Red Zone

August 23, 2014

Predicting the Chiefs’ 2014 NFL schedule

The Star’s Terez A. Paylor makes his predictions for the 2014 Chiefs season, which features a tougher schedule (KC takes on defending Super Bowl champion Seattle and NFC runner-up San Francisco in addition to the usual AFC West foes).

Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writer Terez Paylor

Sept. 7 vs. Tennessee

noon, CBS (Ch. 5)

W (1-0)

The Chiefs will pull out all the stops to win this game. They know they have zero margin for error with this schedule.

Sept. 14 at Denver

3:25 p.m., CBS (Ch. 5)

L (1-1)

The Chiefs’ secondary has to prove it can match up against high-powered offenses. It will take vast improvement to beat this Peyton Manning-led attack.

Sept. 21 at Miami

3:25 p.m., CBS (Ch. 5)

W (2-1)

This one isn’t a gimme, but the Chiefs need it. If their defensive front can rattle Ryan Tannehill, they can score a key win before the schedule kicks into overdrive.

Sept. 29 vs. New England

7:30 p.m., ESPN

L (2-2)

Arrowhead will be rocking, and the Chiefs will surely be fired up. But again, they have to prove they can stop high-powered offenses, and Tom Brady remains one of the game’s best.

Oct. 5 at San Francisco

3:25 p.m., CBS (Ch. 5)

L (2-3)

The 49ers love to pound the rock and boast one of the game’s most physical defenses. Expect this one to be close, but points could be hard to come by.

Oct. 19 at San Diego

3:05 p.m., CBS (Ch. 5)

W (3-3)

The bye will should serve the Chiefs well here. Andy Reid’s teams historically do pretty well after the bye, and the time will help the defense prepare for Philip Rivers.

Oct. 26 vs. St. Louis

noon, Fox (Ch. 4)

L (3-4)

The Rams boast one of the league’s best front fours, and they will be coming after Alex Smith hard. This one is winnable, but again, points could be hard to come by.

Nov. 2 vs. New York Jets

noon, CBS (Ch. 5)

W (4-4)

Rex Ryan can coach defense, but whoever the Jets start at quarterback should be in trouble against the Chiefs’ defensive front.

Nov. 9 at Buffalo

noon, CBS (Ch. 5)

L (4-5)

Here’s another winnable matchup, but the Bills are coming off a bye and will remember last year’s game, which they easily could have won.

Nov. 16 vs. Seattle

noon, Fox (Ch. 4)

L (4-6)

The defending champs are one of the deepest teams in the league and boast an outstanding defense. They’re the favorites to repeat.

Nov. 20 at Oakland

7:25 p.m., NFL Network

W (5-6)

A winnable primetime game that won’t be easy — they’ll only have three days to rest after meeting the super-physical Seahawks.

Nov. 30 vs. Denver

7:30 p.m., NBC (Ch. 41)

L (5-7)

With a chance to pull to .500, Arrowhead will be rocking against the Chiefs’ archrival. But the Broncos are superior on paper.

Dec. 7 at Arizona

3:05 p.m., CBS (Ch. 5)

L (5-8)

This one is a bit of toss-up, because both teams are evenly matched. But Arizona, which went 10-6 last season and has its eyes on the playoffs, has homefield advantage.

Dec. 14 vs. Oakland

noon, CBS (Ch. 5)

W (6-8)

The Chiefs won’t beat the Raiders up like they did last year, but they should still sweep the season series.

Dec. 21 at Pittsburgh

noon, CBS (Ch. 5)

L (6-9)

The Steelers are no joy to play in December, plus they have a capable quarterback and a pass rush that has the potential to be good.

Dec. 28 vs. San Diego

noon, CBS (Ch. 5)

W (7-9)

The Chiefs will be playing this one for pride, but the Chargers might, too. In that case, the home team — in cold weather, no less — should prevail.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TerezPaylor.

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