Los Angeles Chargers 2022 schedule: Two AFC West games in first five days of season could tell the tale

Justin Herbert will get a chance to get vengeance on Raiders and Chiefs in the season's first two games. Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

The Los Angeles Chargers' 2022 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL slate Thursday.

The 2022 NFL season will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 8 with the Buffalo Bills vs. the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. ESPN opens its schedule with Monday Night Football on Sept. 12 featuring the Denver Broncos at the Seattle Seahawks.

The NFL expanded to 17 regular-season games last season. The final regular-season games for the 2022 season will be played Jan. 8, 2023. The playoffs begin Jan. 14 and continue through Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona.

Here's what's in store for the Chargers:

Schedule

Sept. 11: vs. Las Vegas

Sept. 15: at Kansas City (TNF)

Sept. 25: vs. Jacksonville

Oct. 2: at Houston

Oct. 9: at Cleveland

Oct. 17: vs. Denver (MNF)

Oct. 23: vs. Seattle

Oct. 30: BYE

Nov. 6: at Atlanta

Nov. 13: at San Francisco (SNF)

Nov. 20: vs. Kansas City

Nov. 25: at Arizona

Dec. 4: at Las Vegas

Dec. 11: vs. Miami

Dec. 18: vs. Tennessee

Dec. 26: at Indianapolis (MNF)

Jan. 1: vs. L.A. Rams (SNF)

Jan. 7/8: at Denver

Strength of schedule: 10th, .519

Chargers | Tickets

Biggest takeaway

Talk about a make-or-break start to the season. A home opener against the Raiders, who are the most popular NFL team in Los Angeles, followed by a short week and a Thursday night game at Kansas City? Yikes. Then again, if the Chargers are as good as many, including themselves, think they are, they should relish such an opportunity. And if you're still wondering about the star power of quarterback Justin Herbert, whose new best friend should be edge rusher Khalil Mack, the Chargers are on prime time five times. Not bad for a team that has not been to the playoffs since 2018.

Revenge game

Remember those sideline shots of Herbert wishing out loud for a tie game in the Chargers' season finale at Las Vegas? A draw would have gotten both Los Angeles and the Raiders into the postseason. Instead, the Raiders kicked a walk-off field goal to knock the Chargers out of the playoffs. So right off the bat, the Chargers get the Raiders again. The game should be circled in neon for the Chargers, who have split four games with the Raiders since Herbert took the helm in 2020. Still, L.A. is a capital city of Raider Nation and the Silver and Black see this as a home game.

What the oddsmakers think

The oddsmakers have the Chargers' win total at 10. On paper, that should be doable, but fall into an 0-2 hole against a pair of AFC West foes and that climb back will be steep indeed. Win both games, and it should be smooth sailing from there on in.

Bold prediction

The Chargers open up 2-0, get a big jump on the rest of the AFC West and finally live up to preseason expectations by ending the Chiefs' six-year reign as division champs. Bold, yes?