A season after finishing with the best road record in franchise history -- going 7-1 on the road in 2009 -- the Chargers fell to 3-5 on the road in 2010. This year's road loss, a 35-21 defeat in New England, was not as inexplicable as last season's road losses in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati. But the symptoms were the same: too many turnovers on offense, not enough communication on defense.
The upcoming three-game stretch features games in Denver, New York (Jets) and Kansas City.
The Denver game seems easiest, but the Chargers will be vulnerable in Week 5. Injured veterans Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd, Nick Hardwick, Takeo Spikes and Jacques Cesaire badly need the extra rest that comes with the bye in Week 6. There is also Antonio Gates, who hopes to return after the off week.
C Nick Hardwick
After the bye the Chargers head to New York to face a Jets team that eliminated them from the playoffs twice in the previous seven seasons. Although the Jets have proven to be a tough matchup, New York is a modest 11-7 at home in the Rex Ryan era.
The road bender ends with a game in Kansas City, which is where last season's nightmare began. The Bolts lost their 2010 season opener at Arrowhead and immediately fell a game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West standings ... 16 weeks later, San Diego was still a game back and out of the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
This year's Chiefs (1-3) do not seem as impressive. Then again, Kansas City was an Eric Weddle interception away from possibly stealing a game in San Diego less than two weeks ago.
San Diego must find a way to win at least two games on this three-game road trip. That would even the Chargers' road record at 2-2 and send them back to Qualcomm Stadium at 5-2 overall.
And the prize waiting for them when they get back home? The undefeated defending Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers.
Better start winning now.
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Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 16 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.