Kansas City Chiefs' 2022 schedule: A slow start won't cut it this time

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs 2022 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL slate Thursday.

The 2022 NFL season will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 8 with the Buffalo Bills against the defending champion Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. ESPN opens its schedule with Monday Night Football on Sept. 12 featuring the Denver Broncos at the Seattle Seahawks.

The final regular-season games for the 2022 season will be played Jan. 8, 2023. The playoffs begin Jan. 14 and continue through Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona.

Here's what's in store for the Chiefs:


Sept. 11: at Arizona

Sept. 15: vs. L.A. Chargers (TNF)

Sept. 25: at Indianapolis

Oct. 2: at Tampa Bay (SNF)

Oct. 10: vs. Las Vegas (MNF)

Oct. 16: vs. Buffalo

Oct. 23: at San Francisco

Oct. 30: Bye

Nov. 6: vs. Tennessee (SNF)

Nov. 13: Jacksonville

Nov. 20: at L.A. Chargers

Nov. 27: vs. L.A. Rams

Dec. 4: at Cincinnati

Dec. 11: at Denver (SNF)

Dec. 18: at Houston

Dec. 24: Seattle

Jan. 2: Denver

Jan. 7 or 8: at Las Vegas

Strength of schedule: T-5th, .533

Chiefs | Tickets

Biggest takeaway

This is a difficult schedule. Measuring by opponents' expected wins, the Chiefs have the toughest schedule in the league, by far. A slow start, as the Chiefs had last year when they began 3-4, won't cut it this time. The problem with getting out quickly is that the Chiefs open with three of four on the road, including a game at Tampa Bay, and then come home to play the Bills. The Chiefs need to be on point from the start to successfully navigate this stretch.

Revenge game

Beating Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football in Week 4 won't make up for Brady's 3-0 record against the Chiefs in the postseason, including a victory in Super Bowl LV. But it will provide the Chiefs a measure of satisfaction, particularly since Brady and the Bucs dominated the game in that Super Bowl following the 2020 season. A win would also allow Patrick Mahomes to even his career record against Brady at 3-3, with all of the victories coming in the regular season.

What the oddsmakers think

The oddsmakers have the Chiefs' win total at 10.5. The Chiefs have won at least 12 games in each of the past four seasons. But they haven't played a schedule quite as difficult as the one they will face this season, after each of their AFC West rivals loaded up through free agency and trades. The Chiefs can hit the over if they survive an opening six-game stretch that includes two division games plus matchups with the Bills and Bucs.

Bold prediction

The Chiefs will go 5-1 in AFC West games. They'll split with the Chargers -- each team winning on its home field -- but will sweep the Broncos -- making it 15 straight wins in the series -- and the Raiders.