Denver Broncos: The season ends with an absolute gauntlet
The Chargers' schedule after the bye week is pretty tough and the team specifically finishes with some tough games at the end of the year. The hope is that the Chargers can use these game to propel themselves and get momentum for the playoffs, not fall flat and potentially lose the division.
It all culminates with a Week 18 game in Denver against the Broncos. The Broncos are very lucky to get this game at home at this time of year as it is the ultimate time to get an advantage. It is going to be a playoff atmosphere, it is going to be really cold, and of course, the Chargers will battle the elevation.
There is a good chance that this game gets flexed into primetime as it should have playoff implications, which would give both the Chargers and the Broncos six primetime games in total in the 2022 season.
Luckily for the Chargers, the Broncos too have to finish the season with a tough stretch and their tough stretch is arguably even harder than the Chargers. There is a world in which each of the last six games the Broncos are underdogs in.
It starts with a road game against the Baltimore Ravens, who are coming off a fantastic draft and are slept on more than they should be this season. The Broncos then have to host Kansas City and Arizona and it does help that they play the Cardinals later in the year, like the Chargers. The Broncos then go on the road to take on the Rams and Chiefs again before wrapping the season up back in Denver.
Personally, I have the Broncos with an 8-3 record heading into this final six-game stretch. If the Chargers can win in Week 18 then that should be enough, as Denver is probably going 3-2 in the other five games at best. That would give them a final record of 11-6.
Like we said earlier, the benchmark for the Chargers to win the AFC West is 12 wins.