NFL 2024 schedule: Chargers' first year with Jim Harbaugh features three prime-time games

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The Jim Harbaugh era of Chargers football will begin at SoFi Stadium against the rival Las Vegas Raiders, the franchise with which Harbaugh was an assistant in 2002-03.

He coached quarterbacks during those two seasons, when the Raiders were still playing in Oakland.

The Chargers will face Las Vegas at 1:05 p.m. Sept. 8, the NFL announced Wednesday with its full schedule release.

Their prime-time games will include Monday night appearances at Arizona in Week 7 and against Baltimore in Week 12. The Chargers also will play at Kansas City on Sunday night Dec. 8.

Harbaugh and quarterback Justin Herbert will attempt to lead the Chargers back from a 5-12 finish in 2023, a disappointment that resulted in significant changes in the team’s leadership.

The Chargers and the rest of the AFC West receive what appears to be a break in 2024 by playing against the NFC South, a division that is considered to be down.

With an early off week — Week 5 — the Chargers’ toughest back-to-back games on paper are Cincinnati and the Ravens in November and both those are at home. Two weeks after playing Baltimore, the Chargers travel to face the Chiefs.

Here’s a game-by-game look at the regular-season schedule (all times Pacific).

Sept. 8, LAS VEGAS, 1:05 p.m. (CBS): Tom Telesco revenge tour! The former Chargers general manager comes to SoFi Stadium for the first time as another team’s executive. The Raiders hired Telesco to be their GM in February.

Sept. 15, at Carolina, 10 a.m. (CBS): These franchises have played one another seven times. The Chargers’ lone victory came in October 2004 in Charlotte. Their quarterback that day was Drew Brees. Their leading rusher? Jesse Chatman.

Sept. 22, at Pittsburgh, 10 a.m. (CBS): Russell Wilson’s latest attempt to resurrect his career will come with the Steelers. Wilson beat the Chargers in Week 14 last year 24-7 at SoFi Stadium, throwing for 224 yards and two scores.

Sept. 29, KANSAS CITY, 1:25 p.m. (CBS): The Chargers have lost five in a row to the Chiefs overall and 10 straight as the home team. Their most-recent home win came at Qualcomm Stadium on Dec. 29, 2013.

Oct. 6, off week.

Oct. 13, at Denver, 1:05 p.m. (CBS): Ten of the past 11 times the Chargers have played on the road against the Broncos they’ve lost. They’ve been beaten by seven different quarterbacks during that time, from Peyton Manning to Jarret Stidham.

Oct. 21, at Arizona, 6 p.m. (ESPN+): Had Marvin Harrison Jr. still been available in April, there’s a decent chance the Chargers would have drafted him at No. 5 overall. Instead, a pick earlier, the Cardinals selected the Ohio State wide receiver.

Oct. 27, NEW ORLEANS, 1:05 p.m. (Fox): The Saints will have their 2024 training camp in Irvine and have visited SoFi Stadium once to play the Rams. This will be their first trip to Los Angeles to play the Chargers in the regular season.

Nov. 3, at Cleveland, 10 a.m. (CBS): In their two most recent games against the Browns, the Chargers won 47-42 (2021) at home and 30-28 on the road (2022). Herbert was a combined 48 of 77 for 626 yards and five touchdowns in the wins.

Nov. 10, TENNESSEE, 1:05 p.m. (Fox): Kenneth Murray Jr. gets his chance to show the Chargers why they were wrong to let him depart in free agency. The former first-round pick and four-year starter signed with the Titans in March.

Nov. 17, CINCINNATI, 1:25 p.m. (CBS): Franchise quarterbacks Herbert and Joe Burrow face off for the second time in the NFL. Both reached 300 yards passing in December 2021 in a 41-22 Chargers road victory.

Nov. 25, BALTIMORE, 5:15 p.m. (ESPN): Jim and John Harbaugh meet for the third time as NFL head coaches. Jim’s San Francisco 49ers lost to John’s Ravens during the 2011 regular season and again the following year in the Super Bowl.

Dec. 1, at Atlanta, 10 a.m. (CBS): New Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins has started 145 games in a career that began in 2012. But only four of those games have been versus the Chargers, against whom he is 2-2.

Dec. 8, at Kansas City, 5:20 p.m. (NBC): Herbert is 1-5 all-time against Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In four of those defeats, the final margin was within a touchdown, including three by three points.

Dec. 15, TAMPA BAY, 1:25 p.m. (Fox): When the Chargers last saw Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield, he was starting for the Rams on New Year’s Day of 2023, a 31-10 Chargers win. He’s 0-3 against the Chargers overall.

Dec. 22, DENVER, 1:05 p.m. (Fox): The Broncos return to SoFi Stadium. Their 2023 visit resulted in Herbert’s season-ending finger injury and started the Chargers on a five-game losing streak to close out the year.

Dec. 28 or 29, at New England, Time TBD (TV TBD): The Chargers have won only twice in the franchise’s past 14 road games in this series. One of those wins came last season, a 6-0 struggle played on a rainy, uncomfortable December day.

Jan. 4 or 5, at Las Vegas, Time TBD (TV TBD): The Chargers return to where their 2023 season officially imploded in December. After falling behind 63-7, they lost to the Raiders 63-21. Hours later, Telesco and coach Brandon Staley were fired.

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