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Despite missing the playoffs for a third straight season, the Chargers are still a team the networks want to show in prime time. On three occasions, at least.
Schedule Release Day is a little like Christmas for NFL teams and the fans who obsessively follow them.
They finally learn who they’ll be playing on which week of the season, and mega-fans can start planning around home dates and trips to see their team in other cities.
The schedule is also a measure of a team’s “Q rating,” i.e. its desirability to TV networks as a draw for viewership. By that measure, despite missing the playoffs for a third straight season, the Chargers are still a team the networks want to show in prime time. On three occasions, at least.
The Chargers open the 2013 season versus the Houston Texans at Qualcomm Stadium on Monday, Sept. 9, as the second game of a Monday night doubleheader on ESPN. It will be the fourth time in five years the Chargers have opened their season on Monday Night Football.
San Diego then goes on the road for two weeks, taking long trips to Philadelphia and Tennessee for 10 a.m. Pacific starts against the Eagles and Titans. They return for their first Sunday home game in week four against the Dallas Cowboys.
After a trip to Oakland against their hated division-rival Raiders, the Chargers make a second Monday night appearance at home against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 14.
San Diego received what would seem to be a favorable bye week, midway through the season at the end of October in week eight.
The Chargers finish the season with four of their last five games at home, sandwiched around a Thursday night game at Denver against Peyton Manning and the Broncos on NFL Network.
League schedulers did the West Coast team no favors to provide for their Pacific-time jet lag on Eastern road trips. San Diego is slated to kick off at 10:00 AM in six of their eight road games.
Week 1: Monday, Sept. 9 HOUSTON 7:20 p.m. ESPN
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15 at Philadelphia 10 a.m. CBS
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22 at Tennessee 10 a.m. CBS
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29 DALLAS 1:25 p.m. FOX
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 6 at Oakland 1:25 p.m. CBS
Week 6: Monday, Oct. 14 INDIANAPOLIS 5:40 p.m. ESPN
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20 at Jacksonville 10 a.m. CBS
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 3 at Washington 10 a.m. CBS
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 10 DENVER 1:25 p.m. CBS
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17 at Miami 10 a.m. CBS
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 24 at Kansas City 10 a.m. CBS
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1 CINCINNATI 1:25 p.m. CBS
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8 N.Y. GIANTS 1:25 p.m. FOX
Week 15: Thursday, Dec. 12 at Denver 5:25 p.m. NFLN
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 22 OAKLAND 1:25 p.m. CBS
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29 KANSAS CITY 1:25 p.m. CBS