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 has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

100 Women Who Care make a donation to Sylvan Lake Food Bank and Bethany Care Centre. Photo By Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News
100 Women Who Care donate to four Sylvan Lake groups

The Food Bank, Bethany Sylvan Lake, Community Partners and the Library all received a donation

RCMP. (Black Press File Photo)
Calgary man dies in two-vehicle collision near Sylvan Lake

A semi truck collided with a SUV just east of Hwy. 781 on Hwy 11.

Shaelynn Decock and her dog Taco, who has been missing since Aug. 26. Photo Submitted
Sylvan Lake woman looking for closure for her stolen dog

Shaelynn Decock says it has been two months since she last saw her dog Taco

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owners found

Father and son found him while out for a walk at JJ Collett

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

Most Read