First look at Chiefs’ 2018 schedule

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Murray delivers a hit during the team’s game against the San Diego Chargers on Jan. 1, 2017. (Photo courtesy Chiefs PR, Chiefs.com)

KANSAS CITY, Mo.

— A trip south of the border down Mexico way and five primetime games including a rematch with the AFC champion New England Patriots highlights the 2018 schedule for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs open the season with two difficult road tilts, the first coming at the Los Angeles Chargers followed by a visit to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In addition to the Chiefs facing the Los Angeles Rams in Mexico City on Monday night in Week 11, other primetime games include a Week 4 AFC West battle on Monday night against the Denver Broncos, a Thursday night game in Week 15 at Arrowhead against the Los Angeles Chargers and a Week 16 Sunday night game at the Seattle Seahawks.

The Chiefs take their bye week during Week 12. The bye comes following the Mexico City game against the Rams and before a road trip to Oakland during Week 13. Outside the opening two-games on the road, the bye week separates the team’s only other back-to-back road games.

Unlike last season when the Chiefs saw few traditional noon kick offs, this season includes nine games starting at noon including seven homes games. The Chiefs finish with three of their final four games at home. Two of the team’s final three games are scheduled for primetime, however, those games are subject to flex scheduling. They could be move for more competitive matchups.

Single-game tickets for Chiefs home games go on sale Friday, April 20. Season ticket holders and Jackson county taxpayers can take advantage of presale opportunities beginning at 8 a.m. County taxpayers have until 5 p.m., Friday, April 27 to purchase tickets from an exclusive allotment at all price points.

Jackson County residents can only purchase tickets at the Arrowhead Stadium ticket office during normal business hours and provide a photo identification and a 2017 personal property tax receipt from the county. The ticket office is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Ticket sales to the general public begin at 10 a.m. Friday, April 20.

Here’s an overview of the Chiefs 2017 schedule. Listed kickoff times are central time.

Preseason games:

Week 1, Chiefs Network: Houston at Kansas City

Week 2, Chiefs Network: Kansas City at Atlanta

Week 3, Chiefs Network: Kansas City at Chicago

Week 4, Chiefs Network: Green Bay at Kansas City

WEEK 1, Sunday, Sept. 9, 3:05 p.m., CBS, Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers

The Patrick Mahomes era truly begins with the season opener, and all eyes will be on the young signal caller. The Chiefs return for the second of three likely appearances at the StubHub Center before the Chargers move into the new Los Angeles stadium. Unless last season’s 9-7 season sparks a bandwagon drive, the Chiefs could face a fairly friendly crowd just as they did last season. The sightlines are considered good for fans but require an adjustment for players. Interesting to see if that manifests into a home-field advantage for the Chargers in year two in their temporary home.

WEEK 2, Sunday, Sept. 16, noon, CBS, Kansas City at Pittsburgh
The Chiefs have played the Steelers close during their last two matchups at Arrowhead Stadium, but their last trip to Pittsburgh in 2016 proved an unmitigated disaster. Kansas City slayed a big dragon last year by going into New England and winning, but the Chiefs can’t take earn a place as an AFC favorite until they proved they can beat the Steelers.

WEEK 3, Sunday, Sept. 23, noon, FOX, San Francisco at Kansas City
The Chiefs and 49ers kept in touch with a preseason meeting at Arrowhead Stadium last season, but this should be a different San Francisco team with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. The Great Garaoppolo enters the season with a 7-0 mark as a starting quarterback, and the 49ers future looks bright with his addition.

WEEK 4, Monday, Oct. 1, 7:15 p.m., ESPN, Kansas City at Denver
The Broncos crash landed last season with a 5-11 record, and all their hopes rely on free agent quarterback Case Keenum to pull them out of the tailspin. Keenum found a career renaissance in Minnesota last season, but the 30-year-old veteran will likely learn that Denver doesn’t have the same foundation as the Vikings did a year ago. Without defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and now cornerback Aqib Talib gone, the Broncos may be in full blown rebuild mode.

WEEK 5, Sunday, Oct. 7, noon, CBS, Jacksonville at Kansas City
The Jaguars seem like a good candidate for regression after a 10-6 season ended with a heartbreaking loss to the Patriots in the AFC championship game. But defense rarely slumps, and the Jaguars pose one of the toughest challenges for offenses in the league. Quarterback Blake Bortles remains a question mark, but Leonard Fournette can solve many problems in the backfield.

