The Chiefs have the maximum allotment of five prime-time games for the second consecutive season, and the front end of their schedule is particularly tough, with three of their first four games against division champs. AP photo

The Chiefs have the maximum allotment of five prime-time games for the second consecutive season, and the front end of their schedule is particularly tough, with three of their first four games against division champs. AP photo

Chiefs among centerpieces of NFL slate as they chase repeat

‘We have the opportunity to compete against some of the great teams in this league’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the makeshift interview room just outside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, defensive tackle Chris Jones yelled across to Chiefs teammate Frank Clark, vowing that the Super Bowl championship they had just won would not be the last.

Their road to a repeat will begin at home.

And there will be plenty of opportunities for football fans across the country to keep tabs on their progress.

An organization that was merely an afterthought less than a decade ago is now one of the centerpieces of the NFL schedule, which was released Thursday night with plenty of fanfare and even more hope that it will actually be played. The Chiefs will celebrate their first championship in five decades by getting a Thursday night match-up with the Houston Texans, who have quickly become one of their new-look rivals, to officially kick off the 2020 season.

It doesn’t stop there, though. The Chiefs have the maximum allotment of five prime-time games for the second consecutive season, and the front end of their schedule is particularly tough, with three of their first four games against division champs.

“We have the opportunity to compete against some of the great teams in this league,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said in a statement. “I know our organization and fans get excited for these challenges. We look forward to raising last year’s Super Bowl championship banner and all that comes with defending our title in the 2020 season.”

The game against Houston holds some serious cache if only because it’s another showdown between the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and Texans counterpart Deshaun Watson. It also will be the first chance for the Texans to avenge an embarrassing playoff meltdown, when they squandered a 24-0 lead in an eventual 51-31 loss last season.

After visiting the Chargers, the Chiefs head back across the country for what could be the marquee game of the entire NFL season: Chiefs vs. Ravens, the game that most fans expected — and probably wanted — for last year’s AFC title game.

It’s a match-up of the 2018 league MVP in Mahomes and the 2019 MVP in Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson — the league’s best arm and arguably best legs. The two teams played early last season in a game won by the Chiefs, and they combined for nearly 1,000 yards and 60 first downs in precisely the kind of shootout one would expect.

The Chiefs return home to face the Patriots, who are now plunging into life post-Tom Brady, and have a Thursday night game at Buffalo and a Sunday showdown with the Panthers in a pair of games likely to draw plenty of viewers.

If not, they’ll certainly tune in Week 12 and Week 15.

The first date is the Chiefs’ trip to Tampa Bay, which not only has Brady and unretired tight end Rob Gronwkowski but electrifying playmakers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. The second date is a potential Super Bowl match-up in New Orleans, which also happens to be the first time Mahomes and the Saints’ Drew Brees will square off against each other.

“Any time you get a chance to play against some of the greatest players to play the game, I always look at that as a great challenge,” Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said after the schedules were released.

Mathieu has been among Chiefs players who have been pointing toward a repeat. The organization signed just about every free agent following its Super Bowl triumph, and it added a couple of helpful pieces — notably first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire, a running back perfect for its scheme — during the draft.

“You know you’re going to get the best effort and the best change-up from every single team,” Mahomes said, “so for us, we’ve seen what the other teams in our division have been doing, and we understand that they’re trying to come out there and compete against us and try to take the crown from us. So it’s about us getting better within ourselves so we can go out there and play our best football when it comes down to it.”

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 16 additional deaths Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
No easing of Alberta’s COVID-19 measures Thursday, 678 new COVID-19 cases

The province also hit 1,500 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

Kyler Corriveau, of the Eckville area, was found dead on Sunday southeast of Red Deer. Police are investigating his death as a homicide. (Contributed photo).
Young Red Deer homicide victim is remembered as a caring friend

Police are investigating Kyler Corriveau’s untimely death

Sylvan Lake Winter Village. File Photo
3 charged in connection to vandalism at Sylvan Lake Winter Village

Sylvan Lake RCMP were able to identify the suspects thanks to community assistance

Sabrina Armeneau
Sylvan Lake RCMP search for woman missing for five years

Sabrina Armeneau was reported missing on Jan. 15, but has not been seen in five years

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the Canadian government should consider sanctions on the U.S. if they refuse to reconsider the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Keystone XL officially cancelled, Kenney vows to fight on

U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the presidential permit for the pipeline on first day of office

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton, Friday, March 20, 2020. Hinshaw says residents in long-term care and supportive living facilities will remain the priority as the province grapples with a looming slowdown in COVID-19 vaccine supply. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta long-term care residents remain priority in looming slowdown of COVID vaccine

There are 119 patients in intensive care and 1,463 people have died

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
‘Gut punch’: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney blasts Biden on revoked Keystone XL permit

Kenney said he was upset the U.S. wouldn’t consult with Canada first before acting

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Calgary flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Lucas Berg, left, with the backpacks filled with essential items he donated to the Red Deer Mustard Seed Jan. 19, 2021. (Photo submitted)
Central Alberta teenager donates filled 20 backpacks to Red Deer Mustard Seed

Lucas Berg, 14, of Ponoka County says he ‘just wants to help people’

A conveyor belt transports coal at the Westmoreland Coal Co.’s Sheerness mine near Hanna, Alta., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Coal mining impacts are already occurring in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains even as debate intensifies over the industry’s presence in one of the province’s most beloved landscapes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
As Alberta debates coal mining, industry already affecting once-protected Rockies

UCP revoked a policy that had protected eastern slopes of the Rockies from open-pit coal mining since 1976

Most Read