For the first time in 50 years, the Kansas City Chiefs will enter the season as Super Bowl champions. Kansas City won its second Super Bowl title last season, the first in Andy Reid's 21 seasons as a head coach. Reid and the Chiefs are primed for a repeat with Patrick Mahomes back at quarterback and 20 of the 22 starters from the Super Bowl title team back for the 2020 season. The Chiefs haven't signed Mahomes to a long-term deal (yet) but brought back Chris Jones on the franchise tag and DeMarcus Robinson in free agency. They also selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Willie Gay Jr. with their first two picks in the NFL Draft. There are plenty of reasons why the Chiefs could be the first repeat Super Bowl champions since the 2003-04 New England Patriots.
The AFC West has improved, but the Chiefs are favorites to win the division for the fifth consecutive year. The AFC also runs through Kansas City as well, but the Chiefs will be challenged by the likes of the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans. A daunting schedule against the NFC South may also play a factor in Kansas City earning home-field advantage and that coveted first-round bye.
Below, we'll take a week-by-week look at the 2020 schedule and highlight all the prime-time games in a season where Kansas City should dominate that slate. We'll also take a first look at the strength of schedule, the Chiefs' toughest stretch of games, and more.
The Pick Six Podcast gang fired up a new episode breaking down every eye-catching aspect of the NFL's schedule release. Give it a listen below, and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:
- Week 1: Sept. 10: vs. Texans (Thursday Night Football), 8:20 p.m., NBC
- Week 2: Sept. 20: at Chargers, 4:25 p.m., CBS
- Week 3: Sept. 28: at Ravens (Monday Night Football), 8:15 p.m., ESPN
- Week 4: Oct. 4: vs. Patriots, 4:25 p.m., CBS
- Week 5: Oct. 11: vs. Raiders, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 6: Oct. 15: at Bills (Thursday Night Football), 8:20 p.m., Fox/NFL Network/Amazon Prime
- Week 7: Oct. 25: at Broncos, 4:25 p.m., CBS
- Week 8: Nov. 1: vs. Jets, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 9: Nov. 8: vs. Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 10: Nov. 15: BYE WEEK
- Week 11: Nov. 22: at Raiders (Sunday Night Football), 8:20 p.m., NBC
- Week 12: Nov. 29: at Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m., CBS
- Week 13: Dec. 6: vs. Broncos (Sunday Night Football), 8:20 p.m., NBC
- Week 14: Dec. 13: at Dolphins, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 15: Dec. 20: at Saints, 4:25 p.m., CBS
- Week 16: Dec. 27: vs. Falcons, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 17: Jan. 3 vs. Chargers, 1 p.m., CBS
The Chiefs will be hosting the NFL Kickoff Game for the first time (a rite of passage for the defending Super Bowl champions). An AFC divisional playoff matchup awaits in the Houston Texans, who took a 24-0 lead on the Chiefs in the first half before Kansas City outscored them 51-7 the rest of the way in a 51-31 victory. This is the third time the Chiefs will play the Texans in the season opener, but the first time the game will be in Kansas City.
Kansas City has five prime-time games on the docket for 2020, highlighted by a "Monday Night Football" showdown against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. The Chiefs also travel to Las Vegas on "Sunday Night Football" in Week 11 and Buffalo for "Thursday Night Football" in Week 6. They host Denver in Week 13 on "Sunday Night Football."
The Chiefs actually have a pretty favorable schedule, but will be tested out of the game to open the season. The season opener against the Texans will be a challenge before the Chiefs head to Los Angeles to face the Chargers in their SoFi Stadium debut in Week 2 (at least they get a 10-day rest). Kansas City then faces the Ravens in Baltimore on "Monday Night Football" in Week 3, which could be an AFC Championship preview. Hosting the Patriots in Week 4 closes out the first quarter of the schedule.
A 3-1 start for the Chiefs would be huge toward earning home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs.
Strength of schedule
Earlier this offseason, John Breech broke down the 2020 strength of schedule for all 32 NFL teams based on combined opponent winning percentage in 2019. After finishing in first place in the AFC West, the Chiefs will face the 14th-easiest strength of schedule in 2020. For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule, check out Breech's breakdown here.
However, when basing strength of schedule on the over/under win totals for each team's opponents during the 2020 season at William Hill, the Chiefs go from facing the 14th-easiest schedule in the league to facing the eighth-easiest For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule using this methodology, check out Jared Dubin's full breakdown here.