The Chiefs were expected to take a step back during the 2022 NFL season after trading Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins.
The expectation was that Hill's departure would create a void in the Chiefs' receiving corps that the team wouldn't be able to replace. Kansas City would still be good, naturally, but its ceiling wouldn't be as high as it was with an eclectic mix of unproven and less-explosive receiving weapons.
Instead, Mahomes put together arguably his best season yet. He won his second MVP and was able to lead the Chiefs to a 38-35 victory over the Eagles in Super Bowl 57.
Now, the question is: can Mahomes and Co. do it again? The Chiefs have lost some key pieces — notably wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, left tackle Orlando Brown and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy — but they have retooled around Mahomes and appear poised for another strong season.
But in the loaded AFC and an unfavorable schedule, Kansas City will face a tough road back to the Super Bowl.
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Here is a complete breakdown of the Chiefs’ 2023 schedule, including dates, start times and analysis for all 17 games.
Kansas City Chiefs schedule 2023
Below is a look at the Chiefs' full schedule for the 2023 NFL season:
|Week||Date||Opponent||Kickoff time (ET)||TV|
|1||Sept. 7||vs. Lions (Thursday night)||8:20 p.m.||NBC|
|2||Sept. 17||at Jaguars||1 p.m.||CBS|
|3||Sept. 24||vs. Bears||4:25 p.m.||Fox|
|4||Oct. 1||at Jets (Sunday Night Football)||8:15 p.m.||NBC|
|5||Oct. 8||at Vikings||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|6||Oct. 12||vs. Broncos (Thursday Night Football)||8:15 p.m.||Amazon Prime|
|7||Oct. 22||vs. Chargers||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|8||Oct. 29||at Broncos||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|9||Nov. 5||Dolphins (at Frankfurt)||9:30 a.m.||NFLN|
|11||Nov. 20||vs. Eagles (Monday Night Football)||8:15 p.m.||ESPN/ABC|
|12||Nov. 26||at Raiders||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|13||Dec. 3||at Packers (Sunday Night Football)||8:20 p.m.||NBC|
|14||Dec. 10||vs. Bills||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|15||Dec. 18||at Patriots||8:15 p.m.||ESPN|
|16||Dec. 25||vs. Raiders (Christmas)||1 p.m.||CBS, Nickelodeon|
|17||Dec. 31||vs. Bengals||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|18||Jan 6/7||at Chargers||TBD||TBD|
Kansas City is set to see its schedule increase in difficulty for the 2023 season. The Chiefs are playing a first-place schedule after winning the AFC West and will play the AFC East and NFC North as part of their yearly schedule rotation.
The Chiefs will have eight games against teams that made the playoffs in 2022. Those include two games against their divisional-rival Chargers as well as contests against the Bills, Bengals, Dolphins, Eagles, Jaguars and Vikings. They will also play the Lions in 2022, another team that had a winning record.
Chiefs strength of schedule
The Chiefs are set to have the third-hardest schedule in the NFL for 2023, per Sharp Football Analysis. This analysis is based on the projected win totals for each of Kansas City's opponents for the upcoming season rather than their records in 2023.
Kansas City's schedule was a lot easier in 2022 than it projects to be this year. In fact, Sharp Football Analysis indicates that the Chiefs have seen their schedule strengthen more than any team across the NFL. That's thanks to their matchups with potential AFC contenders like the Bills and Bengals as well as their Super Bowl rematch with the Eagles.
So, if the Chiefs are going to repeat as Super Bowl champions, they are going to need to be prepared to face stiffer regular-season competition, especially since they will have a target on their backs.
Toughest tests: As mentioned, the Chiefs have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. They will be playing eight games against teams that made the playoffs last season, and that includes the AFC division winners — the Bills, Bengals and Jaguars — and the NFC-winning Eagles.
The Chiefs are lucky that to face Buffalo, Cincinnati and Philadelphia at home. Arrowhead Stadium should give Kansas City a boost in those contests, but it won't guarantee a victory. And depending on when the Chiefs have to travel to Jacksonville, they could struggle playing in the Florida heat.
The Chiefs will also go on the road to face the Jets, a team that should be much better in 2023 after adding Aaron Rodgers to play quarterback. That could end up being a tough matchup, and it just goes to show that there isn't really much of a reprieve on the Kansas City schedule.
Biggest breaks: As mentioned, the Chiefs are getting a break by facing most of their stiffest competition at home. That should help them in their quest to knock off some of their most difficult opponents.
That said, it's hard to find an easy game on the Chiefs' schedule. You could make the case that their games against the Broncos and Raiders should be winnable, but those are divisional rivalries that may be closer than expected.
And while the Bears, who had the worst record in the NFL last year, certainly look like the Chiefs' easiest opponent, they are much better than they were in 2022. The Chiefs should still beat them — and the Patriots on the road in Foxborough — but they aren't necessarily cakewalks.
NFL QB RANKINGS 2023: AFC | NFC
Bottom line: The Chiefs might not have a favorable schedule on paper, but don't doubt the tag team of Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. The Chiefs have won at least 12 games in every season during which Mahomes has been the primary starter and Reid has just one season with fewer than 10 wins as Kansas City's head coach.
Simply put, these two guys are winners. And the supporting cast with which Brett Veach has surrounded them is certainly good enough to challenge for another Super Bowl title, especially as their young defensive talent continues to grow and develop.
So, even if you think the Chiefs are going to have a slightly down year because of their schedule, don't expect it to be a massive decline. They are still likely to win 11 or 12 games, and it's best to estimate on the higher side given the track record of Reid and Mahomes.
Record prediction: 12-5