The 2019 regular season schedule was released by the NFL on Wednesday. Kansas City has five total primetime games in 2019, two of which will be played at Arrowhead Stadium. There will also be a total of seven games against six playoff teams from last year (Chargers x2, Patriots, Ravens, Texans, Colts, Bears). Patrick Mahomes has just one goal to follow up his MVP season, that is to win the Super Bowl. How much of the plenty of changes to the defensive players and defensive staff help him achieve that? Now, let’s take a look at the matchups on the schedule.
Week 1: at Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday September 8, Noon CT
The Chiefs head to Jacksonville to kick things off, against a Jaguars team who made a significant change to the sport’s most important position at QB. Nick Foles signed for 4 years/$88 million and the expectations are high for Jacksonville. How much will Foles be able to find the success he recently had in Philadelphia in a different uniform? That remains to be seen, but it will be a fun matchup for a new look Chiefs defense right off the bat.
Week 2: at Oakland Raiders, Sunday September 15, 3:05pm CT
It turns out the Raiders will still be playing at the Oakland Coliseum this season before moving to Vegas likely in 2020. The Raiders spent a ton of money during free agency bringing in Tyrell Williams and Lamarcus Joyner among others. They also made offensive tackle Trent Brown the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history with a 4 year/$66 million deal. Yet the acquisition that made the biggest news, was the trade that netted them wide receiver Antonio Brown from the Steelers. Brown, a seven time Pro-Bowler and four time All-Pro, brings seven 1,000 yard receiving seasons to the team. How will his production look with Derek Carr as his quarterback? For the Chiefs first division game of the year, their biggest rivals look to show off these new toys in Oakland.
Week 3: vs Baltimore Ravens, Sunday September 22, Noon CT
For the second straight season, the Chiefs will wait to play their home opener until Week 3. The matchup at home against the Ravens last year proved to be one of the best games of the season. The Ravens threw all they had at the Chiefs, but Mahomes led his team with plenty of big time throws to eventually get an overtime victory. The famous 4th and 9 throw by Mahomes across his body stands as one of the biggest plays of last season and we can’t forget the no look pass from that contest as well.
This season, the Ravens are continuing to transition their team with Lamar Jackson as the starting quarterback. They have brought in Mark Ingram and Earl Thomas in free agency. Seeing Steve Spagnuolo‘s aggressive style against the dual threat style of Jackson could be the determining factor in this early season contest.
Week 4: at Detroit Lions, Sunday September 29, Noon CT
Will the Lions be able to take a step forward in head coach Matt Patricia‘s second season? It won’t be easy as the NFC North looks like the toughest NFC division, top to bottom. The Chiefs run defense from last year would likely have had a tough time against Kerryon Johnson and newly signed CJ Anderson. But let’s see how well this year’s defense can defend the run against these hard to bring down ball carriers. This matchup will be interesting on the road in Detroit, sandwiched between the Ravens and Colts matchups.
Week 5: vs Indianapolis Colts, Sunday October 6, 7:20pm CT
The first of five primetime matchups for the Chiefs will be a rematch of last year’s Divisional Round playoff game. The Chiefs won their first home playoff game in a quarter century in that game last season. Justin Houston, who the Chiefs released in the offseason, will be returning to Arrowhead as a member of the Colts. Indianapolis surprised some people with their success last season. This year, their expectations have grown, making for a big Sunday Night matchup here to kickoff October.
Week 6: vs Houston Texans, Sunday October 13, Noon CT
One week after hosting an AFC South team, the Chiefs host another the next week. Deshaun Watson and Mahomes could build a compelling rivalry for the future. Yet, they have not faced each other in a regular season game so far. While the Texans have had made the playoffs in many consecutive years, they did not win a playoff game last year and have not had much success. How will they be looking coming heading into this one at Arrowhead? Plus, newly signed defensive leader Tyrann Mathieu will go up against the team he played for last season.
Week 7: at Denver Broncos, Thursday October 17, 7:20pm CT
The Chiefs first matchup against the Broncos on the year will be on a short week trip to Denver. The Broncos only used Case Keenum at quarterback for one season, and out of all people they traded for… Joe Flacco? Now they could still draft a quarterback until they get it right, but what will Flacco bring to the table that Denver thinks he can to improve? There’s also a new head coach at the helm for Denver, as Vic Fangio was hired shortly after last season. Despite the Chiefs success against the division the last few years, these Thursday night games are the ones that seem to catch Kansas City off guard. The Chiefs have won 23 of their last 26 AFC West opponents, and all three of those losses have come on Thursday nights.
