Today is it. The start of the Kansas City Chiefs 2015 season (and hopefully the commencement of their third ever Super Bowl run). At noon, the Chiefs will face the Texans in Houston’s NRG Stadium before playing at least 15 more games. As Chiefs fans, we hope they will play at least a few more games in the playoffs. Will the Chiefs make the postseason for the second time under Andy Reid? Will they finally win their first playoff game in 21 years? My predictions are below:
The Texans have a crazy good defense led by JJ Watt, Vince Wilfork and Brian Cushing. However, one thing they don’t have is a franchise QB. They don’t even have a game manager at QB. Rather, they have Brian Hoyer, who is essentially a solid backup. Because of this, and because Arian Foster is injured, I cannot see the Texans scoring enough points against the vaunted Chiefs defense. KC wins 27-12.
The Broncos make a visit to Arrowhead just a scant 4 days after visiting Baltimore. Starting a season with 2 road games is always tough, especially with the second game coming under the national spotlight with a raucous Arrowhead crowd. I think this is finally the year that KC gets the best of Peyton Manning. Chiefs win 28-21.
The Chiefs face one of the NFL’s premier teams in week 3 when they travel to Green Bay. The Packers start the season at Chicago, vs the Seahawks, and then host the Chiefs. That is a pretty tough start to a season. This game will come down to whoever has the better defense, which in this case is clearly the Chiefs. KC wins again, 30-27.
The Chiefs travel to Cincinnati in week 4. The Bengals have made the playoffs 4 straight years and are a consistent threat in the AFC North. Andy Dalton has won at least 9 games every season, and after a tough 3-game start to the season, I can see the Chiefs finally losing here. Bengals win 26-19.
The Bears come to Kansas City one week after hosting the Raiders. Their #1 draft pick (WR Kevin White) could miss the entire season after undergoing surgery, thus taking away one of QB Jay Cutler’s weapons. The Bears had a miserable season in 2014 and do not seem likely to have a much better season under new coach John Fox. Chiefs win easily, 24-10.
The Chiefs travel to Minnesota for the first time since 2003. The Vikings are currently waiting for their new stadium to open, so this game will occur at the University of Minnesota. The Vikings will have Adrian Peterson back this season (who was suspended all of 2014), which will make them a tough matchup. However, the Vikings defense cannot match the Chiefs and KC comes away with their third road win of 2015 by a score of 24-22.
The Steelers visit Arrowhead in week 7. Last season the Steelers were lucky to “steal” a win after the Chiefs were unable to convert 6 trips into the red zone into 7 points and had to settle for 4 field goals. That won’t be the case in 2015, and as we saw in the opening game of the 2015 NFL season, the Steelers’ defense is very porous. The Chiefs win again, 35-28.
This week the Chiefs host the Lions in London. The Lions lost in the first round of the playoffs in 2014, tying KC for the most consecutive playoff losses in NFL history. I would feel no remorse if they become sole owners of that record in 2015. I doubt London offers any form of home field advantage to either team and they seem fairly evenly matched. Lions prevail in a tight game 17-10.
After their game in London, the Chiefs travel to Denver. Doesn’t seem fair and I am guessing John Elway paid the NFL to schedule this game knowing that the Chiefs might be tired from traveling so much. Denver gets revenge winning 31-17.
Immediately after traveling to London then Denver, the Chiefs travel again to San Diego. I am guessing that San Diego paid the NFL for the opportunity to face the Chiefs right after they face the Broncos. However, the Chiefs defense stifles Phillip Rivers and KC wins 24-19.
The Buffalo Bills travel to KC as these opponents face each other for the 8th consecutive season. The Chiefs have won the past 2 but the Bills have a slight 4-3 advantage in the past 7 seasons. The Chiefs look to even the score and do so, winning 14-13 as defense rules the day.
The Chiefs travel to Oakland to face their bitter rival for the first time in 2015. The Raiders are an improved team over the 2014 edition, but the Chiefs defense will finally make sophomore QB Derek Carr crack under the pressure. Chiefs win on the road yet again, 35-20.
The Chargers come to Arrowhead with revenge and playoff aspirations on their minds. Phillip Rivers plays out of his mind while also whining more than any QB in history and pulls off an upset. Chargers win 30-23.
The Chiefs travel to Baltimore, where they have not won since 2004. They have also lost 4 straight against the Ravens, including the 2011 Wild Card playoff game in KC. The Ravens are a tough team but their defense is weaker than it used to be. Combined with an improved KC offense, the Chiefs roll, 24-10, clinching a playoff spot in the process.
The Chiefs host the Browns and former WR Dwayne Bowe (who is currently a 3rd-string receiver for Cleveland) in week 15. The Chiefs beat the Browns at Arrowhead in 2013, and with their 23rdj QB since 1999 (Josh McCown), I just cannot see the Browns winning this game. Chiefs win 28-13 and clinch the AFC West.
The Raiders come to town looking for revenge and they get it as the Chiefs have already locked up a playoff spot and the AFC West title, thus giving their starters a chance to rest. Chase Daniel plays solid in his last game for the Chiefs but ultimately loses a 34-27 shootout to Derek Carr and rookie WR Amari Cooper.
Chiefs final record: 11-5, AFC West Champions. They beat the Bengals in the AFC Wild Card (ending their 21 year playoff win drought!) before losing to the Colts, who go on to the Super Bowl.