There is a lot of hype and anticipation surrounding the LA Chargers heading into the 2022 season. There was a lot of excitement for the team in 2021 in Justin Herbert's second season and Brandon Staley's first season and the anticipation for 2022 has been far greater.
The Chargers built on a promising (yet still disappointing) season by making key moves this offseason that has undoubtedly improved the team. Still having some cap space to spend and additions to make in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Chargers are going to be even better in 2022 than they are right now.
Some might be concerned, however, as the 2022 schedule does look tough for the Chargers. Not only is the AFC West loaded, but the Chargers have to play quite a few great quarterbacks in 2022. Who you play can sometimes be just as important as how you play.
While the schedule is undoubtedly tough and is in the tougher half of the league, Charger fans can take solace knowing that the rest of the AFC West has to deal with tough schedules as well and half of the division actually has a tougher schedule.
The LA Chargers have the second-easiest schedule in the AFC West according to win total projections.
Before every season Warren Sharp of Sharp Football Analysis breaks down the upcoming strength of schedule not by the records in 2021, but by how many wins each team is projected to have in the 2022 season. This is a much more effective way of dealing with strength of schedule as it directly deals with the consensus opinion on how teams will be in 2022.
According to Sharp's 2022 strength of schedule, the Chargers have the 11th-hardest schedule in the NFL in 2022 but the second-easiest in the AFC West. The easiest schedule in the division belongs to the Denver Broncos, who have the 15th-hardest schedule in the league.
When you are in the 11-20 range there really is not that much of a difference and that is a good thing for the Chargers as the Broncos (or any team in the division, for that matter) will have an advantage over LA in the scheduling.
The Bolts do have an advantage over the Raiders and particularly the Chiefs. Las Vegas has the fifth-hardest schedule in 2022 but the difference between the Raiders and Chargers is still not that substantial. However, the difference between the Chiefs and the rest of the division certainly is.
Not only have the Chiefs gotten worse this offseason but they also play the toughest schedule in the entire league next season. The difference between KC and even the Raiders is quite significant and this is great for the Chargers.
On top of the common division opponents, the Chiefs also have to play the Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills. Meanwhile, the Chargers play the Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins instead.