KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Now that the 2021 NFL regular season schedule is out and tickets for the regular season are on sale with GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium expected to be at full capacity, the Kansas City Chiefs season feels like it is right around the corner.
Training camp is a few months away, however, and the regular season won’t kick off until September, so in the mean time, we break down every regular season matchup for the 2021 season.
The Chiefs are coming off a Super Bowl LV loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their second consecutive championship appearance and will be looking to make it three in a row in the new 17-game season.
Week 1 – vs Cleveland Browns
The Chiefs and the rest of the AFC West matchup with the AFC North in 2021. Three teams from the AFC North made the playoffs and all three had at least 11 wins.
To kick off the season, it’s a rematch of the divisional round of last year’s playoffs and the Cleveland Browns come to Kansas City seeking revenge for their early exit.
These two teams could also see each other again down the line in the playoffs, so an early look could bode well for both sides.
The Browns added to their already stacked defense by bringing in edge rusher Jadaveon Clowney to compliment First-Team All Pro defensive end Myles Garrett.
A great test early for the revamped Chiefs offensive line that added several huge pieces this offseason.
Week 2 – at Baltimore Ravens – Sunday Night Football
Continuing in the AFC North, one of the most exciting matchups to watch in the last few seasons with some of the most electric young quarterbacks in the league.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs travel to Baltimore to take on Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.
Head-to-head, it hasn’t been much of a rivalry as Mahomes is 3-0 against Jackson, however, when these two signal callers hit the field, fireworks are sure to come with it.
Another potential playoff matchup that we could see in January.
Week 3 – vs Los Angeles Chargers
Divisional play starts when the Los Angeles Chargers pay a visit to the five-time defending AFC champs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Last season, then-rookie quarterback Justin Herbert burst onto the NFL scene in week 2 when he found out he was starting minutes before kickoff.
In that matchup, the teams traded blows and went into overtime with the Chiefs coming out on top, behind a long field goal by Harrison Butker.
Herbert broke just about every rookie quarterback record in his first year and will be looking to continue on that success with a new coach and turn it into wins.
Week 4 – at Philadelphia Eagles
The AFC West will play the NFC East in 2021. A division whose winner, Washington Football Team, posted a 7-9 record.
However, it sets up a nice homecoming for head coach Andy Reid to Philadelphia. As former Chiefs wide receiver said during the schedule release, it is “the house that Andy built.”
Reid was head coach of the Eagles from 1999 to 2021. During his tenure, he tallied 130 regular season wins, an NFC Championship win in 2004, followed by a Super Bowl appearance. He also lead the Eagles to be the first team to host three consecutive conference championships.
Big Red is sure to receive a warm ovation from “The City of Brotherly Love”.
Touted as one of the biggest matchups of the season, a rematch of the AFC Championship game comes back to Kansas City.
After a breakout season, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills will look to avenge their conference championship loss to the Chiefs.
After losing wide receiver John Brown, the Bills added Emmanuel Sanders to team up with Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley in the wide receiver room.
The Chiefs defense will be tested as the Bills continue their rise to prominence in the AFC, especially now that their divisional rival, the New England Patriots, have revamped their roster and are looking to retake their throne atop the AFC East.
Week 6 – at Washington Football Team
Perhaps one of the most interesting teams to follow in the NFL, the Washington Football Team went from bottom of the division to division champs in one year.
After Alex Smith’s retirement, Washington added traveled veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead the squad.
On the other side of the ball, 2020 Pro Bowl selection and 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young will get his first chance at trying to sack Mahomes behind his new offensive line.
Week 7 – at Tennessee Titans
The only team on the 2021 regular season schedule that Mahomes does not have a winning record against, the Tennessee Titans.
Led by 2020 rushing leader Derrick Henry, the Titans bested the Mahomes-led Chiefs in the 2019 regular season in his return from a knee injury, before losing in the AFC Championship that season.
Being 1-1 against the Titans, Mahomes has a chance to add a second victory, his first in Nashville.
Week 8 – vs Giants – Monday Night Football
On Monday Night Football, the Chiefs will host Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley in another AFC West vs NFC East matchup.
Barkley returns from a season ending ACL tear and will look to position himself among the top tier of running backs in the league once again.
Jones took a step forward in 2020 and now has even more weapons with the addition of wide receiver Kenny Golladay and tight end Kyle Rudolph in free agency and wide receiver Kadarius Toney in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Week 9 – vs Green Bay Packers
Setting aside the potential turmoil in the relationship between future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, many eyes will be turned to week 9 in Kansas City in what should be a primetime matchup.
Given the assumption that Rodgers stays with the Packers, this will be the first matchup between two of the most electric arms in the league.
