The best and worst games of the Chiefs upcoming season
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Not all football games are created equally, and the Chiefs 2017 slate proves no exception.
With six primetime games, handful of late afternoon Sunday kickoffs and a bevy of returning playoff teams, the Chiefs own a very attractive and formidable schedule.
But not every game makes Monday Night Football, after all. Some game has to be the worst of the season.
Here’s a preliminary power ranking of all 16 regular season games on the Chiefs schedule.
No. 1. – Week 1 , Thursday, Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m., NBC: Kansas City at New England
Nothing beats playing the game everyone around the league will be watching. Meeting the Super Bowl champs to kickoff the season doesn’t happen every year — in fact, the Chiefs have never kicked off an NFL season in this spotlight. Th game is No. 1 with bullet.
No. 2 – Week 6, Sunday, Oct. 15, 3:25 p.m., CBS: Pittsburgh at Kansas City
The Chiefs owe the Steelers payback, and no doubt Andy Reid & Co. want this game badly. The other CBS game in the later afternoon time slot is the Chargers at Raiders, so almost everyone outside California (and Las Vegas) will likely see this game, making it a de facto national televised game
No. 3 – Week 7: Thursday, Oct. 19, 7:25 p.m., CBS/NFLN/Amazon: Kansas City at Oakland
Another primetime spotlight, and the first time Chiefs fans can stream their favorite team on Amazon. Okay, that’s less impressive than the fact that this is a Thursday night showdown between the favorites for the AFC West title. The Chiefs could be gunning for their 13th straight AFC West win.
No. 4 – Week 17, Sunday, Dec. 31, 3:25 p.m., CBS: Kansas City at Denver
No. 5 – Week 8, Monday, Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m., ESPN: Denver at Kansas City
The two Denver games are virtually tied, one a Monday Night Football showdown and the other a late afternoon tilt on New Year’s Eve. The potential importance of the week 17 games to both team’s playoff hopes gives it a slight edge. The week 17 also goes up against the Chargers-Raiders, meaning most of the nation gets this game.
No. 6 – Week 9, Sunday, Nov. 5, 3:25 p.m., CBS: Kansas City at Dallas
Any game against Dallas gets attention, and this team matches up two playoff teams with a long history. It’s Kansas City’s first regular season trip to Jerry World (also known as AT&T Stadium). This is also the only game in the CBS late afternoon window, making it another nationally televised game.
No. 7 – Week 5, Sunday, Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m., NBC: Kansas City at Houston
The Chiefs seem to go to Houston at least once every season, so that diminishes this game a bit. But it’s also a Sunday Night Football game against a team the Chiefs lost to a season ago. There’s a definite concern this could be a trap game for the Chiefs with the Steelers looming the following week.
No. 8 – Week 14, Sunday, Dec. 10, noon, CBS: Oakland at Kansas City
This game should be higher, but for some reason the NFL excluded this from the Chiefs’ extensive primetime schedule. A late season match among two 12-4 teams vying for the the division title? Ravens-Steelers, Patriots-Dolphins and Saints-Falcons are the primetime games this week. Not sure those are better matchups than this.
No. 9 – Week 4, Monday, Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m., ESPN: Washington at Kansas City
By a quirk of the NFL schedule, Washington hasn’t visited Kansas City in 12 years. That adds allure to this game, along with the Monday Night Football kickoff.
No. 10 – Week 16, Sunday, Dec. 24, noon, CBS: Miami Dolphins at Kansas City
Another team that doesn’t make a regular visit to Kansas City. The Dolphins were a playoff team a year ago. Could have some importance for playoff seeding and tie breakers.
No. 11 – Week 11, Sunday, Nov. 19 noon, CBS: Kansas City at New York Giants
This game might be a bit underrated given the Giants are also a returning playoff team. Coming off the bye week fans should be primed for this one. But after the early season electricity of the schedule before the bye week, this one doesn’t shine as bright.
No. 12 – Week 2, Sunday, Sept. 17, noon, FOX: Philadelphia at Kansas City
Is the Andy Reid Bowl still a thing? This game is in Kansas City, which doesn’t make it a homecoming. Almost everyone who played for Andy Reid is gone, as is his replacement Chip Kelly. A bit of a letdown after week one.
No. 13 – Week 15, Saturday, Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m., NFL Network: Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City
Yes, the Chargers and Chiefs played a classic in week one last season. But why is this game in primetime while Raiders at Arrowhead kicks off at noon? Maybe the move to Los Angeles changes the Chargers’ bad luck. Perhaps Joey Bosa ignites the Chargers defense and Philip Rivers enters a late career renaissance. But this game lacks the excitement of the other primetime games and AFC West matchups.
No. 14 – Week 3, Sunday, Sept. 24, 3:25 p.m., CBS: Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers
It’s worth tuning into just to see an NFL game in a 30,000-seat soccer stadium.
No. 15 – Week 12, Sunday, Nov. 26, noon, CBS, Buffalo at Kansas City
The Bills weren’t bad under Rex Ryan, and with less drama perhaps new coach Sean McDermott can get this team to the playoffs. But nestled between back-to-back trips to New York to face the Giants and the Jets, this game has potential to be the letdown the Chiefs do not need.
No. 16 – Week 13, Sunday, Dec. 3, noon, CBS: Kansas City at New York Jets
This game can’t be as bad as last year’s game between these two teams, right? It could be. The Jets will have a new quarterback, whether it be Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown or Door No. 4. If this isn’t a cake walk for the Chiefs, the season is already in trouble. Go ahead and plan on raking leaves and bagging up brush for pickup during the second half of this one.