DENVER, CO - JANUARY 01: (L-R) Head coaches Romeo Crennel of the Kansas City Chiefs and John Fox of the Denver Broncos chat prior to their game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Chiefs Schedule Analysis 2012: Predictions For Every Regular Season Game

The 2012 NFL schedule has yet to be officially released, but next season's opponents are already known.

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Chiefs Schedule Analysis 2012: Predictions For Every Regular Season Game

In 2010, the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC West in a surprise season that accelerated a rebuild year and bolstered confidence in the current core of players. In 2011, the Chiefs fell apart due to injuries to key personnel and drama between the front office and coaching staff. Oh yeah, Tyler Palko as starting quarterback might play into it as well. But a major factor rarely discussed for both seasons is the schedule — just how easy it was in the first year and how it was considerably harder in the second.

With the 2012 NFL regular season schedule unveiled last night, the Chiefs can now look ahead and know what they are up against. While it’s impossible to tell what to expect in April, here’s our early take on all 16 games.

Week 1- Atlanta Falcons
The Tony Gonzalez homecoming to Arrowhead should be sweet, and that will be a major storyline heading into the opener for the Chiefs. But this will actually be one of the biggest tests on the Chiefs schedule and it comes immediately.

The team’s strengths match up very well, and the Falcons offense will be high octane all season after Julio Jones gets his first full offseason to work with Matt Ryan and the coaching staff. With multiple receivers and a strong running game, Stanford Routt gets a very early test on how well he can replace Brandon Carr. Whoever wins here should gain some early nods from analyst on being a playoff darkhorse since both are loaded and ready to make a statement.
Chiefs 24, Falcons 21

Week 2 – @ Buffalo Bills
The Chiefs enjoy a very favorable turn here by playing in Buffalo early in the season. A road game against the Bills could turn ugly in December, but instead the Chiefs will face a young team trying to find out who they are. Buffalo definitely has some exciting pieces in place with Marcel Dareus and another top ten pick this year. However, the Chiefs defense should prove to be too much here.

That said, it needs to be noted that the Bills started red hot last season and have the capability of surprising. Anyone who watched the season-opener in 2011 can tell you just how poor the Chiefs looked against them. Still, it’s hard to believe Crennel will be surprised again.
Chiefs 13, Bills 10

Week 3 – @ New Orleans Saints
The Saints could conceivably be a mess in 2012. Suspensions will likely take out several defensive players, although the Saints have done well to replace them with solid FA signings (Brodrick Bunkley, David Hawthorne, Curtis Lofton). Sean Payton is out. Drama surrounds the entire franchise at this point. But when it comes to football, the Saints should be just fine in the Superdome.

This is the game that could cause the Chiefs fits. Drew Brees will challenge the Chiefs secondary in a major way, while the Saints’ defense will feel the impetus to make a statement outside of Gregg Williams. That could spell trouble for the Chiefs in their first loss of the year.
Saints 21, Chiefs 14

Week 4 – San Diego Chargers
It’s impossible to know what to expect from the Chiefs-Chargers games, as the split from last year will reveal. Games that should be easily put away are left open at the end, and other times the “more talented” team won’t show up. The Chiefs were already knee-deep in injuries for both games last year, so the Chargers will hopefully see KC firing on all cylinders in 2012.

That said, the Chargers have moved on from several key offensive players yet they’ve also stuck with the same head coach through some hot seat drama. Norv Turner has some new pieces so it’s hard to tell how they will fit. At this point, the Chargers have the division’s best quarterback but a semblance of other pieces from there. On paper, the Chiefs are finally the better team.
Chiefs 20, Chargers 17

Week 5 – Baltimore Ravens
There’s a chance the Ravens begin to take a fall in 2012. They lost defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano to the Colts as the team’s new head coach, and the team lost several key defensive players along the way including Jarret Johnson and Cory Redding. Ben Grubbs is also gone from the line to the Saints. In short, the team has some things to figure out this offseason.

