GAMETIME:8:00 p.m. CT on Friday, August 11
LOCATION:Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
HOW TO WATCH:KCTV5
HOW TO LISTEN:101.1 The Fox
It's an exciting time in Kansas City as the Chiefs kickoff the 2017 preseason on Friday night against the San Francisco 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium. While the game doesn't count in the win-loss column at the end of the year, it's the first chance in 209 days that fans will have to watch the Chiefs take on an opponent under the lights at Arrowhead.
It's also an opportunity for several of the players to live out their lifelong dream of running out onto a professional football field. The Chiefs have 90 players on the roster right now but will have to trim that number to 53 by the regular season, so while these games don't count in the standings, they mean quite a bit to the guys strapping on the helmets.
The game itself pits two teams against one another that are coming off very different seasons. The Chiefs were 12-4 last season, earning a first-round bye and a second-consecutive playoff appearance. San Francisco, meanwhile, is trying to bounce back from a 2-14 campaign with a new head coach, Kyle Shanahan, taking the reigns.
It'll be the first meeting between the two teams since Week 5 of the 2014 season in San Francisco. The Chiefs lost that game, 22-17, falling to 2-3 on the season. Since that game, the Chiefs are 30-13 in the regular season while San Francisco is just 12-31.
If the Chiefs want to carry on their run of success to this season, that process continues on Friday night at Arrowhead.
Fans can expect the starters, including quarterback Alex Smith, to play the majority of the first quarter. As the game goes on, the starters will trade out their helmets for a Chiefs hat and watch the rest of the game from the sideline. That means the second and third stringers – many of which are trying to make the team – will have their shot at playing in front of the Arrowhead faithful.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said on Tuesday that Tyler Bray will take over at quarterback in the second quarter, followed by rookie Patrick Mahomes in the third and Joel Stave in the fourth.
It'll be the first real game action for Mahomes, running back Kareem Hunt, wide receiver Jehu Chesson and the rest of the Chiefs rookie class as they run out of the tunnel at Arrowhead for the first time.
It's a thrill that will surely last a lifetime and mark the beginning of their careers in the NFL.
The game is also an opportunity for the entire team – from the rookies to the regulars – to start the process of getting into game shape. It's impossible to completely simulate the raucous environment and speed that comes with an NFL game in practice, and while Friday's contest isn't quite what the Chiefs will see from week to week in the regular season, it's close.
The Chiefs will look to take advantage and build on what they've done in training camp so far as the regular season inches closer by the day.
Tune in to the action on Friday night as football season gets underway at 8 p.m. on KCTV5.