The Kansas City Chiefs will open the NFL Regular season on Thursday night against the up-and-coming Detroit Lions. It’s a game that continues an unprecedented string of success by this franchise that has a singular goal in mind. With two Super Bowls in hand, five straight AFC Title games at Arrowhead, and eight consecutive AFC West Crowns, the 2023 season might be the most challenging yet. As the hunted, they’ll need to bring their ‘A’ game to keep those streaks alive.
Week 1 (TNF): Lions vs. Chiefs – As the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs get to open the NFL Regular season as a tribute to their recent Lombardi Trophy success. The Thursday night matchup against the upstart, Detroit Lions, should pose a few problems for KC. The biggest obstacle for the Chiefs will be their ability to avoid a Super Bowl hangover. Too often last season the Chiefs ended up in close games because the offense took a bit to get going.
The Lions have a young defense and are led by superstar pass rusher, Aiden Hutchinson, and a competent quarterback in Jared Goff. The Chiefs open the season with two new tackles in Jawaan Taylor and Donovan Smith and some young depth at wide receiver. Add all that up for the opener, and I find it hard to believe the Chiefs celebratory season debut ends in a loss. This game is for the fans, who were shackled in celebrating Super Bowl LIV because of Covid restrictions. That won’t be the case in the opener, and I can’t see the players letting them down.
Score: Chiefs 34 – Lions 21
Week 2: Chiefs vs. Jaguars – In last year’s AFC Divisional round, the Jacksonville Jaguars nearly upset the Kansas City Chiefs. With Patrick Mahomes hobbling, the Jaguars kept the game close until Superman led KC on an impressive fourth-quarter drive, and the defense created two big turnovers, that sealed the win for the boys in red. Fast forward to 2023, the Chiefs will go on the road to face the Jaguars, in what will be their home debut, to face the team, I feel has the best chance to derail the Chiefs Super Bowl aspirations.
Trevor Lawrence has come full circle as an NFL starting quarterback. After the debacle that was the brief Urban Meyer era, Doug Pederson arrived a year ago and put the franchise back on the map. He guided them to a division crown and a playoff win. The former Chiefs coach knows facing Kansas City, who beat them twice last year, presents a challenge. Pederson has constructed a brilliant offense, surrounding Lawrence with some of the best receivers and running backs in the AFC. On the flip side, the Jaguars defense can hang with any offense. Still, I’m not sure the Jaguars are ready this early in the season to upset Kansas City.
Score: Chiefs 31 – Jaguars 27
Week 3: Bears vs. Chiefs – The Chicago Bears come to Arrowhead with an improved offense and a fast defense. Led by Quarterback, Justin Fields, the Bears are looking to bounce back from a difficult 2022 season. They had their moments, but they relied too much on Fields to make plays with his legs and not his arm. Yes, he’ll always be a run-first quarterback, but he can stand in the pocket and deliver strikes. He has a trio of outstanding wide receivers D.J. Moore, Chase Claypool, and Darnell Mooney. On defense, they are fast, young, and hungry.
For the Chiefs this is a trap game. Last year against weaker NFL teams, Kansas City would allow upset-minded teams to stick around long enough to create some angst on the sidelines. This year, if the Chiefs are going to avoid that same pattern, soundly defeating a team like the Bears in your home stadium should not be a problem.
Score: Chiefs 40 – Bears 17
Week 4 (SNF): Chiefs vs. Jets – In what will be one of the better matchups on the NFL slate this season, Patrick Mahomes will finally get his chance to face Aaron Rogers in live action. Over the years, the two have never been able to hook up on the field, but with Rogers exit from Green Bay to New York, the All-State Brothers will finally be on the same field. The Jets have one of the game’s best defenses, and Rogers arm still has some juice. The issue for the Jets chance to find success this season relies on their poorly constructed offensive line. Yet they have a talented backfield and a plethora of wide receiver options that make them a favorite to make the playoffs. If Rogers can hold up this season.
The Chiefs on the other hand, never play well in the state of New York. Yes, I’m old enough to remember most of those losses. In fact, the last time Kansas City won in the state, Priest Holmes was the starting running back. This primetime matchup should be a barn burner. KC’s defense generally struggles against quick-release quarterbacks like Rogers, though the Chiefs young secondary is extremely talented. However, playing at home in what is their biggest game of the season, I think Rogers gets the best of Mahomes. Perhaps the outcome will be different in their postseason rematch.
Score: Jets 37- Chiefs 27
Week 5: Chiefs vs. Vikings – Hate to be a downer on the Chiefs after a beatdown by the Jets, but playing back-to-back games in New York and Minnesota, remains another house of horrors for Kansas City. Thus, my optimism level remains pessimistic the Chiefs won’t avoid a two-game losing streak. The Vikings are led by Quarterback, Kirk Cousins and a stacked offensive unit led by Wide Receiver, Justin Jefferson. They should easily win the NFC North this year, and their quarterback has the talent to pick apart the Chiefs defense.
