the last five years when they close out the schedule with a season-ending showdown with the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Dec. 28.

The Chargers were a perfect 5-0 in December during the 2007 season and overall have won 10-straight games in the month of December. Since 2004, the Chargers are 15-4 in the calendar’s 12th month. The Chargers have also dominated AFC West play since 2004, going 18-6 over the last four seasons. The Chargers are the only AFC West team to win back-to-back titles since the divisions realigned in 2002 and last season, the Chargers beat all three of their AFC West opponents on the road, the first time the team had done that since 1994.

The Chargers’ 2008 road schedule is highlighted by the team’s trip to London to face the New Orleans Saints in Wembley Stadium on Oct. 26. Fan packages for the London game, including tickets, are available at https://www.fegmail.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.chargers.com/.

The Chargers will take on the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 19 and depart directly for London following the game.

San Diego’s first road trip after the London game sees the team heading back to the East Coast for a nationally-televised late-afternoon game in Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Chargers’ first visit to Pittsburgh since 2003 figures to be a memorable one and a 4:15 p.m. kickoff on the East Coast will provide the feel of a night game. The Chargers and Steelers last met in San Diego in 2006 in a nationally-televised NBC Sunday Night game with the Bolts defeating the defending Super Bowl Champion Steelers, 23-13.

The Bolts dive into the AFC West road portion of the schedule with a pair of early season games at Denver in Week 2 (Sept. 14) and at the Raiders in Week 4 (Sept. 28). The Chargers won’t see Kansas City on the road until mid-December when they can expect a frigid reception at Arrowhead Stadium for the Dec. 14 tilt.

The Chargers will also head to the Sunshine State twice to face a pair of Florida teams, meeting the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 5 at Dolphins Stadium and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their final prime-time game of the season, a date which could prove to be key as the Chargers meet the Bucs on NBC’s Sunday Night Football on Dec. 21 at Raymond James Stadium. The Tampa Bay game will mark the Bolts’ first-ever game at Raymond James, the same venue that will play host to Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1, 2009.

The Chargers’ 2008 preseason schedule was also recently announced. At home, the Chargers will face the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. and the Seattle Seahawks on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Monday, Aug. 25 at 5 p.m. PDT. The Bolts’ road games include a game at St. Louis (Date and Time TBD) and Friday, Aug. 29 at San Francisco at 7 p.m. PDT.

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San Diego Chargers 2008 Schedule
PRESEASON
Sat. Aug. 9 DALLAS 7:00 p.m. KFMB-TV
TBD at St. Louis TBD KFMB-TV
Mon. Aug. 25 SEATTLE 5:00 p.m. ESPN
Fri. Aug. 29 at San Francisco 7:00 p.m. KFMB-TV

REGULAR SEASON
Sun. Sept. 7 CAROLINA 1:15 p.m. FOX
Sun. Sept. 14 at Denver 1:15 p.m. CBS
Mon. Sept. 22 NEW YORK JETS 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Sun. Sept. 28 at Oakland 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sun. Oct. 5 at Miami 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun. Oct. 12 NEW ENGLAND 5:15 p.m. NBC
Sun. Oct. 19 at Buffalo 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun. Oct. 26 New Orleans at London, England 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun. Nov. 2 Bye
Sun. Nov. 9 KANSAS CITY 1:15 p.m. CBS
Sun. Nov. 16 at Pittsburgh 1:15 p.m.* CBS
Sun. Nov. 23 INDIANAPOLIS 5:15 p.m.* NBC
Sun. Nov. 30 ATLANTA 1:05 p.m.* FOX
Thurs. Dec. 4 OAKLAND 5:15 p.m. NFL Network
Sun. Dec. 14 at Kansas City 10:00 a.m.* CBS
Sun. Dec. 21 at Tampa Bay 5:15 p.m.* NBC
Sun. Dec. 28 DENVER 1:15 p.m.* CBS

All times Pacific. Home games in bold.
Home games are subject to local blackout rules and will be shown locally if they are sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff.
*Denotes flex scheduling and games subject to time change.

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