The Kansas City Chiefs still have unfinished business during the 2013 NFL season but now that the regular season is over, we can finally show you the list of teams that KC will play next season.
There is a big misconception among fans that how you finish record-wise in on season greatly impacts your schedule the next season. This year, I often head fans bemoaning that the Chiefs were “playing a last place schedule” as evidence as to why KC had gotten off to such a hot start. While it is true that the Chiefs were playing a “last place schedule” many fans aren’t aware that a team’s record the previous year only determines two of its 16 opponents for the following season. This year, I heard many people claiming the Chiefs were benefitting from their “last place schedule” before KC had even played the two teams (the Browns and Bills) that were on the schedule thanks to its last place finish in 2012.
Each year, the Chiefs will play their own division foes twice and one division from the AFC and one division from the NFC. Which division a team plays is set years in advance and it rotates every year. This season, everyone in the AFC West played the teams from the AFC South and the NFC East. Those games, plus the regular AFC West schedule, accounted for 14 of the Chiefs’ 16 games.
To make up the remaining teams, the NFL had the Chiefs play the two other last place teams from the two AFC divisions the AFC West was not playing this year in the AFC North and the AFC East. So the Chiefs played the Browns and the Bills because those teams also finished in last place in 2012. The Broncos, for another example, played the Patriots and the Ravens because those two teams finished in first place in 2012.
Next season, the Chiefs and the rest of the AFC West are slotted to play the AFC East and the NFC West. Those matchups account for 14 of KC’s 16 games and have been set in stone for years. The only two opponents we didn’t already know were the teams from the AFC North and AFC South. Since KC finished in second place this season, they’ll play the two second place teams from those divisions.
And so I present Kansas City’s 2014 opponents:
|2014 Regular Season|
|Buffalo Bills||New England Patriots|
|Miami Dolphins||New York Jets|
|St. Louis Rams||Arizona Cardinals|
|Seattle Seahawks||San Francisco 49ers|
|Tennessee Titans||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Denver Broncos (Div.)||Denver Broncos (Div.)|
|San Diego Chargers (Div.)||San Diego Chargers (Div.)|
|Oakland Raiders (Div.)||Oakland Raiders (Div.)|
On paper, this is a pretty tough schedule. The Broncos, Chargers, Seahawks, Patriots and 49ers are all playoff teams this year. Since two of those teams are in the AFC West, the 2014 Chiefs will have seven games against 2013 playoff teams.
The Cardinals, Dolphins and Steelers were all on the cusp of making the playoffs as well.
It isn’t all bad. The Chiefs are fortunate to get the Seahawks at Arrowhead. The same goes for the Dolphins. The Chiefs have traditionally not played very well in Florida.
Teams are never the same from one year to the next so all of this doesn’t mean much. Still, it looks as if they 2014 Chiefs are going to return to the playoffs, they’ll have earned it.
Tags: Kansas City Chiefs