The National Football League released the 2016 schedule on Thursday and the Kansas City Chiefs slate of games is highlighted by three nationally-televised games and only one non-Sunday game. However, the best part of the schedule may be the three homes games in the month of December that will go a long way to helping the team return to the playoffs.
The Chiefs first national game is Week 4 (Oct. 2) when they travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers Sunday night on NBC. In Week 14, they will welcome the Oakland Raiders to Arrowhead for a Thursday Night contest, also on NBC as well as the NFL Network. That game will also be streamed on Twitter, a new thing for the NFL this year.
Finally, their last nationally televised game is Christmas Day when the Super Bowl champs, the Denver Broncos, come to town for another Sunday night game on NBC. The Chiefs aren’t appearing on Monday Night Football this year.
Here is the rest of the schedule, including the preseason schedule from the Chiefs web site. Teams highlighted in bold are 2015 playoff teams. All times listed are Central times.
- Saturday, Aug. 13 (3:30 p.m., KCTV-5) Seattle Seahawks @ KC
- Saturday, Aug. 20 (TBD. KCTV-5) KC @ Los Angeles Rams
- Saturday, Aug. 27 (Noon, KCTV-5) KC @ Chicago Bears
- Thursday, Sept. 1 (7 p.m., KCTV-5) Green Bay Packers @ KC
- Week 1, Sunday, Sept. 11 (Noon, CBS): San Diego Chargers @ KC – As long as Philip Rivers is standing in the pocket, this can be a loss for KC. But opening day in KC is always special.
- Week 2, Sunday, Sept. 18 (Noon, CBS): KC @ Houston Texans – Somehow I don’t believe the Chiefs will be intimidated by playing THIS game on the road as they put up a 30-0 playoff win last year. Yes, even with Brock Osweiler at quarterback for the Texans.
- Week 3, Sunday, Sept. 25 (3:25 p.m., CBS): New York Jets @ KC – A tough team with issues at quarterback, but they missed the playoffs last year by an eyelash.
- Week 4, Sunday, Oct. 2 (7:30 p.m., NBC): KC @ Pittsburgh Steelers – Playing the Steelers at Heinz Field is never easy, but the Chiefs did beat this team at Arrowhead last year.
- Week 5, Sunday, Oct. 9: BYE WEEK
- Week 6, Sunday, Oct, 16 (3:05 p.m., CBS): KC @ Oakland Raiders – This game could be the last one in Oakland between the original AFL rivals. Or they may play here again in 2017 … or 2018. Or maybe forever if the Raiders get a stadium deal done.
- Week 7, Sunday, Oct. 23 (Noon, FOX): New Orleans Saints @ KC – The Saints are no longer the team that puts 40 on the board every week. Unless you’re talking about what their defense gives up, of course!
- Week 8, Sunday, Oct. 30 (Noon, CBS): KC @ Indianapolis Colts – Sigh … no, I still haven’t gotten over that heartbreaking playoff loss to Andrew Luck three years ago.
- Week 9, Sunday, Nov. 6 (Noon, CBS): Jacksonville Jaguars @ KC – These ain’t your daddy’s sad-sack Jaguars but beating the Chiefs at Arrowhead could be difficult.
- Week 10, Sunday, Nov. 13 (Noon, CBS): KC @ Carolina Panthers – Will the Panthers suffer from a Super Bowl loss letdown, or will they build on what they started last year?
- Week 11, Sunday, Nov. 20 (Noon, FOX): Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ KC – Jameis Winston comes to Arrowhead. Hide the crab legs.
- Week 12, Sunday, Nov. 27 (3:25 p.m., CBS): KC @ Denver Broncos – Chiefs return to the site of the highlight from their 2015 regular season when they nearly ended Peyton Manning’s career and walked away with a 29-13 victory.
- Week 13, Sunday, Dec. 4 (Noon, CBS): KC @ Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons have a scary offense, but their defense? Not so much ….
- Week 14, Thursday, Dec. 8 (7:25 p.m., NBC/NFLN): Oakland Raiders @ KC – Some people think this up-and-coming rival could leapfrog the Chiefs in the AFC West this year. This could be the game that decides it.
- Week 15, Sunday, Dec. 18 (Noon, CBS): Tennessee Titans @ KC – Yes, the Titans have Marcus Mariota at quarterback, but this is still the team that finished last in the NFL in 2015. Could they reap some major rewards with the blockbuster trade they made Thursday with the Rams?
- Week 16, Sunday, Dec. 25 (7:30 p.m., NBC): Denver Broncos @ KC – Could the Chiefs be opening an AFC West title for Christmas this year? If they do, egg nog is on me.
- Week 17, Sunday, Jan. 1 (3:25 p.m., CBS). KC @ San Diego Chargers – This will undoubtedly be the last game between the Chiefs and Chargers in San Diego as the ‘Bolts will be following the money to Los Angeles. New Year’s Day in sunny SoCal … will the Chiefs fans outnumber the Charger fans in the stands?