(610 Sports) – With a major influx of talent into the AFC West this offseason, the Chiefs pursuit of a seventh-straight division title has become a little more daunting. With the release of the Chiefs' full 2022 NFL regular-season schedule, we take a look at 5 storylines that could make or break the season for Andy Reid and company.
The Chiefs begin their season on the road in Week 1 at Arizona and play 3 of their first 4 games on the road. After playing the Chargers at home in Week 2 on Thursday Night Football, they go to Indianapolis in Week 3 and Tampa Bay in Week 4. The Chiefs will play 9 road games in all and 8 at home, due to the 17 game schedule that was implemented last season.
For the second season in a row, the Chiefs will be playing in 5 primetime games, tied for the most of any team.
After a season opener on the road, the Chiefs have a quick turnaround against the Chargers at home on Thursday Night Football in Week 2. They won't have to wait long for their next primetime game, as they take on the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay on Sunday Night Football in Week 4, followed by a Monday Night Football clash with the division rival Raiders at home in Week 5. Two more Sunday Night Football contests round out their primetime schedule, including a home game against the Titans in Week 9 and on the road in Week 14 taking on the Denver Broncos.
Strength of Schedule
The road to a seventh-straight AFC West title won't be an easy one.
Based on projected win totals, the Kansas City Chiefs have the hardest strength of schedule for the 2022 NFL season. Another metric that doesn't exactly play in the Chiefs favor, their 2022 opponents had a combined .533 winning percentage in 2021, which ranks as the fifth-best opponent's combined winning percentage.
A Well Placed Bye Week
In 2018, 2019 and 2021 the Chiefs had their bye week in Week 12. In 2020, the team had it in Week 10. The team’s Week 8 bye in 2022 isn’t just the earliest bye week for Kansas City since 2016, it’s the earliest bye week of the Patrick Mahomes era. It’s as close to the middle of a 17-game season as you’re getting, but it’ll be interesting to see how Mahomes handles playing 9-10 games straight to end the regular season.
Early Season Division Games
In 2021, the Chiefs played just one division game in the first half of the season before facing division foes in 5 of their last 8 games.
In 2022, the division schedule kicks with home games in Week 2 against the Chargers and Week 5 vs. the Raiders. Following a 5-game mid-season stretch against non-divisional foes, the Chiefs finish up with 4 division games in their last 8 to finish the regular-season.