The 2023 NFL season began on Thursday with the Detroit Lions pulling off a surprise victory against the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, and the action has rolled into Los Angeles for Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the Chargers and the Miami Dolphins.
Fans of both teams were out as early as 9:15 a.m. setting up tailgate parties in the stadium parking lot before the game’s 1:25 p.m. kickoff, and the crowds only continued to grow as the morning progressed.
Confident Chargers fans told KTLA 5’s Omar Lewis that the team’s new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, a former quarterback for the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys, will help superstar QB Justin Herbert to his best season yet.
“Herbert’s going to ball this year,” one Chargers fan said. “[He’s going to be the] MVP, I’m calling it right now.”
In July, the Chargers agreed to a then-record-breaking contract extension with Herbert worth $262.5 million over five years. That record was broken on Saturday by Joe Burrow, who inked a five-year, $275 million extension with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Each team is looking to build on a winning season that was marked by an early playoff exit; the Chargers finished 2nd in the AFC West with a 10-7 record but fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Wild Card round by a score of 31-30, while the Dolphins finished 2nd in the AFC East with a 9-8 record and lost their Wild Card matchup against the Buffalo Bills 34-31.
The Los Angeles Rams, who share SoFi Stadium with the Chargers, visit the Seattle Seahawks for their first game of the season. Kickoff for that game is also scheduled for 1:25 p.m.