The Chiefs just won Super Bowl 54, but the big question is already here: Can Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid lead Kansas City to an encore in Super Bowl 55? For the Chiefs to put themselves in best position to repeat, it all depends how well they can navigate their 2020 schedule.
The Chiefs went 12-4 last season, marking the third time in the past four seasons they have ended up with that record as consistent AFC West champions. Kansas City also rides a five-year playoff streak into 2020.
Once again, the Chiefs will face all three returning first-place teams in the AFC in the Ravens, Texans and Patriots. This year, their interdivisional rotation also includes the rest of the AFC East and all of the NFC South on top of their six games against AFC West foes.
Putting it all together, how does the Chiefs’ schedule look for this season?
Here is a complete breakdown of the Chiefs’ 2020 schedule, including dates, start times and analysis for all 16 games.
Kansas City Chiefs schedule 2020
- Home: Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, New York Jets
- Away: Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(The Chiefs’ schedule will be released Thursday at 8 p.m. ET along with the entire 2020 NFL schedule.)
(For Canadian viewers, each game can be streamed on DAZN.)
The biggest surprise about last year’s Chiefs is that they went only 5-3 at Arrowhead Stadium and 7-1 on the road before winning two playoff games in Kansas City. That set them up to knock off the 49ers in Miami.
This year, the Chiefs’ home schedule loses a little luster with Tom Brady no longer with the Patriots. But they still get Brady on the road with the Buccaneers. Mahomes also gets to duel Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson again, along with the addition of Drew Brees.
The Chiefs have become a premier prime-time draw because of Mahomes. There’s no lack of marquee here for Kansas City, with the chances for many exciting shootouts along the way.
Chiefs strength of schedule & prediction
The Chiefs are right in the middle with their strength of schedule based on opponents’ combined winning percentage from last year. Kansas City’s 2020 oppoenets went 128-128, exactly .500 and tied for 18th toughest with the Panthers.
With some of those opponents weakened or rebuilding, the Chiefs have it considerably easier than it looks on paper. The AFC West might be the most improved division they face, but the AFC East and NFC South might give them more reprieves than expected.
Toughest tests: The Chiefs should buckle up for the Bucs, but the Ravens and Bills on the road in hostile environments will be tough, too, given those two teams also might be their closest AFC title competition. The Saints also will be a difficult NFC team to beat in New Orleans.
At home, the Patriots will still be a bit tricky, and the Texans will have confidence after grinding out a victory in Kansas City last season (and nearly pulling off a much bigger one in the playoffs). The Broncos, Raiders and Chargers have remixed themselves to be better equipped to go after the Chiefs, too, wherever they play.
Biggest breaks: The Falcons, Panthers and Jets provide three interdivision opponents the Chiefs should be able to handle at home. There’s only one such gimme on the road, at the Dolphins.
The Chargers might not be as worrisome without Philip Rivers, while the Broncos have their share of defensive issues against Mahomes. The Chiefs are positioned to be much stronger at Arrowhead with a good chance to go 8-0 at home.
Bottom line: The Chiefs have been among the AFC’s elite for a while, and now they’ve graduated to the top of the entire NFL. Mahomes didn’t lose anything of note around him, and fully healthy, he can have a season that resembles his 2018 MVP campaign more than his still-outstanding abbreviated 2019 version.
The Chiefs’ defensive improvements last year paid off, and now there’s more familiarity with Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme. There are a few leftover weaknesses in pass coverage, but there’s no indication of any real drop-off, let alone any kind of Super Bowl hangover.
Including playoffs, Kansas City is riding a nine-game winning streak into the 2020 season. There’s no reason to think the Chiefs won’t stay mostly hot to win another division crown.
Record prediction: 12-4