Kansas City Star Chiefs beat writer Brooke Pryor has the Chiefs winning the AFC West at 9-7.
Here’s how she thinks the season will play out.
Sept. 9: at Chargers
In Patrick Mahomes’ first game as a full-time starter, Chiefs offensive firepower isn’t enough to overcome a shaky performance by an Eric Berry-less secondary.
Sept. 16: at Steelers
The Chiefs have historically struggled against the Steelers — losing seven of the last nine meetings — but without Le’Veon Bell, the Chiefs escape Pittsburgh with a rare W.
Sept. 23: vs. 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo gave teams a headache last year, but with more tape on him now, the Chiefs will open their home slate with a win.
Oct. 1: at Broncos
Monday night in Mile High will be a tough for this Chiefs secondary, even if Case Keenum isn’t Denver’s quarterback savior.
Oct. 7: vs. Jaguars
The Jaguars will bring Jalen Ramsey and a top-5 defense into Arrowhead, and even with the Chiefs’ weapons, Jacksonville will wreak havoc on a new starting quarterback.
Oct. 14: at Patriots
Andy Reid is a wizard when it comes to battling Bill Belichick. He’ll use some sorcery to do it again in Foxborough.
Oct. 21: vs. Bengals
It’s not exactly a gimme, but this should be an easy win after an early season gauntlet.
Oct. 28: vs. Broncos
It’s going to be a shootout, but this time Patrick Mahomes gets the better of the Broncos.
Nov. 4: at Browns
John Dorsey’s old team is going to bless ‘em on his new team in the not-so-annual Dorsey Bowl.
Nov. 11: vs. Cardinals
The Chiefs are pretty solid at home, but an upset is a-brewing. With a big trip to Mexico City the next week, KC will get bitten by Sam Bradford — or Josh Rosen. Record: 6-4
Nov. 19: vs. Rams in Mexico City
Ay caramba. Marcus Peters comes back to haunt his old team in this Mexico City meeting.
A bye week on Thanksgiving? We all win.
Dec. 2: at Raiders
Andy Reid’s post-bye-week blues continue. Tryptophan has effects that last longer than a week, right? Record: 6-6
Dec. 9: vs. Ravens
John Harbaugh’s teams are typically really good against new quarterbacks, but Mahomes is more settled at this point in the season — and the home advantage helps.
Dec. 13: vs. Chargers
Chiefs avenge the season-opening loss when Phillip Rivers and the Chargers visit Arrowhead. Record 8-6
Dec. 23: at Seahawks
Sandwiched between two divisional games, the Seahawks and KC square off in a slugfest in Seattle. The Seahawks come away with the win. Record: 8-7
Dec. 30: vs. Raiders
Chiefs end the season on a high note, beating the Raiders to seal the divisional win. Almost sounds too good to be true. Record 9-7
Regular season: 9-7
Postseason: Win AFC West, lose in first round of playoffs.