Ranking the Best Games of the Chiefs Home Schedule


Nov 25, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson (94) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Denver won the game 17-9. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

In yet another sign football season is even closer, the Chiefs announced Monday that individual game tickets will go on sale to the public on July 12. If you are a lucky Jackson County resident or a season ticket holder, tickets will be made available to you starting at 9 a.m. on July 10. You can buy tickets at Arrowhead, by phone, online, or at one of six trillion Ticketmaster outlets.

The announcement of single-game tickets going on sale leads to the obvious questions: Which game (or games) will be the best to go to? Well no worries on this one, we’ve broken down the Chiefs regular season home schedule and ranked them by best games to see.

8) Cleveland Browns, October 27, noon

Here are the three potential things that could happen in this game: 1. The Chiefs blow the Browns out in a fun but “we’re blowing out a bad team” kind of way; 2. Cleveland hangs in there and makes things interesting leading all of us to panic about almost losing to the Cleveland Browns; 3. We lose to Cleveland.

My theory is this: If you’re going to spend money to go to one game, go to a game that has as much upside as possible. In the NFL defeat is always an option, but losing to the New York Giants is way more acceptable than losing to the Browns. All of us want the best Arrowhead experience possible and that means a game with a lot of energy and importance. The Browns game will not be that game.

It is true Kansas City has to win this game if they want to make a run at the playoffs. But if the Chiefs cannot being the Browns at home then they probably don’t deserve to be in the playoffs anyway. If you’re going to just one game, this one should be last on your list.

December 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) before the start of an NFL game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

7) New York Giants, September 29, noon

Kansas City usually ends up beating one team at home every year that they have no business beating, although last season ended up being the exception.

In the regular season the Giants haven’t been that great of a team, winning 11 or more games just twice in the Tom Coughlin era. But Coughlin isn’t building his team to be great in the regular season, he’s building them to be great in the postseason, which their two Super Bowls in six years will attest to. So beating the Giants at home in the first month of the season wouldn’t be stunning but it would be a disaster if Kansas City lost to them either.

It is unlikely the season will be decided based on this game the way that others on this list will be. If you are a fan of seeing teams that rarely visit Arrowhead then this game should bump up the list to number five.

6) Houston Texans, October 20, noon

Houston should be a team that contends for the number one overall seed in AFC, a level the Chiefs are not at just yet. If Kansas City were to come out of the gates on fire, say 5-1 or 6-0, then this game would rocket up to number three at least on the power rankings. But it is tough to see KC being much better than 4-2 once Houston rolls into town.

With that said, if the Chiefs new defense proves to worth all of the hype that is surrounding, this game could end up being the catalyst to a big season. Of all the games on the Chiefs home schedule, this one has the most potential to turn into a huge game and is the biggest wild card on the home schedule.

Dec 23, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) is pressured by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (50) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

5) Indianapolis Colts, December 22, noon

Andrew Luck is coming back to Arrowhead, and this time the Chiefs should be good enough to beat him.

For now, this is the most key AFC game of the Chiefs schedule that is not within the division. The Chiefs play three of their final four games on the road and this is the one game they’ll have at home in that stretch.

This is the next to last game of season and comes right before a road trip to San Diego, a game that could dictate if the Chiefs make the playoffs or not. Kansas City could go a long way towards clinching a playoff berth with a win against Indianapolis.

4) Oakland Raiders, October 13, noon

Oakland should end up being one of the worst teams in football in 2013 and has a significant shot at landing the number one overall pick in 2014 draft. So from a pure football standpoint this game should not be interesting or entertaining at all. Like the Browns game, two of the three possibilities for the way this game ends are not going to be good and avoiding a game with such little upside is generally recommended.

Then again… this is the Raiders. There is always upside in beating the Raiders no matter how it happens.

Oakland has beaten the Chiefs in five of their last six meetings, and eight of the last 11. For the most part, the Raiders have simply dominated Kansas City no matter where they have played since 2007, and have done so with terrible teams. In fact, since 2007 four of Oakland’s seasons have ended with five or fewer wins, and none of them have finished with the Raiders being over .500.

If Kansas City is to have any shot at reaching the postseason they have to beat Oakland twice this year, and of late that has been something much easier said than done. Losing at home to Oakland in the sixth week of the season is something that cannot happen and a robust crowd will be need to ensure it does not.

3) San Diego Chargers, November 24, noon

Like Oakland, the Chiefs absolutely have to beat San Diego at home if they want any shot at a playoff berth. There is a solid chance one of the wild card spots in the AFC could go to whoever finishes second in the AFC West, and the two teams mostly likely to be battling it out for that spot come November will be San Diego and Kansas City.

2) Dallas Cowboys, September 15, noon

Home opener. Need I say more?

December 30, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning signals at the line of scrimmage during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

1) Denver Broncos, December 1, noon

My quick and dirty early analysis of the Chiefs is this: 1. KC has to start at least 6-3 in their first nine games; 2. They have to sweep Oakland and San Diego; 3. They have to pull off one upset. This, in my mind, should be enough to get them to 10 wins and wild card spot. Nine wins could get it done but then you’d likely be at the mercy of tie-breakers.

Of all the games the Chiefs will likely be underdogs in by four or more points – Giants, Texans, Broncos (twice), and Washington – the home game against Denver may be their best shot to pull off the upset they need clinch a wild card spot. The conditions should work in the Chiefs favor: It’ll be cold weather in December which should help slow down Peyton Manning; KC’s secondary will have had time to jell and would have already seen Manning’s passing attack once (at Denver two weeks prior); the home crowd should be going crazy.

In my scenario KC would be entering the game 7-4 with five games remaining. A win over Denver at home would put them two games away from a playoff spot (this is assumed, of course) with four games remaining. Going .500 against Washington, Oakland, Indianapolis, and San Diego is not easy but very doable. If Kansas City loses then they will likely have to win three of those final four in order to make the playoffs. The urgency, home crowd, and situation should end up making the Denver game the most intense and important game of the Chiefs home, if not the season, schedule. If you can only go to one game, this would be the one to go to.