As most of you already know, the Kansas City Chiefs will play the seventh hardest schedule in the NFL in 2014. That number is based off of their opponents combined winning percentage from 2013. They also play THE hardest home schedule in 2014, which include home games against the Broncos, Patriots, and defending Super Bowl Champion, Seattle Seahawks.
So as I waited in anticipation for the release of their 2014 schedule last week, I found myself wondering which stretch of games is going to be the toughest based on how their schedule is written.
Every year, each team must face a stretch of games that is considered the hardest part of their schedule. Like last year, the Chiefs didn’t hit their toughest stretch until after their bye week. They had a three game stretch that had them face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos twice, with San Diego sandwiched between those two games.
This year, the schedule makers were unforgiving, as the Chiefs will face their toughest stretch of games with in the first five weeks of the season.
They open week one against Tennessee, which in reality, should be a win. The Titans are a scrappy team that KC held off last year, and it’s Dexter McCluster‘s return to Arrowhead since leaving the team so there could be added motivation for revenge in week 1. Still, Arrowhead will be loud and I think the Chiefs should get that win.
The Chiefs must then travel to Denver, a place they haven’t won at since Peyton Manning’s arrival two years ago. The Chiefs very rarely play well in Mile High, so it’s hard to pick them in this game. For the sake of the article, let’s say the Chiefs lose this game.
In week 3, the Chiefs travel to Miami to take on a Dolphins team that was one game away from making the play offs last season. This game is in September, so Miami will still be hot and humid which could be a problem for both teams. Kansas City should win this one, but as of now I feel like it’s pretty close.
Week 4, the Chiefs return home to take on the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. This is one of my most anticipated games of the year as I love to see Arrowhead under the lights. The Patriots are bringing a new look defense with them, as they signed Darell Revis and Brandon Browner this off season. This is one of the toughest games of the year, and it’s only week four. Like I said before, unforgiving.
Finally, the Chiefs have to travel to San Francisco in week 5 as Alex Smith takes on his former team for the first time in the regular season. The niners have been one of the best teams in the NFL the last three years, so this game will obviously be one of, if not the, toughest game on their schedule. I’ll approach this game with cautious optimism.
So in that stretch, Kansas City plays on the road three times in which two of those teams played for their conference championship games last year (49’ers, Broncos). They only get two home games but at least the tougher of the two is in prime time.
That’s without a doubt their toughest stretch of games for 2014 and we’ll learn a lot about this team early. I’d say if the Chiefs can escape that 5 game stretch at 2-3, they would still be in good shape for the second half of their season. Anything above that would be cake, as that would mean they beat at least two of the better teams on their schedule.
Their bye week follows that stretch, likely being the perfect time after going on that run of games. Perhaps the schedule makers saw that they were unforgiving and put their bye week in that spot because they felt bad? Either way, the Chiefs will certainly need it after those first five weeks.
So do our readers agree with me? Is that not the toughest stretch of games for the Chiefs in 2014 and what do you think their record will be headed into the bye week? Start the discussion below and be sure to check out KC Kingdom throughout the day for news on the Chiefs, Royals, Sporting KC, Tigers, Wildcats, and Jayhawks.