I can’t believe how perfect this schedule is. The Chiefs must have the easiest road back to the playoffs–and to an undefeated season–as any defending Super Bowl champion has ever faced.
Weeks 1 - 4: Lions (opening Thursday night home game), at the Jaguars, vs the Bears, and at the Jets on Sunday Night Football.
It’s like the Chiefs got a double helping of Exhibition Games this season. Oh I guess the Jaguars were a playoff team and the Jets got Rodgers and hey, let’s not count out the Norris–but yeah, who are we kidding; a loss in the first month of the season would be embarrassing.
Weeks 5 - 6: This patch worries me a little, coming after 4 probable blowouts, to go on the road to face the Vikings in a late-afternoon game, who are probably mad after facing Tampa Bay and the Eagles in the first couple of weeks, and then turn around and host a highly-motivated division rival in the Broncos less than 100 hours later on Thursday night. On the plus side, the Broncos might be feeling a little big for their britches coming in off an opening-season run of the Raiders, Commanders, Dolphins, Bears and Jets themselves.
Weeks 7 - 8: Just need to continue doing work in late-afternoon Sunday games against divisional opponents; the Chargers at home and then the Broncos again in Denver.
Week 9: The spanking of Tyreek Hill in Germany.
Then their bye in Week 10 to prepare for the rematch of Super Bowl LVII as the Eagles come to Arrowhead for Monday Night Football in Week 11. Unfortunately, the Eagles also have a bye in Week 10, so it really is like a mid-season Super Bowl, with each team having two weeks to rest and prepare. Crazy.
Weeks 12 - 13: A game against the Raiders and then a road game against a formerly good team that begins with a P but no longer has its stud QB, the Packers.
Week 14: Another epic late-window home game against the Bills–who will be coming off their Week 13 bye, while the Chiefs will not. I could see the Chiefs losing this one just so they can snap the Bills off in the playoffs a month later. They have a mean streak like that sometimes.
Weeks 15 - 16: A road game against a formerly good team that begins with a P but no longer has it’s stud QB, the Patriots, and then a game against the Raiders.
Week 17: Another epic late-window home game recreating the last two AFC Championship Games against the Bengals. Fortunately, the Bengals will be in the middle of a difficult playoff run against the Vikings, the Steelers, the Chiefs, and the Browns to close the season–but again, I’m pretty sure the Chiefs would rather beat them in the playoffs than in the regular season.
Week 18: Depending on the division and conference standings at this point, KC could start resting some players at the end of Week 17 and definitely in Week 18–but the game is against the Chargers, so I can’t discount the pride factor.
Undefeated? Probably not. There are a couple of points in the season where a loss just makes the most sense in the situation–and it’s really hard to go undefeated. But I do think the Chiefs should coast into the playoffs as a top seed again with a schedule that couldn’t be much more favorable and a team that just seems to keep getting better.