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Broncos' 2022 schedule announced, defined by finishing stretch and prime-time games

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Broncos aim to return to the playoffs, Denver's 2022 schedule will be defined by prime-time games and a difficult finishing stretch.

As part of a slate that includes five prime-time games, the Broncos will be featured early and often on national television as Russell Wilson and Co. aim to return to the playoffs.

The Broncos' five prime-time games are the most allotted by the league's scheduling rules. Denver's matchups with the Seahawks, 49ers, Colts, Chargers and Chiefs will all be in prime time.

Denver's 2022 season will begin with a "Monday Night Football" matchup as the team travels to Seattle for a matchup with the Seahawks. As Wilson makes his return, the Broncos will aim to earn a season-opening win for just the second time since the start of 2019. Despite the team's recent struggles, Denver has won 11 of its last 15 Week 1 games.

After opening on the road — which Denver has done in three of the last four seasons — the Broncos will return home to face the Houston Texans in Week 2.

In the leadup to the Broncos' Week 9 bye, Denver will face just two playoff teams from 2021, the 49ers and Raiders. During that opening stretch, the Broncos also do not play consecutive road games, and they'll have 11 days to prepare for a Week 6 "Monday Night Football" game against the Chargers after hosting the Colts on "Thursday Night Football" in Week 5.

Denver's final game before the bye week will come in London, where the Broncos will face the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium.

The Broncos' schedule then takes a turn after the Week 9 bye. In the second stretch of the season, Denver will play six games against playoff teams, including two matchups with the Chiefs and a Christmas Day battle with the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

Over the final six games, the Broncos will face a stretch of quarterbacks — the Ravens' Lamar Jackson, the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes (twice), the Cardinals' Kyler Murray, the Rams' Matt Stafford and the Chargers' Justin Herbert — with a combined 10 Pro Bowl appearances.

The Broncos do not play three consecutive road games at any point in the year, but they do play back-to-back weeks on the road against Carolina and Baltimore in Weeks 12 and 13 and away against the Rams and Chiefs in Weeks 16 and 17.

Denver's Week 18 game against the Chargers will be held on either Saturday or Sunday on the season's final weekend and will be announced following the conclusion of Week 17. Two of the league's games will be played on Saturday (2:30 p.m. MT and 6:15 p.m. MT), while the rest will be played on Sunday.

As Wilson and Co. navigate the schedule, they'll aim to earn a playoff bid for the first time since 2015.

The NFL also announced the Broncos' preseason opponents. Denver will face the Cowboys and Vikings and home and the Bills on the road.

The Broncos' complete 2022 schedule can be seen below.