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Chiefs 2024 NFL schedule breakdown: Game-by-game predictions, toughest stretch, opponents, pivotal matchups

The two-time defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs have an absolutely jam-packed schedule, with prime-time games galore and a slew of contenders on the docket. That should come as no surprise, considering how TV networks are now jostling to get K.C. games on their airwaves.

“They’re Cowboys-level assets right now,” NFL broadcast planning vice president Mike North said of the Chiefs in a conference call Thursday, via Arrowhead Pride

Despite the hoopla around them and the spate of marquee games, Kansas City actually has a schedule that is on the lighter side this season, thanks to the AFC West being matched with the NFC South in the rotation. According to Sharp Football Analysis, the Chiefs have the 12th-easiest slate of opponents, who have an average over/under of 8.2 wins. Kansas City is also tied for the league’s highest over/under win total itself, checking in at 11.5 wins alongside the Ravens and 49ers.

Below, we’ll comb through the entire 18-game slate for Kansas City, highlight key games, the club’s toughest stretch and finally go game by game to predict how this season will shake out. 

Full 2024 Chiefs schedule

*All times Eastern

Key schedule observations

  • The Chiefs are currently scheduled for seven games outside of the traditional Sunday afternoon window.
  • One of those games is on Black Friday, one is on a Saturday, and another is the inaugural Wednesday game, which is on Christmas Day. As such, the Chiefs play on every day of the week except Tuesday.
  • The Chiefs do not play consecutive games against playoff teams from last season until facing the Browns and Texans in Weeks 15 and 16.
  • Two of Kansas City’s four games against the NFC South are on “Monday Night Football.” 
  • Two of the four games against the AFC North come in the first two weeks of the season, but they don’t play an AFC North team again until the Browns in Week 15 and then the Steelers in Week 17.
  • There is a Super Bowl rematch in Week 7, an AFC title game rematch in Week 1, and an AFC divisional round rematch in Week 11.

Toughest stretch

  • Week 1 vs. Ravens 
  • Week 2 vs. Bengals
  • Week 3 at Falcons
  • Week 4 at Chargers

As mentioned above, the Chiefs do not play against playoff teams from last season in consecutive weeks until December. But the Ravens and Bengals are two of the conference’s top contenders, and recent AFC title game participants. Given the spread-out nature of the other marquee games on the slate, that makes the season-opening four-game stretch the toughest of the year, even if the Falcons and Chargers bouts don’t pack quite as much of a punch.

Five must-see matchups

Chiefs vs. Ravens (Week 1) — The opening game of the season pits the two-time defending Super Bowl champs against the reigning NFL MVP, and on “Thursday Night Football.” Couple that with the Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson matchup, the stars on both sides of the ball and the extensive history between the two teams, and you have a heck of a kickoff game for the 2024 season.

Chiefs at Bengals (Week 2) — Oh look, another AFC contender loaded with stars and another MVP candidate quarterback in Joe Burrow. The Bengals knocked the Chiefs out of the playoffs the last time K.C. didn’t win the Super Bowl, and after an injury plagued 2023 campaign they will be looking to get off to a hot start to this season.

Chiefs at 49ers (Week 7) — Super Bowl rematch. Again. Need we say more?

Chiefs at Bills (Week 11) — The seemingly annual Chiefs vs. Bills tilt is always a thrill ride. Mahomes and Josh Allen may very well be the two best players in the NFL, and there is nothing more entertaining than watching them go toe-to-toe in a big game. Both of these teams have changed quite a bit over the years, but the majesty of watching those two try to one-up each other never will.

Chiefs vs. Texans (Week 16) — We’ve already highlighted a few of the AFC contenders here, so why not include the new kids on the block? What will C.J. Stroud, Nico Collins, Tank Dell and Stefon Diggs be able to do in what should be one of the best games of the season? We can’t wait to find out.

Game-by-game predictions

Here is a quick game-by-game prediction with short reasoning behind each:

  • Week 1 vs. Ravens: Win — After getting off to a poor start in the title defense last season while playing without Chris Jones and with the wide receivers hamstringing the offense all night, the Chiefs kick things off in a much better way by winning the AFC title game rematch. (1-0) 
  • Week 2 vs. Bengals: Win — Speaking of AFC title game rematches, Kansas City takes care of business against another AFC North squad at home, jumping out to an early lead in the race for the AFC’s top seed. (2-0)
  • Week 3 at Falcons: WinKirk Cousins and the newly improved Falcons offense prove no match for Patrick Mahomes playing in a dome, and the Chiefs roll once again. (3-0)
  • Week 4 at Chargers: Loss — The Chiefs always seem to lose an early season game that you think they shouldn’t. It makes sense that such a loss would come in Jim Harbaugh’s first game against the best team in his new division. (3-1)
  • Week 5 vs. Saints: Win — New Orleans may be the best team in the league at cap gymnastics (kind of; the bill will eventually come due), but here the Saints can’t handle the road environs of Arrowhead Stadium and K.C. heads into the bye week with a victory. (4-1) 
  • Week 6 BYE
  • Week 7 at 49ers : Win — Andy Reid coming off the bye? I will not be betting against him. Even in San Francisco. And even with the Niners coming off their own bye. Reid just does not lose in that situation. (5-1)
  • Week 8 at Raiders: Win — The Chiefs overlooked the Raiders in their Christmas Day game last season and paid for it with a loss. We don’t see the same happening here — even with Antonio Pierce now firmly entrenched as the team’s head coach. (6-1)
  • Week 9 vs. Buccaneers: Win — The Chiefs are really on a roll here. A soft portion of the schedule surrounding the Super Bowl rematch will do that for ya. (7-1)
  • Week 10 vs. Broncos: Win — Denver does not have enough talent to hang with Kansas City. Not after all the cap-crushing departures the Broncos endured this offseason. Sean Payton and Co. have to wait a while longer to truly compete with the Chiefs. (8-1)
  • Week 11 at Bills: Loss — This game is in Buffalo, and if there is anything we have seen over the last several years of this rivalry, it’s that the Bills are fully capable of beating the Chiefs within the first 17 weeks of the season. It’s the playoffs where they have trouble. (8-2) 
  • Week 12 at Panthers: Win — Getting the Panthers coming out of the brutal Bills game is a nice change of pace. (9-2)
  • Week 13 vs. Raiders: Win — With the top seed in the conference in their sights and a string of conference games coming down the stretch, the Chiefs start to get right and bounce back to their usual selves. (10-2)
  • Week 14 vs. Chargers: Win — Revenge for the early season loss comes in the form of a late-season win that deals a crucial blow to L.A.’s faint — and fading — playoff hopes. (11-2)
  • Week 15 at Browns: Win — Even while going up against one of the best defenses in the NFL, on the road, in December, the Chiefs find a way to come away with a victory. (12-2)
  • Week 16 vs. Texans: Loss — Alas, the good times don’t last forever. As has happened several times before, an upstart AFC contender knocks off the Chiefs in the regular season. (Just wait until the playoffs for the revenge game.) (12-3)
  • Week 17 at Steelers: Win — With only a win over the Steelers standing between the Chiefs and home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, Mahomes and Co. take care of business on the road and earn themselves a week off to close the year. (13-3)
  • Week 18 at Broncos: Loss — The Chiefs have the No. 1 seed wrapped up heading into the final week of the season and the backups lose a meaningless contest against the division rivals. (13-4)

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Author: Jared Dubin
May 17, 2024 | 9:22 am

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