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Biggest 2022 AFC Rivalry NFL Matchups

By Hank Blaine

While the NFC will have four meaningful rivalries this season, the AFC will have seven. The NFL’s American Football Conference is loaded with quality teams. Buffalo, Miami, and New England are contenders in the AFC East, the entire AFC West can make the playoffs, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Pittsburgh are good enough to make the postseason from the AFC North, and both Tennessee and Indianapolis in the South can play in mid-January. Check out the seven top rivalries in the AFC this season.

Biggest 2022 AFC Rivalry Games On the NFL Calendar

READ MORE: Biggest 2022 NFC Rivalry NFL Matchups

Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins

  • Week 3 – Sunday, Sep. 25
  • Week 15 – Sunday, Dec. 18

Both Buffalo and Miami have their sights set on deep playoff runs. The Bills are this season’s Super Bowl favorite. Miami improved their defense and offense. The key in this matchup will be whether Tua Tagovailoa can take the next step. If Tua can’t get it done, Josh Allen and the Bills will roll.

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots

  • Week 13 – Thursday, Dec. 1
  • Week 18 – Sunday, Jan. 8

The Bills are a better team than the Patriots, but this is New England versus Buffalo. For decades, New England has dominated the series. This season, most expect the Bills to destroy the Patriots. Bill Belichick knows how to beat Buffalo, though. So don’t be surprised if the Bills split with the Pats.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns

  • Week 8 – Monday, Oct. 31
  • Week 14 – Sunday, Dec. 11

Three of the top quarterbacks in the league play in the AFC North. Cleveland boasts one of those quarterbacks in Deshaun Watson. Cincinnati boasts another in Joe Burrow. Deshaun must sit out Cleveland’s first six games, which means he’ll be under center when the Browns face the inter-state rival Bengals. The quarterback that plays best in this rivalry is likely to lead his team to a victory.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Week 14 – Sunday, Dec. 11
  • Week 17 – Sunday, Jan. 1

Baltimore boasts the other top NFL quarterback in Lamar Jackson. Lamar can dominate a game. He won’t dominate versus Pittsburgh, though, because the Steelers have arguably the top defensive end in football in T.J. Ward and the best safety in the game in Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Those two players will ensure Pittsburgh plays great defense. The Steelers’ offense may be good, may be mediocre, or may be bad. It depends. These two play late in the season. So NFL handicappers have time to determine which team will have the edge.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Week 5 – Monday, Oct. 10
  • Week 18 – Sunday, Jan. 8

The Raiders are rivalries with everybody in the AFC West. But their biggest rivals are the Kansas City Chiefs. Raiders versus Chiefs is always exciting. This season it will be even more exciting since Las Vegas hired former New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel to coach and traded for Davante Adams, the best wide receiver in the league. Don’t blindly back the Chiefs versus the Raiders. Not in 2022.

Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Week 6 – Monday, Oct. 17
  • Week 18 – Sunday, Jan. 8

Broncos versus Chargers should be a great rivalry this season. It all starts with the quarterbacks. Denver gunslinger Russell Wilson has been of the best quarterbacks in the NFL for close to a decade.

Chargers’ QB Justin Herbert is one of the league’s up and coming signal-callers. But although the two teams rely on their quarterbacks, both also have great defenses.

On paper, the Bolts’ D is better. But the Broncos’ defense might be more cohesive because LAC’s has a lot of new players. This rivalry will be ultra-important in determining which team wins the AFC West division.

Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts

  • Week 4 – Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Week 7 – Sunday, Oct. 23

Jacksonville might be a year away. So we haven’t included the Jaguars on our top rivalries list. But the other two solid clubs in the AFC South, the Titans and the Colts, are both loaded and ready to roll.

Matthew Ryan remains one of the better quarterback starters in the NFL. He should add a sense of calm to the Colts’ offense and take pressure off top running back Jonathan Taylor. Indy’s defense is good. The Titans are a good football team. The winner of this rivalry almost assuredly will win the AFC South division.

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