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San Diego Chargers schedule analysis

AP Photo/Ben Margot

Breakdown: After three straight years opening the season on Monday Night Football, the San Diego Chargers start the regular season for perhaps the last time in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 13. The Chargers open 2015 with three of their first five games at home, facing three playoff teams from 2015 in the Lions, at the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2 and at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5. The Chargers finished 5-3 at Qualcomm Stadium last season. The Chargers also avoid cold-weather games on the road against NFC North teams, facing the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Field on Sept. 27 and taking on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Oct. 18.

Complaint department: Just like last season, the Chargers close the season with three of their last five on the road. In 2014, the Chargers went 2-3 during that stretch, which is one of the reasons San Diego finished 9-7 and out of the playoffs. The Chargers also have five 10 a.m. PT games, which are generally considered tougher for West Coast teams traveling East. However, San Diego finished 2-2 in those games last season, winning at the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens while losing on the road against the Miami Dolphins and the last game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Seeing division rivals late: The Chargers face just one AFC West division rival before the bye week in Week 10 -- a Week 7 contest at Qualcomm Stadium against the Oakland Raiders. However, San Diego plays five of its final seven games against AFC West foes, so finishing strong will be important once again.

Strength of schedule: 16th, .518

Chargers Regular-Season Schedule (all times Eastern)

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 13, Detroit, 4:05 p.m.

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 20, at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 27, at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 4, Cleveland, 4:05 p.m.

Week 5: Monday, Oct. 12, Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 18, at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m.

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 25, Oakland, 4:05 p.m.

Week 8: Sunday, Nov. 1, at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

Week 9: Monday, Nov. 9, Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 22, Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 29, at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 6, Denver, 4:05 p.m.

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 13, at Kansas City, 1:00 p.m.

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 20, Miami, 4:25 p.m.

Week 16: Thursday, Dec. 24, at Oakland, 8:25 p.m.

Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 3, at Denver, 4:25 p.m.