We’ve known for three months the teams the Kansas City Chiefs would play in 2016 and where those games would take place. There’s still nothing like seeing those games in order, with dates and kickoff times attached, to provide some clarity to what it all means.
At first glance and even now, after having a few hours to digest it, the overwhelming thought about the slate of games given to the Chiefs: This is a schedule they can win with.
The Chiefs have some grounds for complaint. They were handed another unbalanced schedule and will finish with three of the final four games at Arrowhead Stadium for the second straight season. They will go without a home game for a month, from Sept. 25 to Oct. 23. That’s prime time for football in Kansas City, between summer’s heat and winter’s cold.
The schedule has little pockets of concern. They have a five-game stretch in the middle of the season in which they’ll play road games against Indianapolis (where the Chiefs rarely win) and both of last year’s Super Bowl teams, Carolina and Denver.
Any team can look to at least one corner of its schedule and wonder what it might have done to tick off the NFL. That’s part of the deal and part of what makes the whole thing fun.
All a team can really ask for from the NFL is a schedule that gives them a chance. It’s a safe bet the Chiefs won’t open their season by playing six eventual playoff teams over the first seven games, as they did last season.
So the NFL has done its part. The Chiefs won’t get buried by their schedule, as they almost did last season. They should get to December with at least a chance.
If they don’t, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.