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Chasing perfection? A 2019 Kansas City Chiefs season prediction

Posted: 5:36 PM, Sep 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-03 18:36:09-04
Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers
Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It's Super Bowl or bust for the Kansas City Chiefs, but a reigning division champion schedule will make the road tough.

The improved AFC West also will make it more of a challenge for reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and company to lock down a four-peat.

Still, that's exactly what I expect to happen. Winning the division, of course, is always coach Andy Reid's goal as it ensures a postseason berth.

As for home-field advantage and the quest for perfection? Read on:

Week 1

Sunday, Sept. 8, at Jacksonville

Noon, CBS

Analysis: The Jaguars were among the most disappointing teams in the NFL last season (5-11), but hope springs eternal with former Chiefs backup and Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles now at the helm of the offense. They’ll be looking to make a statement against a trendy preseason pick to represent to reach the Super Bowl. The Chiefs are 8-19 in the state of Florida — 2-4 at Jacksonville, 4-11 at Miami and 2-4 at Tampa Bay — since the merger, but they’ve never had Patrick Mahomes for a game in the Sunshine State.

Chiefs’ record: 1-0

Week 2

Sunday, Sept. 15, at Oakland

3:05 p.m., CBS

Analysis: The rebuilt Raiders have assembled a more talented roster compared with last season’s 4-12 disaster, but the Jon Gruden experiment still isn’t likely to produce a playoff contender in year two. Rivalry games can be tricky and often are closer than they should be on paper, but the Chiefs are the better football team.

Chiefs’ record: 2-0

Week 3

Sunday, Sept. 22, vs. Baltimore

Noon, CBS

Analysis: Honestly, this game represents the best test for the Chiefs in the first quarter of the season. The Ravens probably should have won last year’s match up at Arrowhead Stadium were it not for Patrick Mahomes’ singular brilliance and a gutsy performance by wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Steve Spagnuolo’s defense will have its hands full with QB Lamar Jackson, but Chiefs fans should be a difference-maker in the home opener.

Chiefs’ record: 3-0

Week 4

Sunday, Sept. 29, at Detroit

Noon, Fox

Analysis: It’s the Lions. The Lions remain mired in mediocrity. Matt Stafford deserves better.

Chiefs’ record: 4-0

Week 5

Sunday, Oct. 6, vs. Indianapolis

7:20 p.m., 41 Action News (NBC)

Analysis: Honestly, before Andrew Luck announced his retirement, I thought this might be a preview of the AFC Championship Game. Now, I see it as a Chiefs romp that will lead to a fairly unproductive Monday in Kansas City. The Chiefs waxed the Colts 31-13 in last season’s AFC Divisional round and should spank them again.

Chiefs’ record: 5-0

Week 6

Sunday, Oct. 13, vs. Houston

Noon, CBS

Analysis: The Chiefs’ schedule is rugged, but most of the toughest games — or the games against teams expected to be postseason contenders in 2019 — are at home. In other words, the schedule isn’t as tough as it could be. Containing Deshaun Watson will be a challenge and DeAndre Hopkins will be a nightmare match up for a sad-sack secondary, but Morris Claiborne should be rounding into form and the Texans’ offensive line remains a problem.

Chiefs’ record: 6-0

Week 7

Thursday, Oct. 17, at Denver

7:20 p.m., Fox/NFL Network

Analysis: I don’t like this game. It’s a rivalry game on short notice on the road on the heels of a tough match up against a new coach with a very good defense. That said, Andy Reid has owned the AFC West since coming to the Chiefs and I’m not banking on a Joe Flacco renaissance in the Mile High City.

Chiefs’ record: 7-0

Week 8

Sunday, Oct. 27, vs. Green Bay

7:20 p.m., 41 Action News (NBC)

Analysis: It’s a tantalizing matchup — Mahomes and Chiefs versus Aaron Rodgers and the Packers — but really it’s Mike Pettine versus Mahomes and Steve Spagnolo versus Rodgers, if we’re being honest. Give me Mahomes and Spags at home in a must-see Sunday Night Football showdown.

Chiefs’ record: 8-0

Week 9

Sunday, Nov. 3, vs. Minnesota

Noon, Fox

Analysis: The Vikings have a physical defense and a balanced offense, but playing at Arrowhead Stadium probably makes this too tough of a game for Kirk Cousins and company to pull the upset.

Chiefs’ record: 9-0

Week 10

Sunday, Nov. 10, at Tennessee

Noon, CBS

Analysis: Who will be the Titans’ quarterback for this one? If you can’t answer the question, Tennessee doesn’t stand a chance — even if the defense may be one of the best the Chiefs face in 2019.

Chiefs’ record: 10-0

Week 11

Monday, Nov. 18, vs. Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico City

7:15 p.m., ESPN

Analysis: This is probably the earliest stud second-year safety Derwin James could return from a foot injury. The original prognosis was a three-to-four-month recovery, but it probably makes more sense to wait until the bye week — which follows the showdown with the Chiefs at altitude in Mexico City — rather than rush back a centerpiece player for the defense.

Chiefs’ record: 11-0

Week 12

Bye

Analysis: Isn’t it nice that no one has to make jokes about the Chiefs beating the bye or at least not losing this week since Andy Reid arrived? Yeah, it’s nice.

Chiefs’ record: 11-0

Week 13

Sunday, Dec. 1, vs. Oakland

Noon, CBS

Analysis: It will be interesting to see what strain another lost season (presumably) puts on the roster, which features a lot of personality that can generously be called volatile.

Chiefs’ record: 12-0

Week 14

Sunday, Dec. 8, at New England

3:25 p.m., CBS

Analysis: People were eager for a torch-passing moment last season, but Tom Brady wasn’t ready to relinquish the GOAT crown. Mahomes has a long way — and a lot of Super Bowl wins — to go before he can stake a claim, but this might be the long-anticipated passing of the NFL torch.

Chiefs’ record: 13-0

Week 15

Sunday, Dec. 15, vs. Denver

Noon, CBS

Analysis: Drew Lock won’t play. He’s on injured reserve, but Kansas State product Dalton Risner will — next to former Missouri standout Connor McGovern — so local fans have that to get excited about.

Chiefs’ record: 14-0

Week 16

Sunday, Dec. 22, at Chicago

7:20 p.m., 41 Action News (NBC)

Analysis: The Bears have a physical defense and a coach who has a good feel for Andy Reid’s system. If the Chiefs remain undefeated, the mounting weight of expectations could affect the team’s preparation. Combine that will the possible bitter cold of a night game alongside Lake Michigan and the fact that the Bears’ chase for the NFL North crown will be tighter — the bid for perfection comes to an end in a possible Super Bowl preview.

Chiefs’ record: 14-1

Week 17

Sunday, Dec. 29, vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Noon, CBS

Analysis: With the AFC West crown and home-field advantage wrapped up, the Chiefs and Chargers will once again play a meaningless final game of the season. The only drama here is whether Chad Henne or Matt Moore will get the start.

Chiefs’ record: 14-2