That said, the core players are here for a playoff contender for some time. The Ravens front office is just that good, and this is the first game that the quarterback issue could kill the Chiefs if they remain with Cassel. The improved offensive line will also play a major role here in giving the Chiefs offense a chance to move. Winston is a great addition, but the Chiefs haven’t climbed to that next tier of teams just yet.
Ravens 13, Chiefs 6

Week 6 – @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs spent the offseason throwing money at the wall to see what sticks. Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks make any unit better, but bringing in what seemed like the 23rd candidate on the list for head coach and then loading him up with high priced veterans seems like a formula to stay in last place. Josh Freeman holds potential here, so the Bucs definitely have a shot at winning (like any given Sunday in the NFL).

However, the Bucs secondary remains among the worst in the league, and Cassel should enjoy a nice outing throwing to Dwayne Bowe, Jon Baldwin, Tony Moeaki and Steve Breaston in this one. If the Chiefs can stay focused they can head into the bye week with another win on the road.
Chiefs 20, Bucs 10

Week 7 – BYE

Week 8 – Oakland Raiders
The Chiefs see every divisional opponent at home before heading on the road to meet them, and this is the first look at Dennis Allen’s new Raider franchise. In the long run, the team will be healthier, less dramatic and more fundamentally sound. In the short term, unless you believe Carson Palmer is the answer at quarterback, the Raiders could be hurting.

While we’re obviously biased, this is the year I’m predicting the Raiders absolutely tank and get Matt Barkley in the 2013 NFL Draft. That means two wins for the Chiefs this season, who are clearly the better team matched up one-on-one.
Chiefs 30, Raiders 14

Week 9 – @ San Diego Chargers
Once again, this game is a toss-up, so it’s impossible to tell just how good (or bad) the Chargers will be. There’s something to be said for continuity on the coaching staff, but SD has a ridiculous number of new pieces in the offense. Robert Meachem, Le’Ron McClain, Roscoe Parrish, Eddie Royal and Donte Rosario are all new additions here.

That said, the Chiefs will have played the Raiders just four days earlier in an afternoon game and then travel for Thursday Night Football in the first of two primetime games. Since the teams are likely to split anyway, it makes sense that the Chargers could take advantage of a weary Chiefs team.
Chargers 17, Chiefs 7

Week 10 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The second primetime match-up features the reunion against Todd Haley and a Monday Night Football audience. The good news is that the Chiefs have 11 days to get ready for this game given their Thursday night appearance from the week before. Crennel versus Haley will be a very intriguing subplot.

The Steelers, however, are still the Steelers. Baltimore and Pittsburgh provide the two teams on the Chiefs schedule who represent the gatekeepers, if you will, into the next tier of success in the league. If the Chiefs can even take one of these, that’s a positive step. This will be tough, but playing at Heinz is always a tough contest.
Steelers 21, Chiefs 20

Week 11 – Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are an interesting story of a team that went from pitiful (picking fourth in the 2011 NFL Draft) to playoff contender in a tough division. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green certainly look the part, so Cincy now seems like a very tough opponent. Every year, however, the NFL inflates and deflates at least one franchise that’s left wondering what happened. The Bengals look like good candidates for this year’s edition.

The league is not kind to new quarterbacks in their second season. Sam Bradford learned hard way last year. Matt Ryan struggled in 2009. Promising rookies can hit the wall in their second year, and the Bengals could have a rough road ahead. This will be close, but Arrowhead proves the difference.
Chiefs 13, Bengals 10

Week 12 – Denver Broncos
There’s no way to predict this outcome. Let’s be honest. If Peyton Manning is healthy, he made wine out of water in Indy so the Broncos should be difficult to beat. Then again, he was out all last season with four neck surgeries in the last year. Will he even still be playing by this time? Impossible to tell.

