Following the release of the NFL schedule, a breakdown of the Kansas City Chiefs favorable schedule in the 2020 NFL season seemed appropriate. The defending Super Bowl Champions will appear in 5 nationally televised games in 2020. With 4-1 odds, they are the clear favorite to win Super Bowl 55.
Now, let’s breakdown how Kansas City will go about defending their title.
The season will begin in Arrowhead as the Chiefs will host Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans in a Thursday night season opener. Although this is still an exciting QB match up between Patrick Mahomes and Watson, the Texans will be without four-time pro bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Kansas City will not have a hard time coming away with a week 1 win at home. Without Hopkins, the Texans will lack fire power to keep up with the Chiefs offense.
Andy Reid and the Chiefs will then have 10 days to prepare for the divisional opponent Los Angeles Chargers. This will be the first game for both the Chargers and Chiefs in the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
Divisional opponents are always tough to play against and a young and talented Chargers defense has the potential to give Mahomes and the Chiefs all they can handle in Week 2. However, with the uncertainty in their QB position, it will be difficult for the Chargers to keep up with an explosive Chiefs offense.
The Battle for the AFC begins
Week 3 will be the first true test Kansas City will face, as they travel to Baltimore in a Monday Night showdown with last year’s NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. Playing the Ravens this early could prove to be a blessing for the Chiefs as it provides time for adjustments as the teams battle for the number 1 seed in the AFC.
The first quarter of the season will end at home versus the New England Patriots. With the absence of Tom Brady in New England, this match up should favor Kansas City
More: Read the Chiefs draft recap here
In week 5, Kansas City will get their first look at the Las Vegas Raiders. With the Raiders still in rebuild mode, they will lack the capability to keep up with the Chiefs explosive offensive weapons.
Moving on to week 6, the Chiefs will have only 4 days to prepare for the Buffalo Bills. Kansas City will benefit from a more temperate climate in Buffalo this early in the season, compared to December where it will be much colder. With that said, it is a short week and Buffalo has proven themselves to be an ascendant team, who only got better in the off-season with the key addition of playmaker Stefon Diggs. This game could very well end in a loss for the Chiefs.
A rest before heading to Mile High
Once again the NFL has given Kansas City 10 days before facing another division opponent. In week 7, the Chiefs will travel to Denver to face the Broncos. Denver has improved their offense by adding two explosive WRs in Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. By taking arguably the most polished WR in the draft in Jeudy and a speedster in Hamler, Denver is looking to keep up with the high powered Chiefs offense. Nonetheless, Andy Reid loves having extra days to prepare for an opponent.
Kansas City will travel back home in week 8 to face the New York Jets. The Jets will not be ready to face Kansas City to say the least. The lack of WRs to arm Sam Darnold will force the Jets to turn to rookie WRs who may not be NFL ready. Despite investing in the offensive line during the off-season, the Jets have work to do in the trenches to compete.
Teddy Bridgewater and the Carolina Panthers will travel to Arrowhead to take on the Chiefs in week 9. With only one week to go before the bye week, Kansas City will need to take care of business at home versus the Panthers.
Containing Christian McCafferey will be a challenge for a Chiefs defense that allowed a league leading 964 receiving yards to running backs in 2019. Covering these dual threat running backs is something the Chiefs hope their speedy 2nd round pick Willie Gay Jr. can help with. If McCafferey can be contained, the Chiefs will come away with the win.
More: Read about Willie Gay and more draft bargains here
Rolling in to Vegas
In a recurring theme, the Chiefs will once again get extra days off before facing another division opponent. Following their bye week, Kansas City will travel to Las Vegas to play against the Raiders in the brand new Allegiant stadium. Kansas City will look to sweep the Raiders on the season.
The following week, Kansas City will face Tom Brady and the newly re-constructed Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Chiefs secondary will have their hands full with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski and 6 time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady throwing them the ball. Patrick Mahomes will be looking to improve his 1-2 record versus Brady and knock the GOAT off his Tampa perch.
Kansas City will host Denver in week 13. By this time Drew Lock will be familiar with his new weapons along with Courtland Sutton, which could lead to a big jump in performance from the Broncos, but not enough to best the Chiefs. Kansas City has a good chance to sweep their division opponents as they will be able to outscore all 3 of them if it comes down to a shootout.
In the following week, Kansas City will travel to Miami to face the Dolphins. Still in rebuild mode, Miami will be no match for the high powered Kansas City offense. Moreover, the week 14 match up versus the New Orleans Saints will be in the back of the Chiefs’ mind. Ideally, Kansas City will look to blow out the Dolphins early to rest some starters in preparation for the Saints in New Orleans.
Look for the Week 14 showdown versus the Saints to be a high scoring affair between two high powered offenses inside a weather controlled dome. Look for offensive explosions from both teams and highlights aplenty.
Kansas City will end the season with back to back home games. In week 16, the Atlanta Falcons will visit Arrowhead. With an extra playoff spot added in both conferences, Atlanta could be fighting for a post season spot and this could be a fiercely contested game.
By the time KC gets to the Chargers in the final week of the regular season, the Chiefs will likely have a top record and likely the number 1 seed in the AFC; therefore, they will look to rest their starters in the season finale against LA.
In conclusion, the redesigned playoff seeding will work in Kansas City’s advantage. With a favorable schedule and extra days off to prepare for most of their divisional games, Kansas City will run away with the division. From the start, Kansas City will be eyeing the number 1 seed.
With the new playoff structure, only the number 1 seed in each conference will be awarded a bye week along with home field advantage throughout the postseason. Based on the benefit of the bye for playoff teams, this could give KC the edge they need to repeat their success of 2019.