2017 Kansas City Chiefs game-by-game predictions

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs may well be better than last season and wind up with an inferior record than their 12-4 from 2016 because of a difficult schedule. The .576 cumulative 2016 winning percentage of their opponents this season is second in the league.

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

The Chiefs have a lot to overcome in order to collect a victory. They have to beat the defending Super Bowl champions, and they have to break the trend of the home team winning in the prime-time openers. The road team has lost in this game in 13 of the last 14 seasons. Record: 0-1

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17, vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. ET

The rematch between Andy Reid’s new and old teams comes early. The Chiefs beat the Eagles 26-16 in Philadelphia in 2013, and they’ll notch another win in their home opener. Record: 1-1

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

The Chiefs face their longtime rivals in Los Angeles for the first time since 1960. The Chiefs won their final three games played in San Diego, and they’ll start a winning streak in L.A. Record: 2-1

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

Monday Night Football returns to Arrowhead Stadium for the first time since 2014 when the Chiefs routed the New England Patriots on a most festive night in Kansas City. The party continues with a win over Washington. Record: 3-1

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

Another difficult road assignment for the Chiefs, who won twice at Houston in 2015 but lost at the Texans last season. The Chiefs won’t quite get the victory this year. Record: 3-2

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15, vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 4:25 p.m. ET

The home victory over the Steelers comes a year too late for the Chiefs. They would have preferred it come in last year’s playoffs. Record: 4-2

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

History will repeat. The Chiefs’ only loss to the Raiders in four seasons coached by Andy Reid happened in a Thursday night game in Oakland in 2014. Record: 4-3

Week 8: Monday, Oct. 30, vs. Denver Broncos, 8:30 p.m. ET

The Chiefs are facing the Broncos in prime time at home for the fifth straight season. That’s a big break and will pay off with a victory. Record: 5-3

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

The Chiefs will get their first look at the offensive tandem of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. They won’t have enough to stop both of them. Record: 5-4

Week 10: Bye

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19, at New York Giants, 1 p.m. ET

The previous week’s bye should help. But this ends a stretch of five games out of six against a 2016 playoff team. That will wear on the Chiefs, who will lose in back-to-back games for the first time this season. Record: 5-5

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 26, vs. Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. ET

The schedule takes a decidedly easier turn starting here. The Chiefs will get things started with a victory. Record: 6-5

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3, at New York Jets, 1 p.m. ET

The Chiefs will collect their first road victory since Week 3. Record: 7-5

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10, vs. Oakland Raiders, 1 p.m. ET

The Chiefs will win the rematch against their toughest division rivals. Record: 8-5

Week 15: Saturday, Dec. 16, vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 8:30 p.m. ET

More night football in December in Kansas City, where the Chiefs played host to two prime-time home games last year. They won both of those games, too. Record: 9-5

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 24, vs. Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m. ET

The Chiefs are undoubtedly happy to see the visitors from South Florida in late December in Kansas City, where the weather won’t be tropical. Record: 10-5

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

The Chiefs will win the AFC West for the second straight season by again tying with the Raiders but claiming the title on a tiebreaker. Record: 11-5