Week 1: vs Lions
The Lions being the season opener is a bit of a shock. Usually the NFL likes to have a premier matchup to start the season, so one would expect that it would have been a team like the Bengals, Bills, or Eagles. The Lions did have a winning record last year, and they’re getting a lot of hype, so it’s not the most shocking matchup. But it’s undeniably a little disappointing, especially if the Lions aren’t as good as expected and their season ends before it really begins.
The flip side is that if the Lions win it would be a huge boost to the hype machine and suddenly even the skeptics (including me) would have to be on board.
Week 2: @ Jaguars
This is about as good of a draw for the Jaguars as you could get. Playing what will be their toughest matchup at home as early as possible when they can take maximum advantage of the Florida heat is very beneficial to them. That being said, the last time the Chiefs played in Jacksonville was week 1 (Gardner Minshew’s first game) they won.
Week 3: vs Bears
Leading up to the schedule release there were lots of rumors that the Bears would be the Chiefs’ opponents in Germany. But then some stories came out that the Chiefs wanted to keep the game at Arrowhead because Chicago fans would travel to the relatively close game in Kansas City.
I honestly don’t get this. Are the Chiefs really having trouble selling tickets?
As for the game itself, I am a major Justin Fields hater, so I’m not too concerned about the Chiefs potentially losing.
Week 4: @ Jets
The NFL has been desperate for a Mahomes-Rodgers game, but in the previous two matchups a backup was playing. Is this finally the year they get it?
Even if both quarterbacks do play, it’s possible it’s a dud. Rodgers is 40 and didn’t play well last year. There’s every reason to believe the Jets won’t get the force Rodgers used to be.
Week 5: @ Vikings
The Vikings went 13-4 last year, but had a negative point differential and lost their first playoff game. That would indicate that they’re due for a major regression this year.
In other news The Vikings are the only team that Mahomes hasn’t beaten yet (besides the Chiefs of course). I don’t know what the record is for the fastest to beat 31 teams, but surely this must be close if Mahomes wins.
Week 6: vs Broncos
Week 7: vs Chargers
Week 8: @ Broncos
What an unusual stretch to have 3 divisional opponents in a row, with the Broncos twice in that span. Not completely unprecedented, the 2021 Eagles played 5 divisional opponents in the final 7 weeks of the season with 4 of those games being the Giants and Washington Football Team.
Mahomes and Reid have been absolutely dominant in the division, especially against the Broncos with their 15 game win streak, so you would expect this stretch to be a good one.
Week 9: vs Dolphins (Frankfurt)
Another shock from the schedule release was that the Tyreek Hill Revenge Special would not see him returning to Arrowhead for the first time since the trade, but instead was put in Germany. Usually they send not so good matchups overseas, so the Germans will be getting an unusually good game this year.
Week 10: Bye
Generally speaking you want a later bye week. As you get into the season you have more injuries and the break is more needed. This year week 10 will be the 2nd to last week with byes, so this is a good draw.
Week 11: vs Eagles
The Eagles will also be coming off a bye, so on paper there isn’t much of an advantage here. But Reid has historically dominated with the extra week to prepare, so that could be a key advantage in the Super Bowl 57 rematch.
Week 12: @ Raiders
Believe it or not this will be only the 3rd time Reid has faced the Raiders as the coach of the Chiefs with somebody other than Derek Carr starting at quarterback for the Raiders. This is definitely a new era for the Raiders, but it’s hard to imagine it’ll be significantly better.
Week 13: @ Packers
We’ll see how Jordan Love’s career ends up going, but in all likelihood they will be without a Hall of Fame quarterback for the first time in 30 years. That’s going to be a tough adjustment for Packers fans. They have to hope that Jordan Love is at least better than the small army of subpar quarterbacks they trotted out between Bart Starr and Brett Favre.
Week 14: vs Bills
The NFL is clearly hoping for some good AFC drama down the stretch, with the Chiefs playing the Bills and Bengals in the final 5 weeks. They are the teams most likely to be competing with the Chiefs for the top seed.
The Bills have won the last couple of regular season matchups, so a loss by the Chiefs here wouldn’t be a shock.
Week 15: @ Patriots
Week 16: vs Raiders
Week 17: vs Bengals
The other side of the tough final stretch, Bengals fans have been clinging on to Burrow’s 3-1 record against Mahomes like it’s the final lifeboat off the Titanic. They have been successful against the Chiefs, but those games were all extremely close. We should expect more of the same in this matchup.
Week 18: @ Chargers
It’s been a while since the final game of the season has had an impact on who won the AFC West. Hopefully the Chiefs will be resting starters.