If Peyton is up and at ‘em, then this game will really be interesting. If the experiment hasn’t worked out, then the Chiefs should roll here. Given Manning’s history, I’m not inclined to bet against him until it’s official.
Broncos 28, Chiefs 20

Week 13 – Cam, er, Carolina Panthers
This will be the week that everyone wants to go to Arrowhead to see one player in particular, where every fan will look back and say, “I remember when I saw Cam Newton in person.” While the Panthers looked resurgent last season, they also played a cupcake schedule. Remember this: they had the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft for a reason.

Newton will be fun to watch and he will likely frustrated Crennel’s defense. But Daboll’s offense will likely be rolling in the second half of the season (i.e. Miami in 2011) and the Chiefs are a much stronger team top to bottom.
Chiefs 24, Cam 16

Week 14 – @ Cleveland Browns
If the Raiders have a team fighting them for first position in next year’s draft, it could be the Cleveland Browns. It’s not that promise isn’t on the roster. It is. In fact, the team is likely just a quarterback away from playing good football. For now, however, the team just won’t be ready for success despite two first round choices in the upcoming NFL Draft.

One quick prediction here: this could be the upset of the season here if the Chiefs aren’t ready for it. If the Browns take Trent Richardson and another impact player, the Browns could impress near season’s end as they mature. Every NFL season features one or two games where you wonder what happened to your team. This could turn into one of those. Just sayin’.
Chiefs 13, Browns 3

Week 15 – @ Oakland Raiders
League’s worst team. Raiders go 3-13 on the season.
Chiefs 10, Raiders 0

Week 16 – Indianapolis Colts
Hrmm… let’s rethink that league’s worst team line. Actually, everyone chides the Colts for shedding so many players from their years of incredible success and point to a roster that is in disarray. The future should be solid with Andrew Luck at the helm, and the Colts are likely a couple years away from resembling anything like the Colts of old. That said, they will be better than some people realize.

Bruce Arians is a solid offensive coordinator and Luck is an exemplary student. The pairing will challenge the Chiefs defense at Arrowhead enough to scare here, but the Chiefs are clearly the better team. Just a note to say that the Colts won’t be as bad as everyone believes.
Chiefs 17, Colts 14

Week 17 – @ Denver Broncos
I hate picking the Broncos. I can’t get around it and admitting it seems like the right thing. That said, John Fox’s defense boasts a dangerous pass rush on one side and now he has Peyton on the other. If everything works as John Elway hopes, they could be looking at the AFC West title.

After reading through all of this, it’s clear that I believe the Chiefs will be a strong team in 2012. But against the Broncos, it’s hard to pick against Manning on a team with a strong defense and a real running game — especially at Mile High.
Broncos 20, Chiefs 7

Sum Total: 10-6 record predicted in 2012


2012 Chiefs Schedule: Five Quick Observations On Kansas City's Season Ahead

With the unveiling tonight of the 2012 NFL regular season schedule on NFL Network, ESPN’s three-hour special and, it’s clear that no other sports league knows how to make each and every announcement into a major event to dominate conversation. The Chiefs finally found out when and where they will be playing this evening, which has many of us looking closely to see how it affects them. Here are a few quick thoughts on what the 2012 season could hold:

1. Christmas Comes Early
The Chiefs have their easiest month at the very end of the season. If they can keep their head above water through two tough five-game stretches (we will get to these later), the Chiefs should be able to really take hold of any playoff positioning heading into the final week of the season.

The Panthers should be tough with Cam Newton at the helm, but let’s not forget they’re only a year removed from being the worst team in the NFL. Then come a trio of the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts. All of those games are very winnable and could provide some great momentum heading into Denver for the season finale. At this point, it’s impossible to even guess whether Denver will tank at 2-13 or be 13-2 at that time.

2. The Gauntlet, Part One
The opening of the season is going to be the first of two tough five-game stretches. The Falcons in the season opener is going to be a difficult game itself, but the strech continues with the Saints, Chargers and Ravens in the front five. An early trip to Buffalo saves KC from having to brave the cold weather, but the team could be 1-4 after that stretch. Let’s hope not.

