The 2013 NFL regular season is less than five months away, when the Kansas City Chiefs will open their season on the road, facing the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In this two-part series, we'll preview the Chiefs home and away schedules, beginning with today's focus on Kansas City's road opponents.
Week 1 - at Jacksonville - EverBank Field
The Kansas City Chiefs will kick off their 2013 season opener in Jacksonville, a return trip, if you will, for Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck, who had been with the Jags since 2004, serving most recently as their offensive line coach.
Kansas City and Jacksonville will face each other, both having new head coaches. Gus Bradley, who previously served as the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, takes over for the Jags, while our new head coach Andy Reid looks for his second-career win against the Jags (1-2).
The Chiefs are 3-6 all-time against the Jaguars, 1-4 at Jacksonville.
- Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles has 21 carries for 107 yards and one TD in two games (1-1) vs the Jags.
- New Chiefs TE Anthony Fasano had six receptions for 56 yards and a TD in a 2012 matchup vs the Jags, while with the Dolphins.
There's nothing like momentum in the National Football League and the Chiefs will look to gain some, with a hopeful win to start off the 2013 campaign.
Week 3 -at Philadelphia - Lincoln Financial Field
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid returns to the "Link," where he helped guide the Philadelphia Eagles to six divisional titles and one NFC Championship Game (2004). Just returning to the City of Brotherly Love isn't the only storyline, as coach Reid will face the man who replaced him, former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. Fans will watch new Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's defense against the up-tempo style of offense that Kelly brings from Oregon.
Putting the game under an even greater focus, the lights will be bright for the evening matchup on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football, the only primetime game of the year for the Chiefs.
Week 5 - at Tennessee - LP Field
This game is a battle of two former Fed Ex Ground Player of the Year Award winners, Titans RB Chris Johnson (2009) and Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (2010).
On paper, this looks like a great matchup between football teams, but it could also sell as a track meet, showcasing Johnson's 4.24 40-yard dash time, compared to the 4.36 40-yard dash time of Jamaal Charles.
The two RBs have faced each other twice, splitting the two games. Charles totaled 16 carries for 94 yards, along with eight receptions for 66 yards and two TDs. Johnson's stats for the two contests included 32 carries for 226 yards and one TD.
Then again, with coach Reid's West Coast offense, run by new Chiefs QB Alex Smith, the passing game will definitely be an option. Regardless, Charles, Smith, Bowe and the rest of the Chiefs will try to get their new head coach his first win against the Titans; Andy Reid is 0-4 against Tennessee.
Week 9 - at Buffalo - Ralph Wilson Stadium
The Chiefs pack their bags to head east in Week 9, facing the Buffalo Bills, a team Kansas City has faced the past six seasons. For two non-divisional teams to face each other so frequently seems a bit different, but Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe doesn't mind. Last season, Bowe caught eight passes for 102 yards and two TDs, during the team's 35-17 loss.
Last season with the 49ers, Alex Smith went 18 of 24, for 303 yards and three TDs in a win over the Bills. He'll look for that same type of production in this Week 9 matchup.
- The Chiefs are 18-25-1 all-time against the Bills, 6-14-1 at Buffalo
- Chiefs TE Anthony Fasano is used to playing the Bills, formerly of the Miami Dolphins. He has 25 receptions for 268 yards and three TDs in 11 games against Buffalo. He is 8-3 in those games.
Week 11 - at Denver - Sports Authority Field at Mile High
The matchup with the 2012 AFC West division winners gets a little more interesting in 2013. The Broncos gave QB Peyton Manning another wide receiver, Wes Welker, making their offense even more of a threat. However, Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, head coach Andy Reid and staff made the Chiefs a better team on offense and defense, adding free agent cornerbacks Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith to help against such offenses as the Broncos.
While much of the focus will be on stopping the Manning-to-Welker combination, the Chiefs have offensive threats as well, including Pro Bowl RB Jamaal Charles, who in 2010 had 25 carries for 259 yards and two TDs in Denver. To date, against the Broncos, Charles has 118 carries for 652 yards and three TDs, as well as 15 receptions for 133 yards and one score, in eight games (3-5).
As always, whenever it's an AFC West matchup, playoff implications may be at stake as the Chiefs aim for perfection, especially within the division.
- The Chiefs are 56-49 against the Broncos all-time (20-33 on the road)
- Peyton Manning is 7-1 vs the Chiefs, completing 174 passes for 2,232 yards and 14 TDs
- Manning's new target, Wes Welker is 12-4 vs KC (118 receptions for 1,354 yards and six TDs)
- Chiefs LB Tamba Hali has 8.5 sacks vs Denver in 14 games (5-9)
- Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson has four INTs (two for TDs) and three forced fumbles in 16 games vs Denver
- Andy Reid is 1-1 vs the Broncos and is 1-3 vs Peyton Manning
Week 14 - at Washington - Fed Ex Field
When the Kansas City Chiefs head to the nation's capital, the team's game plan will likely be altered, depending on whether or not 2012 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III is healthy and back to his old tricks, or if back-up QB Kurt Cousins is taking the snaps. Both are good QBs but they play different styles.
Regardless of which QB the Chiefs try to stop, they'll ultimately be trying to stop the Redskins team, coached by Mike Shanahan, who the Chiefs haven't played against since his departure from Denver in 2008.
Shanahan holds an 18-15 edge as a head coach against the Chiefs, dating back to his time with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1988.
- The Chiefs are 7-1 in the regular season vs the Redskins (3-1 at WAS)
- Andy Reid is 17-11 vs the Redskins, his former NFC East rival (while coaching the Eagles)
Week 15 - at Oakland - Oakland Alameda County Coliseum
You don't have to say more than "Raiders Week" to get fans excited for another chapter in the storied rivalry between the Chiefs and Raiders. There's no time like the present for the Chiefs to reverse a recent trend while facing Oakland.* *
The Chiefs have struggled against the Raiders the past five years, going 3-7. A Week 15 win would get them to .500 (26-27-1) when facing the Raiders on the road.
The Chiefs will be confident entering the Black Hole however, led by QB Alex Smith, who is 2-0 against the Raiders, going 31 of 52 for 361 yards and five TDs (during games played in 2006 and 2010).
Kansas City hopes an INT-feast happens like it did in 2011, when the Chiefs forced six interceptions, during the 28-0 victory over the Raiders. Chiefs DB Kendrick Lewis returned one of the interceptions for a TD, during the win.
- Tamba Hali: six sacks in 14 games against the Raiders
- Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers: 33 tackles, three assists, two INTs, including a pick-six, and 14 passes defensed in 10 games (3-7 record)
Week 17- at San Diego - Qualcomm Stadium
The final regular season game of the 2013 schedule takes the Chiefs to San Diego on December 29th. What a matchup this could turn out to be, possibly with playoff implications on the line. It will be the second contest between the teams, both led by new head coaches, Andy Reid and the Chargers Mike McCoy, who served most recently as the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos.
- The Chiefs are 52-52-1 against the Chargers (21-30-1 on road)
- Chiefs LB Tamba Hali has 10.5-career sacks against the Chargers
- Chiefs DB Eric Berry has two INTs and 27 total tackles in four games against the Chargers. He has an INT in each of the road games he has played at Qualcomm.
Click here for the Chiefs complete 2013 regular-season schedule.