2018 Kansas City Chiefs game-by-game predictions

The most difficult portion of the Kansas City Chiefs' schedule comes in the first six games, which includes four on the road. The schedule eases considerably after that. The Chiefs will play just one playoff team from 2017 over their final 10 games and finish with three of their last four games at Arrowhead Stadium.

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 9, at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. ET

The Chiefs have won eight straight against the Chargers, five times by double-digit margins. The streak continues, but just barely. Record: 1-0.

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 16, at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m. ET

The Chiefs haven’t won in Pittsburgh since 1986. They won’t be able to overcome all that bad history. Record: 1-1.

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23, vs. San Francisco 49ers, 1 p.m. ET

Alex Smith was the 49ers quarterback the last time they played in Kansas City, in 2010. Much has changed since, but the result won’t. Record: 2-1.

Week 4: Monday, Oct. 1, at Denver Broncos, 8:15 p.m. ET

The Chiefs have won three straight in Denver, but victory came only on a field goal on the last play in each of the last two seasons. It’s the Broncos’ turn on their home field. Record: 2-2.

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET

The Jaguars almost beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead two years ago, when they had a bad team. Jacksonville is no longer a joke. Record: 2-3.

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 14, at New England Patriots, 8:20 p.m. ET

The Chiefs pulled out a win in a memorable game in New England in prime time last year. It’s too much to ask for that to happen again. Record: 2-4.

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 21, vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET

The Chiefs’ schedule eases considerably with the arrival of this game. The Chiefs will take advantage. Record: 3-4.

Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 28, vs. Denver Broncos, 1 p.m. ET

The last five games at Arrowhead between these teams have been in prime time. The Chiefs will continue their modest winning streak in the daylight. Record: 4-4.

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4, at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. ET

Browns GM John Dorsey, fired last year by the Chiefs, gets to watch the quarterback he so boldly moved up to draft for Kansas City in 2017. He’ll wish Patrick Mahomes II played for the Browns. Record: 5-4.

Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 11, vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1 p.m. ET

Sam Bradford is 1-0 at Arrowhead, but that win came in the Big 12 championship game in 2008, when he played for Oklahoma. Things will be different this time. Record: 6-4.

Week 11: Monday, Nov. 19, vs. Los Angeles Rams (in Mexico City), 8:15 p.m. ET

Marcus Peters will be motivated to beat the team that traded him. He might even attempt to make a tackle or two. Record: 6-5.

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2, at Oakland Raiders, 4:05 p.m. ET

Jon Gruden lost his first three games against the Chiefs in his previous time coaching the Raiders. He’ll get off to a similar start against Kansas City this time. Record: 7-5.

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. ET

Joe Flacco is 3-0 all time against the Chiefs, with two wins coming at Arrowhead. But there’s a first time for everything. Record: 8-5.

Week 15: Thursday, Dec. 13, vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 8:20 p.m. ET

The Chiefs’ long winning streak against the Chargers comes to an end, putting Kansas City’s playoff hopes in danger. Record: 8-6.

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23, at Seattle Seahawks, 8:20 p.m. ET

The teams played a classic, hard-fought game at Arrowhead the last time they met, in 2014. Record: 8-7.

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, vs. Oakland Raiders, 1 p.m. ET

The Chiefs get the win in their final game and a sweep of the Raiders. But will that be enough to put them in the playoffs? Record: 9-7.