The good news is that Buffalo could be a win, and the Chargers usually take some time to get moving under Norv Turner. The Saints are, well, who really knows what they will be like early in the season when many of their defensive players could be suspended. The Ravens will still be the Ravens. If the Chiefs are 3-2 through this, I’m buying an AFC West Champions shirt already.

3. The Gauntlet, Part Two
This part is even worse for the Chiefs. From Week 9 to Week 13, check out the quarterbacks the Chiefs defense will face: Phil Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton. That’s a rough stretch by most standards.

Then again, the sunny side could hinge on whether or not you believed in the Bengals quick turnaround last year (think Rams under Bradford in year one versus year two). The Chargers and Broncos are divisional contests that always are up in the air, and we’ve already covered the Panthers. However, if you live and die by the quarterback in this league, the Chiefs will see five good ones in this time.

4. Brian Daboll And The Great Second Half Adjustment
Nobody asked me, but I love the amount of rest the Chiefs will get at the right time. The bye comes in Week 7 for the Chiefs, but then they will also have 11 consecutive days off just two weeks later in between a Thursday night game (Nov. 1 against the Chargers) and a Monday Night Football game (Nov. 12 against the Steelers). That’s nearly two two-week stretches where the Chiefs can heal, if need be, and make mid-season adjustments.

The timing is also good because the Chiefs have two new guys at the helm. No matter how much work he gets in with his players, Brian Daboll is going to need time as the Chiefs offensive coordinator to know how best to use his pieces. Remember how the Miami Dolphins came on strong near season’s end? Yeah, me too. Think about giving Daboll two long stretches to tinker with what he’s learned before the second half of the season. I trust you’re smiling like I am.

5. Crennel’s Second Time Around
The same can be said for Romeo Crennel. Running the defense is one thing, but running the team is another. The rest comes at the right time for a head coach in his first year by any definition. Crennel and his staff will have two prolonged sections of the schedule where an upcoming game is not looming immediately and they can observe things from a larger perspective. That’s always a good thing.

For more on the team's schedule, check out Arrowhead Pride for the best Chiefs online community around.


2012 Monday Night Football Schedule: Complete List Of Games Includes Chiefs-Steelers

As the 2012 NFL schedule was finally announced tonight, it’s also a time to find out what the complete primetime television slate will be. In short, what games will be considered must watch? Many of them usually come on Monday Night Football.

In 2012, the Chiefs will be on MNF only one time against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 12. It’s an interesting game for a number of reasons given that both teams should still be competing for playoff spots at that point. However, it will also feature the Chiefs coming to visit Todd Haley in his new home, which should provide plenty of dramatic intrigue leading up to the event.

Here’s the complete MNF schedule:
Sept 10 – Bengals @ Ravens, Chargers @ Raiders
Sept 17 – Broncos @ Falcons
Sept 24 – Packers @ Seahawks
Oct 1 – Bears @ Cowboys
Oct 8 – Texans @ Jets
Oct 15 – Broncos @ Chargers
Oct 22 – Lions @ Bears
Oct 29 – 49ers @ Cardinals
Nov 5- Eagles @ Saints
Nov 12 – Chiefs @ Steelers
Nov 19 – Bears @ 49ers
Nov 26 – Panthers @ Eagles
Dec 3 – Giants @ Redskins
Dec 10 – Texans @ Patriots
Dec 17 – Jets @ Titans
Dec 23 (Special Sat. Game) – Falcons @ Lions

For more on the team's schedule, check out Arrowhead Pride for the best Chiefs online community around.


2012 Chiefs Schedule: Chargers, Steelers Bring Two Primetime Games To Kansas City's Slate

The Kansas City Chiefs will finally have their chance near the season’s mid-point to make a mark on a national television audience with their two primetime games back to back. The team gets a chance to warm up in the beginning of the season with more games at home than away on the front end. Then after the bye, the team will face the San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers in two consecutive primetime match-ups.