WEEK 6, Sunday, Oct. 14, 7:20 p.m., NBC: Kansas City at New England
Kansas City’s last trip to New England proved quite fruitful with a 42-27 win in last year’s season-opener. The Patriots come off a min-bye week on this one after hosting Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night 10 days earlier. A win over Tom Brady puts Mahomes in rare air.

WEEK 7, Sunday, Oct. 21, noon, CBS, Cincinnati at Kansas City
Another preseason opponent from 2017 finds its way onto the 2018 schedule. Head coach Marvin Lewis is one of a handful of opposing coaches for the Chiefs who might be on the hot seat this season. Quarterback Andy Dalton also needs a bounce back season after passing for just 3,320 yards and 25 touchdowns with 12 interceptions last season. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict will have returned from his five-game suspension for this one.

WEEK 8, Sunday, Oct. 28, noon, CBS, Denver at Kansas City
The Chiefs bring a five-game winning streak against the Broncos into the season, but Denver may own one advantage over Kansas City no other team does. They have seen Patrick Mahomes upclose and personal. Whether that personal experience makes a difference or not remains to be seen, but the Broncos already have an understanding of the physical talents Mahomes’ possesses, as well as his ability to rally a team for a victory.

WEEK 9, Sunday Nov. 4, noon, CBS, Kansas City at Cleveland
It’s the John Dorsey Bowl with the former Chiefs general manager’s new team squaring off against the squad he helped build. The Browns added quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who gave the Chiefs fits during his time in Buffalo. But if the Browns draft a quarterback at the top of next week’s draft, it poses an interesting potential matchup against Mahomes, the quarterback Dorsey traded up to grab last year.

WEEK 10, Sunday, Nov. 11, noon, FOX, Arizona at Kansas City
The Cardinals brought in quarterback Sam Bradford to replace Carson Palmer, and that might just be the right fit for an Arizona offense that can score when healthy. But Bradford carries injury issues with him, so the Chiefs might just as likely face new backup Mike Glennon. This is a game the Chiefs expect to win at home.

WEEK 11, Monday, Nov. 19, 7:15 p.m., ESPN: Kansas City vs. Los Angeles Rams at Mexico City
This international showdown already had enough flavor on its own with cornerback Marcus Peters facing his former teammates, but the excitement of the Mexico City crowd adds to the marquee value of this matchup. Historic soccer home Estadio Azteca hosted the Oakland Raders the past two seasons with capacity crowds of around 77,000. It’s a Rams’ home game, and certainly an easier trip from Los Angeles but Chiefs fans should turn out too.

WEEK 12, Sunday, Nov. 25, Bye week

WEEK 13, Sunday, Dec. 2, 3:05 p.m. CBS, Kansas City at Oakland
Time is running out if you have a burning desire to see the Chiefs and Raiders play in Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with the Raiders heading to Las Vegas in 2020. Last season’s frustrating 31-30 loss that ended with the Raiders scoring the game-tying touchdown on the second of two untimed downs should add some fuel to the fire for this one.

WEEK 14, Sunday, Dec. 9, noon, CBS, Baltimore at Kansas City
Three straight seasons without a playoff appearance means it might be a make or break season for the Ravens. The Chiefs won the last matchup between the two teams in 2015. Marcus Peters capped off a 34-14 win with a 90-yard interception return.

WEEK 15, Thursday, Dec. 13, 7:20 p.m., FOX/NFL Network, Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City
The Chiefs swept the Chargers comfortably last season, but don’t fall asleep on Philip Rivers and head coach Anthony Lynn. The Charges stack up as the team most likely to challenge to Chiefs for the AFC title, and duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram

WEEK 16, Sunday, Dec. 23, 7: 20 p.m., NBC, Kansas City at Seattle
Last year’s preseason trip to Seattle did not do much good for the Chiefs. Seattle took a stepback backward last season with a 9-7 mark, but Russell Wilson remains a dangerous quarterback at anytime. The Chiefs have often struggled with mobile passers, but they held Wilson in checking during their 2014 meeting with a 24-20 victory at Arrowhead Stadium.

WEEK 17, Sunday, Dec. 30,noon, CBS, Oakland at Kansas City
Sure, Jon Gruden appears building a team to compete for the 2011 Super Bowl. But Gruden was one of the sharpest offensive minds in the league before leaving coaching, and Derek Carr might be a resource he can develop. Gruden and Andy Reid share a close friendship, so that may squeeze a bit of the animosity out of this game on both sides. But the Chiefs still need to defend their home field against the AFC West.

———

Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.

Comments

Stories