Prime-time opener against Patriots highlights Kansas City Chiefs' schedule

The Chiefs have reached the postseason in three out of four seasons under Andy Reid. Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

The NFL has released its 2017 regular-season schedule. Here’s a look at what’s in store for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Breakdown: The Chiefs’ schedule was going to be difficult no matter the order of the games. The cumulative 2016 winning percentage of their opponents is .576, second highest in the league. But the Chiefs can’t complain now that dates and times have been added.

The opener in New England will be difficult, but that was going to be the case no matter when they played at the Patriots. The Chiefs have back-to-back road games just once, in November when they face the Cowboys and Giants over a three-week span with their bye in between. The late bye is another plus. The Chiefs were unhappy last year when they received their open date in early October.

The Chiefs also have a stretch of three straight home games in December before finishing the season on the road against the Broncos. Those games save late-season travel wear and tear and could be helpful if the Chiefs are chasing a playoff spot or favorable seeding in the postseason.

Openers don’t get any more difficult: The Chiefs face one of the most difficult assignments in their history for a season opener. They were going to have a challenge in beating the Patriots at Gillette Stadium no matter when the game was played. But on the opening Thursday night is particularly rough. Visiting teams have lost 13 of the last 14 years in the prime-time season opener. Under coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs are 3-1 in season openers, including 2-0 on the road. But those games were played against inferior opponents, not the Patriots. The Chiefs also opened on the road at New England in 2008, when the Patriots were coming off their 16-0 season.

Prime-time heaven: The Chiefs love their night home games and they’ll get three of them this year, two against AFC West rivals. That could give them an edge when it comes to defending their division title. The Chiefs went 6-0 in divisional games last season. But the Chiefs also have three prime-time games on the road, including one against the Raiders on a Thursday night. Their only loss to the Raiders in their four seasons under Reid came on a Thursday night in Oakland in 2014.

Strength of schedule: 2nd, .576

Chiefs Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)

  • Week 1: Thursday, Sept. 7, at New England, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17, Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

  • Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24, at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 4: Monday, Oct. 2, Washington, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 8, at Houston, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15, Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 7: Thursday, Oct. 19, at Oakland, 8:25 p.m.

  • Week 8: Monday, Oct. 30, Denver, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 5, at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 10: BYE

  • Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19, at NY Giants, 1 p.m.

  • Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 26, Buffalo, 1 p.m.

  • Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3, at NY Jets, 1 p.m.

  • Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10, Oakland, 1 p.m.

  • Week 15: Saturday, Dec. 16, Los Angeles Chargers, 8:25 p.m.

  • Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 24, Miami, 1 p.m.

  • Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31, at Denver, 4:25 p.m.