The Chiefs will again be strong AFC title favorites when they navigate through their 2021 NFL schedule. Kansas City, runner-up in Super Bowl 55 to Tampa Bay after winning Super Bowl 54 over San Francisco, is coming off a 14-2 season, its best record to date under coach Andy Reid.
Since Reid has led the team, the Chiefs have made the playoffs in seven of eight seasons. They have won the AFC West five consecutive times.
There’s every expectation, with Patrick Mahomes giving them a high floor, the Chiefs will stay in first place, with the Chargers being their closest challengers. Here is a complete breakdown of the Chiefs’ 2021 schedule, including dates, start times and analysis for all 17 games.
Kansas City Chiefs’ schedule 2021
The Chiefs’ schedule will be announced as part of the NFL’s schedule release on Wednesday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET. These are the teams that they are scheduled to play during the 2021 NFL season.
HOME: Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers
AWAY: Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Washington Football Team, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans
The Chiefs’ have their regular manageable group of six division games. The league rotation sets them up to play all of the AFC North and NFC East, too.
They also will play two more first-place teams from the conference, the Bills and the Titans. The bonus matchup with the increase to 17 games gives them a marquee meeting with the reigning NFC North champion Packers. The Chiefs didn’t repeat, but they are still atop the “hunted” list.
Chiefs strength of schedule
The Chiefs’ opponents had a combined winning percentage of .511 (138-132-2) last season. That ties them for 11th-toughest with the Seahawks.
Just in the AFC, they draw five playoff teams from last season, inlcuding the Steelers, Ravens and Browns from the NFC North. The NFC’s Packers and Washington add two more. The NFC East should be better, too, with the Cowboys, Giants and Eagles improved in different ways. The rest of the AFC West is weak in relation to all of that.
Toughest tests: The Packers, Bills and Browns all will present major home challenges in Arrowhead Stadium. Buffalo and Cleveland were Kansas City’s two most recent AFC playoff opponents in the same venue. Dallas, with its offense, and Pittsburgh, with its defense, also visit, giving the Chiefs’ few walkovers.
The Chiefs’ road schedule is stamped by the Titans and Ravens and features three East Coast trips.
Biggest breaks: The Chiefs don’t have many, but they should take advantage of the Giants, Eagles and Washington. They also should feel most confident about once again sweeping the Raiders and Broncos, teams Mahomes owns.
Bottom line: The Chiefs will be unfazed by this loaded slate. Mahomes will keep the offense humming, and they also kept defensive strengths wiith fewer weaknesses. Mahomes remains the main attraction in the NFL, and there will be plenty of fun dueling partners for him, including Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow.
The Chiefs will slide a little based on schedule alone, but they sitll will be well positioned to repeat as the AFC’s No. 1 seed after easily extending their division run.
Record prediction: 13-4