Breaking down the Chiefs' 2014 schedule (with poll)

05/08/2014 11:11 AM

05/08/2014 11:11 AM

The Chiefs officially released their 2014 schedule on Wednesday, and it appears an action-packed first month awaits coach Andy Reid and his squad.

The Chiefs kick things off at home against Tennessee, which will mark the return of fan favorite and Pro Bowl punt returner Dexter McCluster, who signed with the Titans via free agency in March.

After that, they will travel to Denver to face the defending AFC champion Broncos. A road trip to Miami awaits in week three before the Chiefs play host to New England at home on a Monday for the first night game at Arrowhead Stadium in three years.

The Chiefs, who face four playoff teams in their first six games, also have two more primetime games. They will travel to Oakland on Nov. 20 for a Thursday night tilt against the Raiders, and will play host to Denver at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 for a Sunday night showdown.

“We always look forward to the schedule coming out,” Reid said in a statement. “This allows us to get started preparing for our opponents in the order we play them. Today is really about our fans. There is no question that Chiefs Kingdom will be fired up come September.”

In all, the Chiefs’ schedule features seven games against five playoff teams from the 2013 season, including games against all four conference championship game finalists. The combined winning percentage of the Chiefs’ 2014 opponents is .558, which makes this the league’s seventh-hardest schedule. One bright note — it’s still easier than divisional foes Oakland (No. 1), Denver (No. 2) and San Diego (No. 4).

Here’s the Chiefs’ entire 2014 schedule, with a little analysis on each regular-season game.

PRESEASON

Cincinnati

Time/date:

7 p.m. Aug. 7

TV:

KCTV (Ch. 5)

at Carolina

Time/date:

7 p.m. Aug. 17

TV:

Fox (Ch. 4)

Minnesota

Time/date:

7 p.m. Aug. 23

TV:

KCTV (Ch. 5)

at Green Bay

Time/date:

6 p.m. Aug. 28

TV:

KCTV (Ch. 5)

REGULAR SEASON

Tennessee

Time/date:

Noon Sept. 7

TV:

CBS (Ch. 5)

Comment:

Fan favorite and Pro Bowl punt returner Dexter McCluster returns to Kansas City. The Chiefs beat the Titans on the road last season.

at Denver

Time/date:

3:25 p.m. Sept. 14

TV:

CBS (Ch. 5)

Comment:

The Chiefs won’t have to wait 11 weeks to measure themselves against the Broncos this year. They’ll get their first look at a high-powered Denver squad in the same place they saw their season-opening nine-game winning streak snapped in 2013.

at Miami

Time/date:

3:25 p.m. Sept. 21

TV:

CBS (Ch. 5)

Comment:

Former Chiefs tackle Branden Albert, who signed with the Dolphins as a free agent last month, gets his first crack at the team that drafted him.

New England

Time/date:

7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29

TV:

ESPN

Comment:

The first prime-time game at Arrowhead in three years should be electric, regardless of how the Chiefs start the season. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is 4-1 all-time against the Chiefs.

at San Francisco

Time/date:

3:25 p.m. Oct. 5

TV:

CBS (Ch. 5)

Comment:

The Chiefs get their first look at brand-new Levi’s Stadium against the 49ers, who went 12-4 last season and have made the NFC championship game in each of the last three seasons.

BYE WEEK

at San Diego

Time/date:

3:05 p.m. Oct. 19

TV:

CBS (Ch. 5)

Comment:

This will be the fourth road test in six games for the Chiefs, and the third against a 2013 playoff team. Having a bye the week before will help.

St. Louis

Time/date:

Noon Oct. 26

TV:

Fox (Ch. 4)

Comment:

Don’t sleep on the Rams, who went 7-9 last season but can rush the passer, have an experienced coach (Jeff Fisher) and seem to be regarded as an up-and-comer.

New York Jets

Time/date:

Noon Nov. 2

TV:

CBS (Ch. 5)

Comment:

The Jets went 8-8 last season despite abysmal quarterback play thanks to a stingy defense. If Geno Smith can’t get the job done, the Jets may turn to Michael Vick — a man Chiefs coach Andy Reid knows well.

at Buffalo

Time/date:

Noon Nov. 9

TV:

CBS (Ch. 5)

Comment:

The Chiefs will meet the Bills for the seventh straight season and will travel to Buffalo for the third straight season. The Chiefs lost in 2012 and won in 2013, so this will be the rubber match.

Seattle

Time/date:

Noon Nov. 16

TV:

Fox (Ch. 4)

Comment:

Here’s another important measuring-stick game. The Chiefs will get an up-close look at the defending Super Bowl champs, who boast one of the most intimidating, physical defenses in football and a power rushing attack.

at Oakland

Time/date:

7:25 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20

TV:

NFL Network

Comment:

This will be a trap game. After a sure-to-be-physical showdown against the Seahawks at home, the Chiefs have to turn around three days later and play the Raiders in a primetime matchup at the Black Hole.

Denver

Time/date:

7:30 p.m. Nov. 30

TV:

NBC (Ch. 41)

Comment:

The first primetime game at Arrowhead Stadium will also kickoff a stretch of three home games against division opponents, which will be important if the race is close.

at Arizona

Time/date:

3:05 p.m. Dec. 7

TV:

CBS (Ch. 5)

Comment:

The Chiefs are 8-2-1 all-time against the Cardinals, but these aren’t your father’s Cardinals. Although they missed the playoffs last year, they play in the brutally competitive NFC West and still managed to go 10-6.

Oakland

Time/date:

Noon Dec. 14

TV:

CBS (Ch. 5)

Comment:

The Chiefs are 26-22-1 at home all-time against the Raiders.

at Pittsburgh

Time/date:

Noon Dec. 21

TV:

CBS (Ch. 5)

Comment:

Former Chiefs coach Todd Haley, who is now the Steelers’ offensive coordinator, gets his second crack at his old team in a regular-season game.

San Diego

Time/date:

Noon Dec. 28

TV:

CBS (Ch. 5)

Comment:

The Chiefs faced the Chargers in last year’s season finale. This time, however, they draw the Chargers at home.

NOTE:

All games Sunday unless noted