On November 1, the Chiefs will play a Thursday night game against the Chargers. The Chiefs are coming off of a short week against the Oakland Raiders just four days prior, so the level of difficulty could be great. Considering there are two straight divisional foes there, it might be that hinge that sets the Chiefs season in motion one way or the other.

Then on November 12, after a week and a half off, the Chiefs will face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. In short, the schedule eases up, gets very difficult, and then eases up again. It’s hard to tell how that will affect the team, but it might be hard to maintain a steady rhythm.

For more on the team's schedule, check out Arrowhead Pride for the best Chiefs online community around.


2012 Chiefs Schedule: Peyton Manning Doesn't Appear Until Week 12 For Kansas City

The big prize in the AFC West is going to take some time for Chiefs fans to be able to see how their team matches up against their newly revived rival in the Denver Broncos. While Peyton Manning will make his mark on the rest of the league and the division early in the season, the Chiefs and Broncos will play both of their contests against each other well into the season, which means the Manning signing for Denver will clearly have a momentum one way or the other by the time Romeo Crennel has to face him.

The Broncos roll into Kansas City in Week 12 of the regular season as the schedule has been revealed. The Chiefs then visit the Broncos in the final week of the regular season — possibly to determine the division champion. It will be interesting to see if Manning’s health can hold up until the Chiefs enter the picture. If so, that could mean bad news for the Chiefs.


2012 NFL Schedule: Kansas City Chiefs Complete Slate Revealed

The 2012 NFL schedule was announced on Tuesday night, and the Kansas City Chiefs' full slate has been revealed. Outside of division winner Denver, the Chiefs will see five other playoffs teams, three at home - Atlanta, Cincinnati and Baltimore - and two on the road - New Orleans and Pittsburgh.

Here's a look at the complete schedule:

Week 1 - Sept 9 - Atlanta
Week 2 - Sept 16 - @ Buffalo
Week 3 - Sept 23 - @ New Orleans
Week 4 - Sept 30 - San Diego
Week 5 - Oct 7 - Baltimore
Week 6 - Oct 14 - @ Tampa Bay
Week 7 - BYE
Week 8 - Oct 28 - Oakland
Week 9 - Nov 1 - @ San Diego
Week 10 - Nov 12 - @ Pittsburgh
Week 11 - Nov 18 - Cincinnati
Week 12 - Nov 25 - Denver
Week 13 - Dec 2 - Carolina
Week 14 - Dec 9 - @ Cleveland
Week 15 - Dec 16 - @ Oakland
Week 16 - Dec 23 - Indianapolis
Week 17 - Dec 30 - @ Denver

For more on the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs schedule, check out Arrowhead Pride and SB Nation's NFL page.


2012 Chiefs Schedule: Opponents Include Steelers And Ravens Apart From AFC West

The 2012 NFL Schedule has yet to officially come out, but the opponents for the Chiefs have already been determined. At 6:00pm CT tonight, the NFL will say when the Chiefs will play the following, but it's already clear that some fierce opponents await the Chiefs in 2012. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons are just some of the challenges awaiting Romeo Crennel's first season as head coach.

That said, there are some lighter games as well that give rise for hope for the Chiefs to fare well in 2012. The Indianapolis Colts will visit Arrowhead, presumably with Andrew Luck at the helm. The Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also road opponents for the Chiefs. While year to year things can shift dramatically, those are all winnable games for the Chiefs away from Arrowhead.

Here's a complete look at the list of home/road opponents for the team in 2012.

Chiefs Home Games:
Denver Broncos
Oakland Raiders
San Diego Chargers
Atlanta Falcons
Baltimore Ravens
Carolina Panthers
Cincinnati Bengals
Indianapolis Colts

Chiefs Away Games:
Denver Broncos
Oakland Raiders
San Diego Chargers
Buffalo Bills
Cleveland Browns
New Orleans Saints
Pittsburgh Steelers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

For more on the team's schedule, check out Arrowhead Pride for the best Chiefs online community around.

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