A few days ago, we took a look at the Chiefs’ 2013 schedule and picked out three games that we thought were the most crucial at Arrowhead.
Well, in the NFL, you have to win on the road, too.
So let us take a look at three away games that we think will be must-wins for the good guys this coming season.
1. @Jacksonville 9/9
The Chiefs have to win this game.
This is the first contest of the Andy Reid era. It is opening day, on the road against an opponent that was just as bad as the Chiefs were in 2012. The Jags made moves to improve during the offseason as well but on paper, the Chiefs have the better roster.
Unfortunately, games aren’t won on paper.
If Maurice Jones-Drew is ready to go for this game, he could single-handidly ruin Andy Reid’s debut. The Chiefs need to make sure they’re run defense is stout as Jacksonville will likely come ready to pound the rock. It will be an early test for the KC front seven.
The Chiefs can’t lose this game. If they do, it could signal that the road back to respectability will be longer than most fans would like.
2. @Philly 9/19 (Thursday Night Football)
Yes, the Chiefs’ second away game is also very critical. The contest marks the teams only scheduled primetime game and it is also the first time Andy Reid will face the Eagles in Philly. The atmosphere will be charged as Chiefs fans will want the team to get a big win for their new leader while the Philly faithful will want to send Andy packing with a loss.
This game is all about building confidence and swagger for the Chiefs. KC should take care of Jacksonville on the road in Week 1. They then return home to Arrowhead to face the Cowboys. Win or lose at home, the Chiefs are going to need this one.
It won’t be easy. KC will be playing on a short week and will be facing a Chip Kelly-coached team that will probably still be a bit of a mystery. The Chiefs and Andy Reid can make a bold statement in this game and that momentum could carry them through to a successful season.
Remember in 2010 when the Chiefs shocked the Chargers and just squeaked by a bad Browns team in Cleveland? KC’s next game was against the 49ers, a team everyone expected to be a playoff contender. The Chiefs were favored to lose that game and instead, head coach Todd Haley was aggressive and took some risks. The Chiefs stomped the 49ers and KC improved its mark to 3-0.
This game reminds me a lot of that 49ers contest. The Chiefs don’t just need to win this one.
They need to dominate.
3. @Washington 12/8
This is a big one for KC. The Chiefs will be in their stretch run at this point and will be coming off a brutal three-game stretch where they face the Broncos twice in three weeks, with the Chargers sandwiched in between. If KC manages to navigate themselves into the playoff race, this road game against a 2012 playoff team in the Washington Redskins will be big.
Washington figures to be in the playoff mix again and if the Chiefs can knock them off on their own turf, in December, they could build some serious momentum as the playoffs approach.
The 2010 Chiefs beat mostly scrubs on their way to the playoffs. The 2013 Chiefs are going to have to defeat some playoff teams if they want to make the tournament.
All right, Addicts. Those are my three critical roach games.
What are yours?