Nick Jacobs' season predictions: Can the Chiefs reclaim their crown?

The road to the Chiefs' redemption.
Chiefs Buccaneers Super Bowl Football
Posted at 7:10 PM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 20:33:35-04

The Kansas City Chiefs go into their fourth season with Patrick Mahomes at the helm — the Chiefs have had fruitful results with 15 under center.

The team has been to three AFC championships, won two of them and also captured the elusive Lombardi trophy. This season will revolve around the Chiefs' ability to stay healthy and limit exposure to COVID-19.

The Chiefs will arguably face a tougher challenge on their path to a title.

Kansas City will face six playoff teams in their first nine weeks. The schedule lightens up for the final eight weeks but will include some speed bumps with some AFC West foes.

Can the Chiefs find their way to Los Angeles in February? Scroll below to find out.

Week 1: vs Cleveland Browns
The Browns are coming in with vengeance on their minds. The Chiefs ended their season, and the Browns want to mentally prove to themselves they are better than that January day.

Cleveland overhauled a significant amount of their defense and might give the Chiefs some fits with minimal tape on their attack. But Kansas City’s experience in the scheme will be the difference maker.

Record: 1-0

Week 2: at Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are a team that lost some steam with the key to their offense at running back. Lamar Jackson has a big opportunity ahead of him to prove that he is no longer just a glorified scrambling quarterback that runs play-action between the numbers.

The loss of JK Dobbins will be a big problem early on for the Ravens and why I think they will struggle to find their footing.

Record: 2-0

Week 3: vs Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers' overhaul of Anthony Lynn and his coaching staff will be an interesting situation to watch throughout the season. Los Angeles previously had a defense under Gus Bradley that could slow down the Chiefs' powerful attack.

Now head coach Brandon Staley and defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill will have to answer the bell quickly. The Chiefs will have film on what they do at this point. Kansas City should have a couple of good ideas on how to attack by halftime.

Record: 3-0

Week 4: at Philadelphia Eagles
Former Chiefs quality control and wide receivers coach Nick Sirianni is now at the helm for the Eagles. Philadelphia is a team that is going to need a couple of years to establish the offense within the vision of Sirianni.

They likely don’t have the right quarterback in place at this time and will be in the early stages of building their culture. This is a game that shouldn’t be that close with their roster on offense.

Record: 4-0

Week 5: vs Buffalo Bills
Similar to the Browns, this is a game where the Bills roster will want to prove they are up to the caliber of the Chiefs. Head coach Sean McDermott spent the off-season attempting to rebuild the pass rush and offensive line.

Quarterback Josh Allen will want to showcase his talents to a national audience versus Patrick Mahomes. The Bills pass rush will determine how effective the Chiefs are in the passing game.

As of now though, Allen needs to prove he is a much more accurate passer and can handle the Chiefs blitz. And until I see that in person, I won’t be picking the Bills.

Record: 5-0

Week 6: at Washington Football Team
Andy Reid's pupil Ron Rivera is heading in the right direction with the Washington franchise. They have built a good defense and the offense got some necessary jolts in explosiveness.

Their problem is the lack of an upper-echelon quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick provides them an inconsistent journeyman signal-caller. Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen are still learning the NFL ropes.

This is a game that if the Chiefs are healthy and locked in, they can have a comfortable lead by halftime.

Record: 6-0

Week 7: at Tennessee Titans
This is the game I can see the Chiefs stumbling if the Titans don’t have any COVID-19 issues.

The Titans have a physical presence on defense. Their offense can provide a strong running attack with an explosive play-action style.

Kansas City will need to have a strong run defense at this point otherwise Derrick Henry will keep them in the game.

Record: 6-1

Week 8: vs New York Giants
The Giants offensive line still has too many question marks that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will be able to take advantage of.

Daniel Jones still has a ways to go in his maturation process at becoming an upper-echelon quarterback.

Record: 7-1

Week 9: vs Green Bay Packers
The Packers will come into Kansas City for a game the nation has been waiting for since Patrick Mahomes took the league by storm — Aaron Rodgers versus Patrick Mahomes on a nationally televised game.

Rodgers will have a chip on his shoulder to prove he is better than Mahomes and to remind the Packers why they should think twice before moving on in the off-season. This should be a high scoring game if both quarterbacks are healthy.

New Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry will lack the answers needed to stop the Chiefs.

Record: 8-1

Week 10: at Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders will have their buses ready for this game. Head coach Jon Gruden really needs a win against the Chiefs to keep his buy-in from the players afloat.

The addition of Gus Bradley as their defensive coordinator was one of the more underrated moves of the off-season. Bradley is one of the few defensive coordinators in the league that can slow down the Chiefs on a routine basis, despite his personnel offerings.

This game will be closer than fans expect. If the Raiders have a chance to surprise the Chiefs, it will be in their first match-up. The problem is they blew up in their biggest strength in the offensive line.

Kansas City comes away with a win in a close one.

Record: 9-1

Week 11: vs Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys should be in good form by this point with their offense.

If Dak Prescott has regained his form, this could be an explosive game with Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb.

Mike McCarthy is still the uninspiring head coach though.

Record: 10-1

Week 12: BYE WEEK

Week 13: vs Denver Broncos
The Broncos will have a strong defense that could cause the Chiefs problems. They just unfortunately have an awful offense to go with it.

Vic Fangio might be on the hot seat at this point with an implosion on the horizon in Denver.

Record: 11-1

Week 14: Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders gave the Chiefs their best shot in week 10, but it won’t be enough this time around.

The Chiefs will find the holes on this football team and exploit them with this much tape.

Record: 12-1

Week 15: at Los Angeles Chargers
This will be a west coast trip on a Thursday night after a physical game against an AFC West foe.

This looks like one of those losses that will sneak up on the Chiefs.

Record: 12-2

Week 16: Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers game will come down to how healthy their defense is at this point in the season and if Pittsburgh has an established run game.

I expect the Chiefs to win this game. But I see the physicality of this game taking a toll on the team.

Record: 13-2

Week 17: at Cincinnati Bengals
This will be a tough week for the Chiefs to bounce back after a physical Pittsburgh game.

I could see this being one of the surprise losses of the season.

Record: 13-3

Week 18: at Denver Broncos
The Broncos might be out of it at this point in the season with vacation on their minds.

The Chiefs will hopefully have a first-round bye locked up at this point in the season.

Record: 14-3

AFC Playoff Prediction
1. Chiefs (14-3)
2. Bills (13-4)
3. Browns (11-6)
4. Titans (10-7)
5. Patriots (10-7)
6. Chargers (10-7)
7. Dolphins (10-7)

NFC Playoff Predictions
1. Packers (13-4)
2. Bucs (12-5)
3. Rams (11-6)
4. Cowboys (10-7)
5. Seahawks (10-7)
6. Saints (10-7)
7. 49ers (9-8)

AFC Championship
Chiefs over Browns

NFC Championship
Packers over Rams

Super Bowl
Chiefs over Packers

Nick's 2019 Chiefs prediction

Nick's 2020 Chiefs prediction