Rodgers vs Mahomes. The State Farm Bowl. Potential Super Bowl matchup. Whatever you want to call it, this game will get eyes on the screen.
The only other time the teams have faced off during Mahomes time as starter, he was injured and did not play.
This is the added game when the league announced a 17-game season and caught the attention of many national networks as a game to look out for.
Week 10 – at Las Vegas – Sunday Night Football
For the first time, Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders will host this AFC West rivalry with fans in the stands.
The bad blood between these two teams continued last year when an early regular season Raiders victory over the Chiefs in Arrowhead led to the visiting team taking a lap around the stadium.
The Raiders added some weapons in the offseason on both sides of the ball like receivers John Brown and Willie Snead IV, running back Kenyan Drake and pass rushers Solomon Thomas and Yannick Ngakoue.
The only full strength loss in the regular season in 2020, the Chiefs will want to walk in and make Allegiant Stadium live up to the nickname fans have given it, Arrowhead West.
Week 11 – vs Dallas Cowboys
America’s team makes their way to Kansas City for the last of the NFC East matchups.
Mahomes is a Texas native and grew up a Cowboys fan. Although he won’t be playing at “Jerry World”, or AT&T Stadium, it will be his first chance to play against his “former” favorite team.
Dak Prescott is fresh off signing a 4-year $160 million contract making this a battle of the highest paid QBs.
Prescott is coming off an injury as well, however, so his season will be full of proving he is worth the value of his contract and a win against the reigning AFC Champions would do the trick.
The Cowboys also drafted Raytown South grad Jabril Cox in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft and if he manages to get an increased amount of snaps, Kansas City fans can see one of their own on the field in Arrowhead.
Week 12 – BYE
Week 13 – vs Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos enter the season with questions at the quarterback position, but by week 13, ideally they would have a consistent starter on the roster.
Dating back to 2015, the Chiefs have won 11-straight against the divisional opponent. In their first matchup last season, the Broncos were on the receiving end of 43-16 loss at Mile High Stadium.
The Broncos have beefed up their defense with the additions of Kareem Jackson, Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby in free agency and highly valued Patrick Surtain II out of the University of Alabama in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The new defensive additions will be tested with Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Travis Kelce and Cornell Powell, the newest addition to the wide receiver room out of Clemson.
Unlucky for the Broncos, Reid is excellent after a bye posting a record of 22-5 including playoffs in his head coaching career.
Week 14 – vs Raiders – RAIDER WEEK
The Raiders come back to town in week 14 and the Chiefs won’t want a repeat of last time they hosted them.
Four week wills have past from their first meeting of the season and a lot could be on the line in the division standings depending on how the rest of the season has gone for both teams.
Week 15 – at Los Angeles Chargers – Thursday Night Football
The Chiefs will be hoping this is not their only trip to SoFi Stadium, host stadium for Super Bowl LVI, this season.
Another divisional game that could have playoff implications at this point of the season and another look at Herbert and his rise to stardom.
The short week and west coast road trip will be a test for the Chiefs in a game that could continue their divisional dominance.
Week 16 – vs Pittsburgh Steelers
In what many believe to be quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s final “hoorah” in the NFL, when the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town, many fans will still have a bad taste in their mouths.
The memories of a 2017 playoff game in frigid temperatures where the Steelers came out on top without scoring a single touchdown and a “phantom” holding call in the waning seconds of the game on a two-point conversion negating a game-tying score will ring through Arrowhead.
Add on top of that, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was reportedly interested in signing with the Chiefs in the offseason and was even being recruited by Reid.
Smith-Schuster said Reid would send him pictures of the Lombardi Trophy to entice the wide-out to team up with Hill, Hardman, Byron Pringle, Demarcus Robinson and, now, Powell.
This game could also have playoff seeding implications as the AFC North title will be up for grabs between the Steelers, Ravens and Browns.
This will also be the Chiefs’ last home game of the regular season as they end it on a 2-game road trip.
Week 17 – at Cincinnati Bengals
A fun matchup as the season nears the end. What would be the last game of the regular season in other years, becomes the penultimate game and includes this matchup of Mahomes versus Joe Burrow.
Burrow’s expectations are through the roof since he entered the league and the former LSU Tiger was making a name for himself last season before a season ending ACL tear.
Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire will be reunited with his LSU quarterback, this time as the enemy.
Week 18 – at Denver Broncos
In the season finale, the Chiefs head west down I-70 to Mile High Stadium and pay a visit to the Denver Broncos.
In an ideal situation, the Chiefs will have secured their playoff seed and will be resting their starters at this point.
However, with the extended season and only one playoff bye, the Chiefs may be in a position to stamp their way into the postseason with a victory against their division rivals.