KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It’s difficult to imagine the Kansas City Chiefs having faced as many obstacles in any game in their four seasons under coach Andy Reid as they would in a season opener this fall at the New England Patriots. The NFL schedule could be released this week, and the Boston Globe is reporting that New England’s opponent in Foxborough, Mass., in the Thursday night kickoff on Sept. 7 will “almost certainly” be the Chiefs.
History hasn’t been kind to opponents trying to beat the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, and that certainly includes the Chiefs. And visiting teams in these opening games have generally failed no matter where the games have been played.
Here are some things the Chiefs would have to overcome by playing in New England to open the season:
New England has the NFL’s best home record (107-21) since 2001. The Patriots have of course been good on the road during that time, but they’re still 13 games better at home over the last 16 seasons than the next-best team, the Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots are 8-0 when playing the season opener at home during that time.
Kansas City’s record against the Bill Belichick-coached Patriots in games played in Foxborough is predictably miserable. The Chiefs are winless in their last five games at New England, including a 27-20 loss in the divisional round of the playoffs after the 2015 season. The Chiefs’ last win there came in 1990, when the Patriots finished 1-15. They were then coached by Rod Rust.
Since the season-opening game first featured the defending Super Bowl champion as one of the competing teams, in 2004, the home team has won 12 of the 13 games. The Chiefs have never played in the game.
On the plus side, the Chiefs are 2-0 under Reid in openers played on the road. At 20-12, they are tied for the NFL’s second-best road record in their four seasons under Reid.
But they haven’t faced a road challenge like they would against the Patriots to begin next season.