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AFC West watch: Battle begins in the toughest division in the NFL

Whoever wins the division sets itself up for a deep playoff run. Here’s a look at the Week 1 games in the AFC West.

Los Angeles Chargers training camp for the 2022 season begins Photo by Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

The fight for the AFC West could be a great one.

Given the talent all four teams have, this is undoubtedly the best division in the NFL. At the end of the season, we could see three teams from the AFC West make the playoffs. However small, there’s a chance that all four teams could make the playoffs.

The team that wins the AFC West sets itself up for a Super Bowl run.

When you look at the regular season wins at DraftKings Sportsbook, the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers all sit at double-digit wins for their over/under. For those curious, the Las Vegas Raiders sit at 8.5.

Yeah, this division race is gonna be good.

Here’s a look at the Week 1 AFC West games.

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals (2:25 p.m. CBS)

The big question for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs is what the offense looks like sans Tyreek Hill. No doubt Andy Reid has some wrinkles up his large sleeves. There’s also the defense now without leader Tyran Mathieu.

As for the Cardinals, after a collapse in the second half of the 2021 season, Kyler Murray looks to get the desert birds back in contention. Whether coach Kliff Kingsbury is playing tricks, there are a lot of Arizona players on the practice report.

The current spread sits at -6.5 for the Chiefs. That’s a tempting number but I may hold out until I see what Mahomes and the offense look like. The total sits at 54. That’s a massive number, but this has the potential to turn into a shootout really quickly. How fitting since Tombstone is about 194 miles southeast of Glendale.

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (2:25 p.m. CBS)

Justin Herbert and the Chargers no doubt have revenge on their mind. That makes sense with how the season ended in crushing fashion last season. LA has loaded up defensively to help Herbert, Austin Ekler and the offense. Maybe Brandon Staley should call a time out when the game starts.

The Raiders welcome new head coach Josh McDaniels and receiver Davante Adams to a “playoff” team from a season ago. Oh, Loss Vegas also added ace special teams coordinator Tom McMahon. I don’t have much faith in this Raiders team, but we’ll see.

The Chargers are a current -3.5-point favorite, after moving from -2.5 earlier in the week. The current number isn’t as good or tempting. As for the total, that line sits at 52.5. It would be fitting since both of these teams worked to upgrade their defense in the offseason, this game turns into another shootout.

The march for the coveted AFC West title starts this weekend.

This could be one epic journey.