Week 8: vs Green Bay Packers, Sunday October 27, 7:20pm CT
In a matchup where you have Aaron Rodgers against Mahomes, two signal callers who have been described as having the same styles or abilities, I’m glad this game is in primetime. The Packers will come to Arrowhead with a new head coach. This is the first time Green Bay will enter a season with anyone other than Mike McCarthy as head coach since 2005 when Mike Sherman led the way. New head coach Matt LaFleur has no head coaching experience, but he’s the one chosen to get the Packers back to the postseason. This game will be at a point in the season where we’ll really know what types of teams these two are.
Week 9: vs Minnesota Vikings, Sunday November 3, Noon CT
The Vikings have achieved some success under Mike Zimmer over the last five seasons. They even gave Kirk Cousins a mega contract at 3 years/$84 million before last season. But, it’s well documented how much Cousins can fall flat in big games. The Vikings fell flat in big time games last year against the Rams, Saints, Bears, Patriots and Seahawks. So how will they do in this matchup against an AFC Super Bowl contender at Kansas City?
Week 10: at Tennessee Titans, Sunday November 10, Noon CT
While the Titans have underachieved at times recently, head coach Mike Vrabel has brought a new energy to this team. The Titans can also pull off huge wins at home against playoff caliber teams at least a couple of times a year. And with the Chiefs heading to Mexico the next week, this will have to be a game that Kansas City can’t have sneak up on them.
Week 11: at Los Angeles Chargers (Mexico City), Monday November 18, 7:15pm CT
Last season, the Chiefs scheduled trip to Mexico didn’t go as planned. Due to poor field conditions at Estadio Azteca, the game was moved to the Los Angeles Coliseum. It was still a game for the ages, but the Chiefs wound up on the wrong side of things. This year they’ll try to do the Mexico trip again, where they will face against the archrival Chargers for the first time on the season. The Chargers are expected to be going neck and neck with the Chiefs for the division crown again this season. It was close last year, and this year could be the same way.
Week 12: BYE WEEK
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Week 13: vs Oakland Raiders, Sunday December 1, Noon CT
The Raiders have not won in Kansas City with Carr as their quarterback. Yet it also always seems like the Raiders come to Kansas City late in the season. So, the wins over the Raiders have proved to be elevating near the end of the season for the Chiefs heading into the postseason. Coming off a bye will help as well, as Andy Reid has great history coming off the bye week.
Week 14: at New England Patriots, Sunday December 8, 3:25pm CT
The rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game will be at the most crucial point of the season: December. While the Patriots won both matchups against the Chiefs last season, Kansas City did just win in New England a couple of years ago. They also fought back after slow starts in both games. This year they need a faster start in what will likely be a monumental game in determining the AFC Playoff Picture.
Week 15: vs Denver Broncos, Sunday December 15, Noon CT
Like the Raiders, the Chiefs have enjoyed success at home against the Broncos the last few years. Once Peyton Manning retired, the Chiefs fortunes took a 180 against this rival. Will the Broncos still be fighting for a playoff spot at this point in the season? Even if they aren’t, they’ll likely want to throw a monkey wrench into the Chiefs late season hopes in this one.
Week 16: at Chicago Bears, Sunday December 22, 7:20pm CT
This is one of the more fun matchups on the whole Chiefs schedule this season. The Bears enjoyed prominence and a playoff berth for the first time in eight years last season. While they ultimately lost in the Wild Card round, Chicago has built a pretty exciting roster to watch. Like the Texans matchup, this game will feature a pair of quarterbacks drafted in the first round of 2017. Mitch Trubisky was selected second overall that year, eight spots ahead of Mahomes. Also, Andy Reid will go head to head with one of his former disciples in Bears head coach Matt Nagy.
Week 17: vs Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday December 29, Noon CT
As mentioned, these two teams could be in a tight race for the AFC West crown once again this year. Will this game ended up being played for the division title at Arrowhead? Even if it’s not, both teams will want to finish the season finale on a high note and win it all costs to best the other.
While we still wait for Week 1 to get here, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage for more NFL coverage.
https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.