WIth the NFL's current scheduling format, teams within a division play an almost identical list of teams. But the order can be crucial, as is where the respective games are played. This season, the AFC West will take on the teams of the NFC East and the AFC South. Denver is the favorite to run away with the division, but will the schedule give the other three teams an extra boost?
Like Denver, the Chargers start their season in prime time, hosting Houston on Monday Night Football. San Diego will face some challenges late in the season, having a three-game stretch against the Bengals, Giants and Broncos that concludes in Week 15. Home games against Oakland and Kansas City finish off the season for a team looking to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
The Raiders open up the season at Indianapolis, but three of their next four games will be played at home. Oakland closes the season with three straight division games, playing Kansas City, San Diego and Denver.
With the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, the Chiefs will have something to hang their hat on entering the season. They also don't face any playoff teams from a year ago in the first six weeks. For a team that went 2-14 last season, they could easily top that mark in the early going.