Mahomes has never played a regular season game in Minnesota. In fact, Kansas City has not won in Minnesota since 1996. Sometimes things don’t make sense, and the Chiefs generally don’t lose consecutive games. For me, this is a very difficult matchup for Kansas City. If Cousins is on, and the Vikings defensive pressure can break down KC’s offensive line, it could be a long day for the Chiefs. However, Mahomes is the ‘X’ factor in this game, and we’ve all seen him turn the bleakest of moments into his very best. So, I’m going to buck the trend and give the last ball to the Chiefs.
Score: Chiefs 28 – Vikings 27
Week 6 (TNF): Broncos vs. Chiefs – Over the next three weeks, the Chiefs and Broncos will face each other twice. Not a fan of the quirk in the schedule but the NFL had their reasons. For the Chiefs, coming off two very difficult road games, and the chance to play Denver at home will be a welcome event for the team. This hasn’t been much of a rivalry lately with the Chiefs winning 15 straight meetings.
The Broncos are a team searching for answers. Quarterback, Russell Wilson was a bust a year ago, and Head Coach Sean Payton was brought in to fix the mighty mess he inherited. I’m not sure these two are the right fit, but by week 6, we’re going to have a good idea as to how well this pairing has adapted to Payton’s vision. For the Chiefs, they just need to be steady and take care of business.
Score: Chiefs 33 – Broncos 16
Week 7 Chargers vs. Chiefs – In two games last year, these teams played down to the wire, and in the end Kansas City made the plays in the fourth quarter to seal the win. This year the Chargers have a new offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore who was jettisoned from the Dallas Cowboys last season. However, the Chargers still have the same head coach Brandon Staley. In my view, with the plethora of talent he’s had on his roster the last three years, it never fails that his Chargers crash at season’s end.
This year, Moore should steady the ship, and quarterback, Justin Herbert fresh off a new contract, has a trio of wide receivers in Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and TCU rookie, Quentin Johnston to play shootout football. Add that trio with running back Austin Ekeler, and there is no reason they can’t be a playoff team. For the Chiefs, they’ve always struggled in these games, but manage to pull out the win in the end. To date, this will be their toughest home game.
Score: Chiefs 27 – Chargers 24
Week 8: Chiefs vs. Broncos – The two teams just saw each other the week before last, and both probably have a better understanding of what each team can and can’t do from their previous face-off. I won’t dive into this matchup too deeply, but I do think the Broncos end the Chiefs winning streak. I think it’s much easier to play the rematch so close to one another as the home team. This win will likely be the teams Super Bowl, but they won’t carry it into a playoff spot.
Score: Broncos 27 – Chiefs 21
Week 9 (NFLN) Dolphins vs. Chiefs – This home game was moved to Germany and I’m sure plenty of Chiefs fans were not happy they could not razz former All-World Receiver, Tyreek Hill at Arrowhead. However, the NFL likes to create drama and then maximize that into money. This is one of the top five games of the season, and it could be a wild game.
We have no idea if Tua Tagovailoa will be available in this game. If he does make the Germany trip, that means he’s got his offense humming with Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Braxton Berrios. Now offensive line might be an issue depending on the health of Left Tackle, Terron Armstead, but make no mistake about it, the Dolphins have the playmakers on offense, and a terrific defense that can defeat the Chiefs. In the end, though, I think this game ends in an overtime nailbiter.
Score: Chiefs 33-Dolphins 30 (OT)
Week 10 – BYE WEEK
Week 11 Eagles vs. Chiefs (MNF) – In a rematch of Super Bowl LVII, the Eagles and Chiefs resume their rivalry this time at Arrowhead. Coming off their Bye Week, Head Coach, Andy Reid has been masterful. If he expects to win this game though, he’ll have to play a near-perfect contest. Not that the Chiefs are an inferior team to the Eagles, but revenge is big for the boys from Philly.
The entire offseason many of the Eagles players commented regarding the poor footing in Arizona. However, in each statement to the press or social media, they never talk about how many times the Chiefs player fell to the ground. The Eagles are a very good football team, who face a much tougher schedule than last season. Yet, something tells me Eagles Quarterback, Jalen Hurts is going to play the best game of his career to upset Kansas City.
Score: Eagles 41-Chiefs 33
Week 12: Chiefs vs. Raiders – Patrick Mahomes has never lost a road game in Las Vegas. Now I’m not sure you can call it a true road game, because generally, Chiefs fans make up about half of the Allegiant Stadium crowd. As for the game, the Raiders jettisoned quarterback, Derek Carr, and brought in former San Francisco signal caller, Jimmy Garoppolo to run Josh McDaniels complex offense. Even at New England McDaniels struggled at times to defeat the Chiefs.
