The Kansas City Chiefs still have one more game to play in 2012 but their fans are already beginning to think about 2013.
The Chiefs organization likely has major changes coming this offseason. Coming off a 2-14 season, there is no telling which front office and locker room personnel will be back. At this point, the only thing that is certain is that the Chiefs will play in 2013.
And now we know who they will play.
The order of the games won’t come out until later this offseason but we now know enough to tell you who the Chiefs will be playing in 2013.
Keep in mind that the NFL uses a rotating schedule. That means that 14 of the Chiefs’ 16 opponents are determined in advance, regardless of what the team’s record is the previous year. The other two games are determined based on record.
For instance, this season, the Chiefs played their own division-mates twice (six games) and it was their turn to play the AFC East (four games) and the NFC South (four games). That all adds up to 14 games. Since the Chiefs finished in last place in the AFC West in the AFC West in 2011, they played the two, last place AFC teams from the two divisions they were not already playing. In this year’s case, that was the AFC North and the AFC South. So the Chiefs remaining two games were filled by the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts.*
*This should prove to you that finishing in last place does not in any way guarantee a team an easier schedule. Only two games a season are decided by record and given the parity in the NFL, a last place team one year can be a playoff team the next. So while the Chiefs got to play a struggling Browns team, their other last place opponent was the Colts.
With only one game remaining, I was able to determine the full list of opponents for next year’s Chiefs.
Here we go:
Home: Denver, Oakland, San Diego, Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas, N.Y. Giants, Cleveland
Away: Denver, Oakland, San Diego, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Philadelphia, Washington, Buffalo*
*The Bills play the Jets this Sunday and can finish the season with the same record as NY. However, based on the common opponents tie-breaker, the Bills will finish last in the East no matter what happens. It will be the sixth consecutive years the Chiefs and Bills will play.
As of now, I’d say this is a pretty balanced schedule. There is a mix of playoff caliber teams, average teams and bad teams. The away schedule seems a bit more manageable with games against the Raiders, Chargers, Jags, Titans and Bills all seemingly winnable.
The home stretch has some interesting but tough games. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck will all be visiting Arrowhead, as will Arian Foster.
As we’ve learned, things change quickly in the NFL so what looks like a game the Chiefs might be able to compete in now could look totally different come September 2013. And let’s be honest, right now, the Chiefs are so bad that any game looks like a loss.
What do you think of the 2013 opponent list, Addicts?