Kansas City Chiefs: 2017 Schedule Breakdown And Analysis
The Kansas City Chiefs schedule was for 2017 is out with a league-high six primetime games and a brutal October stretch.
All of the excitement of the 2017 season hit fans on Thursday night like a freight train. Twitter exploded with the reactions to the NFL releasing their 17-week schedule starting on Sept. 7 and ending on New Year’s Eve. The reason it is a much more popular time is because of those limited amount of games during the season.
For some fans, now is the time to pull out the calendars and see what one or two games they have the best shot at getting in the stadium to see. Chiefs fans can look forward to less than half of their games in the early time slot this season. There is something about seeing a game under the lights that ramps up the excitement. It also gives fans a better time to tailgate, which we all know KC parking lots are famous for such.
Let’s break down the matchups and see just how well the Chiefs can do this season.
Week 1: at New England Patriots
Thursday, Sept. 7 – 8:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
Opening the season is likely the toughest game on the schedule. No doubt about it, the Patriots are always a threat to win the Super Bowl. Playing in Foxborough is no picnic, but opening the season is a whole other animal. Teams don’t give away much on film in the preseason and Bill Belichick is known to change things up from season to season. The Chiefs won’t have much of a leg up in the film room. The Patriots will also be hanging their banner and the crowd will be ferocious. If the Chiefs can come away with a victory here, it puts them in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Week 2: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, Sept. 17 – 1:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
Philadelphia started out hot last year, but eventually the lack of weapons for Carson Wentz caught up with him. That department hasn’t vastly improved for the Eagles so far this offseason. The Chiefs are a more talented team that could run away with this one. There is something that will keep the game close. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson knows Alex Smith and the offense very well. He was the offensive coordinator for three years in Kansas City. This game will likely turn into a defensive battle and, as long as Smith doesn’t commit any turnovers, the Chiefs should come out with a win.
Week 3: at Los Angeles Chargers
Sunday, Sept. 24 – 4:25 pm ET (CBS)
The soccer stadium in Los Angeles will probably be half red for this Week 3 game. There just doesn’t seem to be much enthusiasm for the team in that city so far. Philip Rivers always starts the season hot. If the Chargers are healthy, then this will be another slugfest. Last season, it took Keenan Allen tearing his ACL to get the Chiefs back into the game in Arrowhead. Marcus Peters will need to keep better composure to limit Allen’s production or this could get away from Kansas City quickly.
Week 4: vs. Washington Redskins
Monday, Oct. 2 – 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
The first of two Monday night contests in Arrowhead invites Kirk Cousins to town. There are those in Kansas City who argued that, before Cousins was tagged, he could be a good option for the Chiefs. Here, fans will get an up-close look at the polarizing quarterback. He has the ability to carry his team to victory, but he’s inconsistent. Washington’s defense won’t be able to do much against Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill if they are used effectively. This should be a fun game for Kansas City fans to watch both in the stadium and at home.
Week 5: at Houston Texans
Sunday, Oct. 8 – 8:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
Things get rough after Washington, and it starts in Houston. The Chiefs laid an egg last year against the Texans. There are those who believe they will be in better hands with Tom Savage over Brock Osweiler. This may not be the most difficult game in this stretch, but the Texans can put up a big fight, especially on defense. If the Chiefs don’t bring their best here, it could be a domino effect for several weeks.
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Week 6: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, Oct. 15 – 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Fans should have this game circled on their calendars, right in the middle of October where afternoon football games are prime in the stadiums. The Chiefs crowd will be ready to welcome the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year. Kansas City can’t expect to keep the Steelers out of the end zone again this time. The offense has to open up and get the big plays downfield to win this game.
Week 7: at Oakland Raiders
Thursday, Oct. 19 – 8:25 p.m. ET (CBS/NFLN)
The Chiefs could come into this game at 4-2 or maybe 3-3. Either way, Oakland could be a step ahead of Kansas City and that would make this a must-win game. The last time the Chiefs traveled to Oakland on a Thursday night, the winless Raiders pulled out the victory. Just about every recent game at O.co Coliseum has seen sloppy weather. Oakland doesn’t appear to have much of a running game which will be a big factor in the rain. If Derek Carr gets a rhythm with his receivers, though, it could be a long night for Kansas City.
