After a day filled with rumors, leaks and waiting around, the Kansas City Chiefs' 2021-22 schedule has finally been released in full. The AFC champs' slate of 17 games features marquee matchups with teams including the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
In addition to facing each of their AFC West foes twice this season, the Chiefs will also square off against the NFC East, AFC North and the other 2020 first-place finishers in the AFC, the Buffalo Bills (AFC East) and Tennesee Titans (AFC South). Let's take a look at the complete schedule and predict each contest on a week-by-week basis.
Week 1: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns
In a rematch of what was a thrilling playoff matchup just a few months ago, the Cleveland Browns look to travel to Kansas City and defeat the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes should be healthy for the entirety of the game this time and while his offensive line will be far from harmonious, it will be enough to get the job done. The Browns are notorious for dropping the ball in Week 1, and they'll drop their first game of the season to a Chiefs team that's hungry for revenge on the entire NFL.
Final Score: 31-17. Chiefs Record: 1-0.
Week 2: Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
Continuing the tour against the AFC North, this Chiefs-Ravens Sunday Night Football matchup could be one of the early contenders for the best game of the year. Lamar Jackson has new weapons at his disposal this season, one being former Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Baltimore will be looking to make a statement early on but ultimately, they don't quite have what it takes to beat the Chiefs yet. In a thrilling contest, Kansas City comes out on top.
Final Score: 28-24. Chiefs Record: 2-0.
Week 3: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert had a spectacular rookie season in 2020 and the Los Angeles Chargers should be a much better team this year. That's a scary sight for the rest of the NFL, but the Chiefs are still the top dogs of the AFC West. Mahomes flexes his muscles and captains an aerial attack that proves to be too much for the Chargers to handle. This game should be close but in the end, the big brother prevails.
Final Score: 34-31. Chiefs Record: 3-0.
Week 4: Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles
Andy Reid traveling to Philadelphia to face off against his former team. What could possibly go wrong? The Eagles are investing in Jalen Hurts as their quarterback and while he has a promising set of skills, he isn't capable of keeping up with a superior opponent. Jim Schwartz's unit ranked in the bottom half of the NFL a season ago and it isn't improved enough to slow down Mahomes and company — even at home.
Final Score: 28-17. Chiefs Record: 4-0.
Week 5: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills
A rematch of this past season's AFC Championship Game is what every football fan needs, especially relatively early in the season. The Bills were accepted by many as the biggest threat to the Chiefs heading into last postseason, but now that the offseason has mostly run its course, that may no longer be the case. Buffalo hasn't done a ton to improve as of late, but they're still an excellent squad. With that said, the Chiefs having home-field advantage may be the difference in this contest.
Final Score: 27-21. Chiefs Record: 5-0.
Week 6: Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Football Team
Picking this game is fairly simple. The Washington Football Team is a quarterback away from potentially doing some damage in the NFC. Until then, it has no hopes of keeping up with a powerhouse of the Chiefs' caliber — barring an unforeseen event taking place. The Chiefs will win, but Washington's defense will make them earn it.
Final Score: 24-17. Chiefs Record: 6-0.
Week 7: Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans
As recently as a year ago, the Tennessee Titans were a trendy pick to upset the Chiefs in a postseason environment. They saw quite a bit of turnover throughout their roster this offseason, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry remain. The duo is one of the better ones in the league, and it has proven in the past that it can beat the Chiefs. I'm going to roll with the upset here, even if I don't feel great about it.
Final Score: 31-28. Chiefs Record: 6-1.
Week 8: Kansas City Chiefs vs. New York Giants
Daniel Jones has an improved supporting cast around him but even then, the Giants seem to be a major piece or two away from being a serious playoff contender. On the first leg of a set of back-to-back home games, the Chiefs get back on track. Mahomes has a field day and Jones isn't able to keep up.
Final Score: 37-24. Chiefs Record: 7-1.
Week 9: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers
The status of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers is up in the air right now, but let's assume he's still a member of the team when this matchup rolls around. If that's the case, this has the makings of an instant classic. This will be the first time Mahomes and Rodgers square off, and two of the most talented signal-callers ever live up to the hype in a shootout that will be remembered for years to come. Additionally, the Chiefs narrowly escape with a win.
Final Score: 41-37. Chiefs Record: 8-1.
Week 10: Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders had their fun against the Chiefs last season but despite being in front of a home crowd in this scenario, they won't be able to pull out the win. The Chiefs get back to what they've been known for as of late against a division rival, securing a big win on the road.
Final Score: 24-14. Chiefs Record: 9-1.
Week 11: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys will be looking to return to the playoffs as Dak Prescott comes back from a gruesome leg injury, and they very well could do so. This game won't factor into their win total, though. The Chiefs have enough to do damage against a Dallas defense that isn't quite what it was a few seasons ago. This game should be smooth sailing for KC heading into the bye.
Final Score: 31-21. Chiefs Record: 10-1
Week 12: BYE
Nothing to see here. The Chiefs get a much-needed week of rest before gearing up for the final stretch of the season.
Week 13: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos
Death, taxes and Reid coming off of a bye week. Thirteen weeks into the season, it's hard to tell whether Drew Lock will still be the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Even if he is, this is a game the Chiefs should still manage to win handily. There isn't too much to say about this contest.
Final Score: 30-17. Chiefs Record: 11-1
Week 14: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Pretty much everything I said about the previous Chiefs-Raiders matchup can be applied to this game. It'll be a bit closer this time around.
Final Score: 27-21. Chiefs Record: 12-1
Week 15: Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers
In the heat of a race for playoff positioning, the Chargers play lights out and come away with a win here. There seems to be a game or two every year that the Chiefs don't show up big for, and this is one of them. It won't be cause for concern, but rather a key win for a Los Angeles team that desperately needs it.
Final Score: 31-21. Chiefs Record: 12-2.
Week 16: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers' window for contention has shut, but they should still be a scrappy team. As long as Ben Roethlisberger is the quarterback, though, things are going to be iffy on offense. With a solid defense, Pittsburgh keeps this one close. It just isn't a favorable outcome for Mike Tomlin's squad in the end.
Final Score: 28-23. Chiefs Record: 13-2.
Week 17: Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow was great as a rookie despite being under constant duress last season in Cincinnati. The Bengals have somewhat fixed the offensive line surrounding him, which should help the offense as a whole score more points. This game comes down to which team has the advantage at quarterback and head coach. I like Burrow, but I don't like his chances against Mahomes and Reid.
Final Score: 38-28. Chiefs Record: 14-2.
Week 18: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos
The scenario for this week is that Lock is playing for yet another year as the starter in Denver and the Chiefs have locked up the top seed in the AFC heading into the postseason. It's tempting to still pick the Chiefs, but Denver likely needs this win more and has the talent to pull it off.
Final Score: 24-13. Chiefs Record: 14-3.