AFC West Weekly: Toughest 3-game stretch for each team in 2022

We’re back with another update for Kansas City Chiefs fans on AFC West rivals.

Normally, each week we highlight recent stories about the Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers. News is slow this time of year, though, so we’ve decided to study each team’s schedule and find the most difficult three-game stretch for each AFC West squad in 2022.

Kansas City Chiefs

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11: at Los Angeles Chargers | Nov. 20, 3:25 p.m. CT
Week 12: vs. Los Angeles Rams | Nov. 27, 3:25 p.m. CT
Week 13: at Cincinnati Bengals | Dec. 4, 3:25 p.m. CT

The Chiefs have some tough stretches in the first half of the season, too, but none compare to this brutal stretch in late November/early December. In this three-game run, the K.C. has its toughest division rival, the defending Super Bowl champions, and the team who defeated K.C. in the AFC Championship game. All three of these are afternoon games that’ll likely be featured nationally — and for good reason.

Denver Broncos

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Week 16: at Los Angeles Rams | Dec. 25, 2:30 p.m. MT
Week 17: at Kansas City Chiefs | Jan. 1, 11:00 a.m. MT
Week 18: vs. Los Angeles Chargers | Jan. 7/8, time TBD

Denver’s toughest run comes at the end of the season. They’ll take on the Super Bowl champs on Christmas Day and follow that up with a divisional contest on the road at Arrowhead Stadium. They’ll close the season against the Chargers, which could end up being a game that determines a playoff spot or seed, or even who wins the AFC West altogether.

Las Vegas Raiders

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Week 13: vs. Los Angeles Chargers | Dec. 4, 1:25 p.m. PT
Week 14: at Los Angeles Rams | Dec. 8, 5:15 p.m. PT
Week 15: vs. New England Patriots | Dec. 18, 5:20 p.m. PT

The Raiders’ toughest stretch was actually somewhat hard to decide — the difficulty level of their opponents is spread out pretty well. I went with this stretch because it features a tough divisional opponent followed by the Rams, in L.A., on a short week. Then they’ll have the Patriots on Sunday night which could have big playoff seeding implications.

Los Angeles Chargers

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Week 16: at Indianapolis Colts | Dec. 26, 5:15 p.m. PT
Week 17: vs Los Angeles Rams | Jan. 1, 5:20 p.m. PT
Week 18: at Denver Broncos | Jan. 7/8, time TBD

The Chargers also close out the season with their toughest stretch. The Colts in Indianapolis on Monday night will pose a tough challenge, and then of course the Super Bowl champions will be difficult to take out on a shortened week on Sunday night. As mentioned before, that final game with the Broncos could carry massive stakes.