No, this isn’t an analysis of how the Chiefs match up against the various opponents. That’s boring. We’ve already known our opponents and the home and away for a while now. We’ve even known about the Mexico game.
This will instead be about what we learned when the schedule was released. In other words the time and day of each game.
Opening Day: At Jacksonville
The ideal opening day is Thursday on the road. Since you get 8 road games no matter what, you might as well get it out of the way week 1. This way you have a little bit of extra time to prepare for travel. So getting one of our longest travel games in week one is good.
You want Thursday to get those extra free days of rest. Usually that extra rest on the back end is balanced by less rest on the front end, but when you start the year on Thursday you’ll have plenty of rest anyway. Unfortunately the Chiefs apparently aren’t historic enough to open the NFL’s 100th season.
Back-to-Back Road Games: 2
Back-to-back road games are bad. It means you have to travel after a game, then a couple days later travel to the next game. That makes a grueling game even more grueling.
2 back-to-back road games is pretty bad. We haven’t had multiple back-to-back road games since 2015.
The good news is that the 2nd game in the first back-to-back is the Raiders (likely the last time we play in Oakland, by the way), and the other is the Mexico City game where the Chargers also have a road game the week before.
Bye Week: Week 12
The conventional wisdom is that later bye weeks are better. The later you are into the season, the more likely you are to have injuries and need the rest.
Week 12 is the last week that has byes, so our bye week is as good as it gets.
The other part of the bye week is that it gives you extra time to prepare, so you want important and difficult games afterwards. Unfortunately in this regard it’s as bad as you can get. Our easiest game, at home against the Raiders, is right after our bye.
International Games: 1 (replaces a road game)
Fans generally don’t like international games, especially when they’re giving up a home game.
From a perspective of simply maximizing our chances to win each game, international games count as neutral sites, so giving up home games is bad and giving up road games is good.
So in our case we’re playing the Chargers, who are giving up their home game. That gives us a bit of an unnatural advantage. The Chargers don’t get the advantage of playing us in their home stadium.
And, yes, they don’t have much of a home field advantage given their fanbase, but a lot of that advantage doesn’t have to do with fans, it instead has to do with a familiar environment and not having to travel. Playing in Mexico City takes away these advantages from the Chargers.
The overall schedule is pretty average. We got some advantages, but also got screwed over in some ways. Usually you’re supposed to close articles with some profound truth or strong opinion, but overall the schedule is pretty average.