This season, the Raiders though might be better than a year ago. After all, they have one of the game’s best receiver wide receiver and running back combo in Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs. They’ve each had their moments against Kansas City, but in the end, they just don’t have enough to finish the job. I find it highly unlikely the Chiefs, in front of a Kansas City-friendly crowd, the Chiefs don’t win this game easily.
Score: Chiefs 48 – Raiders 26
Week 13: Chiefs at Packers (MNF) – The rematch of Super Bowl I combatants won’t mean nearly as much as it did five and half decades ago, but these are two of the most respected and decorated franchises in the NFL. With Arron Rogers gone, Jordan Love has taken over the reins of the quarterback duties in Green Bay. It’s far too early in his career to judge if he’s an NFL-level quarterback, who can win a division and find success in January, but he clearly has something.
For the Chiefs at this stage of the season, AFC seating is their top priority. Getting the top overall seed in the conference has proven to be very beneficial for Kansas City. The Packers have question marks on both sides of the ball with young talented playmakers that have yet to take the next step. At this point of the season though I give a big edge to the Chiefs, who will come from behind to defeat the upset-minded Packers.
Score: Chiefs 33 – Packers 32
Week 14: Bills vs. Chiefs – Over the last month of the season, the Chiefs face the AFC’s very best in the Bills and Bengals. Fortunately, both games are at Arrowhead. The Bills are the mystery AFC team this season. They had a very tumultuous off-season, Quarterback Josh Allen is on the Madden Cover, and some suspect coaching moves including the firing of Defensive Coordinator, Leslie Frazier, have put the Bills teetering on the playoff edge.
Personally, I think the Bills are going to rebuild after the season. However, if they are in the playoff race, they won’t be intimidated by the Arrowhead crowd. The two teams played an epic divisional matchup in 2021, but with Allen under center, the Bills have beaten the Chiefs twice at home during the regular season. If this is a must-win for Buffalo, I can see them pulling out all the stops. In the end though, Mahomes magic continues.
Score Chiefs 38 – Bills 35
Week 15 (MNF): Chiefs vs. Patriots – Kansas City has generally struggled in New England, but that was back in the Tom Brady era. New England has an interesting roster, that’s playing in the toughest division in the AFC. It’s hard to predict what type of team New England will be in the last quarter of the season, but quarterback Mac Jones had a solid preseason. With Bill O’Brien returning as offensive coordinator, he has some weapons including former Chiefs Wide Receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Devante Parker that can create openings.
On defense, the mastery of Bill Belichick remains as solid as ever. In a one-game matchup, he can devise schemes that thwart high-powered offenses like the Chiefs. Yet, that success depends solely on how their offense rises to the challenge of matching points with Mahomes. At this stage, the Patriots might be in the wild card hunt, or they could be looking toward the 2024 draft.
Score: Chiefs 41 – Patriots 17
Week 16: Raiders vs. Chiefs – I can’t think of a better Christmas Day game than this old AFC West rivalry, that hopefully includes fresh snowfall on the turf. Regardless, Arrowhead will be rocking in Santa suits; the atmosphere will be electric, and hopefully, a barn burner type of game that will bring the Chiefs a victory. In this rematch, honestly, I can’t see Kansas City laying a late-season egg in front of their home crowd. Merry Christmas everyone!
Score: Chiefs 29 – Raiders 17
Week 17: Bengals vs. Chiefs – If the Kansas City Chiefs are as good as I have predicted at this stage of the season, this game really isn’t critical to their post-season aspirations. I don’t see the Bengals being as good as they’ve been in the last two years. Joe Burrow is starting the 2023 season with a leg injury, and you never know if it’ll reoccur at some point. The Bengals defense is outstanding, but they lost some key parts, and finding lesser replacements was their only choice in the offseason.
Now they did sign former Chiefs Left Tackle, Orlando Brown, Jr. but based on what I saw from him in Kansas City for two seasons, I’d be worried if he was my starter protecting my franchise quarterback. Yet, Burrow has the best trio of wide receivers in the NFL Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. Heading into this game, those three had some good and bad moments in last year’s AFC Championship contest where Kansas City won on a last-second field goal. At this stage, with a division on the line for Cincinnati, I think they might have the edge in this rematch.
Score: Bengals 33 – Chiefs 26
Week 18: Chiefs vs. Chargers – The last game of the season should be a game the Chiefs rest their starters. At this stage, or probably closer to week 16, they’ve wrapped up the AFC and are a lock for the #1 seed. If NOT, then this game could be vital to the Chiefs ability to remain at home during the playoffs. Now to be honest, part of me wants to see Mahomes on the road in the playoffs, but I don’t think the Chargers can derail Kansas City from attempting to host their sixth straight AFC title game at Arrowhead.
Score: Chiefs 41 – Chargers 24