Some thoughts before schedule release

They already know the teams they play, and where those games will be played. In a matter of hours, the Kansas City Chiefs will also know dates and times for their 2014 regular-season games.

Here are a few things to look for when the schedule is released at 7 p.m. CT.

  • Based off last year’s records of this season’s opponents, the Chiefs have the seventh most difficult schedule in the league. Their opponents had a winning percentage of .559 last year. But keep in mind that what looks like a difficult schedule now doesn’t always turn out to be one. The Detroit Lions entered last season with what by this measure was the league’s second most difficult schedule. As things played out, the Lions had the fourth easiest schedule in the league.

  • The combination of the Chiefs coming off an 11-win season and playing an attractive schedule has to mean more prime-time games for Kansas City this year. Last year, they received the Thursday game that all other teams did and had their game in Denver flexed to a Sunday night. Given a schedule that includes two games against Denver and San Diego and singles with Seattle, San Francisco and New England, it seems reasonable to think the Chiefs would have a couple games on Sunday or Monday night. It’s also time for the Chiefs to have at least one of these games at Arrowhead Stadium. It’s almost as if the NFL has been going out of its way not to showcase Arrowhead. The Chiefs’ last four prime-time games have been played on the road. The last such game at Arrowhead, on Nov. 27, 2011 against Pittsburgh, is notable for another reason. It was their last home game before Todd Haley was fired as their head coach.

  • With the Royals on the road on Sept. 7, the opening Sunday of the season, look for the Chiefs to open the season with a home game. The Royals occupy the Truman Sports Complex the next two weekends, so the only other realistic option is to give the Chiefs one of those prime-time home games in week 2 or week 3.

  • The Chiefs are due to finish their regular season at home. They’ve ended with a road game in three straight seasons and in six of the last seven.

  • For some reason, and perhaps this is just coincidence, but the NFL likes to give the Chiefs a three-game homestand. The Chiefs have had home games on three consecutive weekends in three of the last four seasons and maybe they’ll have one again this year. The Chiefs haven’t played three straight games on the road since 2000.

  • As a reminder, the Chiefs’ home opponents: Denver, Oakland, San Diego, New England, New York Jets, Tennessee, St. Louis, Seattle. Road opponents: Denver, Oakland, San Diego, Buffalo, Miami, Pittsburgh, Arizona, San Francisco.