Week 8: vs. Denver Broncos
Monday, Oct. 30 – 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
A mini-bye week would be a welcome relief as they welcome Denver to town for a Monday night game. Denver is hit or miss in that the defensive talent is still all world, but the loss of coordinator Wade Phillips may do some damage. Trevor Siemian could not do a single thing against the Chiefs in Arrowhead last year and, if he doesn’t have a reliable running back, advantage goes to the home team. I see this as a two-score win for the Chiefs to build confidence for the second half of the season.
Week 9: at Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, Nov. 5 – 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
The last of the brutal stretch stops in Dallas. The Cowboys are an extremely talented team that can attack a defense from all angles. Quarterback Dak Prescott could have a sophomore slump but the strength of the team remains the offensive line. In order for the Chiefs to have a shot, they must get an above average game from Alex Smith. Dallas’ defense can be picked apart, but the quarterback has to be aggressive. Lose or win, Kansas City will be a tough out.
Week 10: Bye
A needed rest before trips to the east coast.
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Week 11: at New York Giants
Sunday, Nov. 19 – 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Giants have a very talented secondary that leads their defense. Some experts are picking New York to take the NFC East from the Cowboys. To be sure, this is not the same team the Chiefs beat at home four years ago. The objective will be for the Chiefs pass rushers to fluster Eli Manning. The offense won’t do much on this day so special teams and defense will need to score at least once. If Manning is rushed he throws up some perfect interceptions for big returns.
Week 12: vs. Buffalo Bills
Sunday, Nov. 26 – 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
Buffalo is a team with a first year head coach and big questions at quarterback. At home, this shouldn’t be a difficult game for the superior Chiefs. The Bills will get there shots in as they always seem to do. The key here is for Andy Reid to attack the defense. In 2016, the Chiefs lost to inferior opponents because, once they had a lead, the offense appeared to shut down. That cannot happen this year as Carr won’t likely break his leg again allowing the Chiefs to take the AFC West. Consistent pressure on Buffalo’s defense will get the Chiefs the victory.
Week 13: at New York Jets
Sunday, Dec. 3 – 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Jets are an absolute mess. They lost their best receiver this offseason and their playmakers on defense can’t stay on the field. If the Chiefs lose this game, they probably won’t be making they playoffs. Again, this is one of those games that can trap a team if they get complacent — something Kansas City should have learned in 2016.
Week 14: vs. Oakland Raiders
Sunday, Dec. 10 – 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
This game is for all the marbles. By this point in the season, the Chiefs and Raiders will be in similar situations. Three or four losses to similar opponents and a head-to-head matchup should be the deciding factor in the AFC West race. The Raiders have lost four-straight in Kansas City and Carr has struggled when the temperature drops. The key to this game will be pressure. The Raiders can match the Chiefs score-for-score, unless they can knock Carr down a few times.
Week 15: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Saturday, Dec. 16 – 8:25 p.m. ET (NFL Network)
The final primetime game falls on a slate of Saturday games for NFL Network. The Chargers could be somewhere around .500, or competing for a top draft pick. No one outside of Philip Rivers’ home thinks they will be in the AFC West mix. That doesn’t make this game any less important for the Chiefs. If they beat Oakland the week before, then they might have a one-game lead. There is no room for slipping up at this point, so a focused Kansas City should win easily.
Week 16: vs. Miami Dolphins
Sunday, Dec. 24 – 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Dolphins have often shown that they struggle late in the season on the road. The cold can be a very difficult obstacle for a warm weather team. The Chiefs should have the AFC West title in sight and fans will still be packing the stadium even on Christmas Eve. Ryan Tannehill and company may pull out a wildcard spot in the end so this could be a tough game. The Chiefs will focus on stopping Jay Ajayi to force Tannehill to throw. In the cold, that may be a very tall order.
Week 17: at Denver Broncos
Sunday, Dec. 31 – 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
To close out the season, the Chiefs travel to Denver for a New Year’s Eve party. This game has a real shot at getting flexed into Sunday night if the AFC West is still in question. It is hard to figure out Denver as they have a lot of talent but a new coaching staff can be tricky. Denver’s Super Bowl aspirations could be coming to an end as their defensive stars get more and more expensive. The Chiefs have a shot at closing that window and forcing a rebuild if they can put up a significant amount of points.