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Predicting the Chiefs’ final record for the 2020 NFL season

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Game-by-game analysis of the defending champion’s schedule

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

As is tradition for football fans, the 2020 NFL schedule release on Thursday night was immediately followed by predictions of game results and season records. My colleagues got their instant reactions on the Arrowhead Pride Podcast channel.

This is just silly. The games won’t be played for four months and a lot could happen between now and then. Plus, the COVID-19 pandemic has messed with the offseason and may hinder some teams more than others. What is the point?

To have fun. Everything’s weird right now and all I want to do is envision the Kansas City Chiefs on their “Run It Back” tour one week at a time. So let’s put some way-too-early predictions on the record:

Chiefs’ 2020 Schedule

Week 1 - vs. Houston Texans (Sept. 10, 7:20 PM, NBC)

The Chiefs will unveil their Super Bowl LIV championship banner in front of the team that had the best chance to erase all of the great memories from the victory celebration. We all know that the Texans held a 24-0 lead in the second quarter of the AFC Divisional round game, and we all saw the Chiefs proceed to end the game on a 51-7 run.

The run doesn’t need to stop there. The early season version of head coach Andy Reid has typically been the best version — and the continuity of the offense’s starters should allow the unit to hit the ground running. Plus, I can’t imagine Houston coach Bill O’Brien outcoaching Reid after a whole offseason to prepare. I expect a lopsided victory for the Chiefs. WIN, 1-0.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Texans in Week 1?

This poll is closed

  • 97%
    Yes
    (4417 votes)
  • 2%
    No
    (118 votes)
4535 votes total Vote Now

Week 2 - at Los Angeles Chargers (Sept. 20, 3:25 PM, CBS)

One advantage of the season-opening Thursday night game is the 10 days of rest that follow it. The Chiefs will head to Los Angeles and play their first divisional opponent — and they’ll probably be catching them at the right time. Whether the Chargers start Tyrod Taylor or rookie Justin Herbert at quarterback, neither has starting experience in L.A. It could take a few weeks for either to get adjusted.

The Chargers do have a talented defense, but it will be the Chiefs defense who shines and makes a few winning plays. WIN, 2-0.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Chargers in Week 2?

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    Yes
    (4212 votes)
  • 1%
    No
    (83 votes)
4295 votes total Vote Now

Week 3 - at Baltimore Ravens (Sept. 28, 7:15 PM, ESPN)

Possibly the most exciting matchup of the first half of the schedule, the Chiefs will visit reigning MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens for Monday Night Football in Week 3. The third edition of Jackson vs. quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be the first one in Baltimore — and also the first primetime scheduling.

Baltimore’s offense was electric in 2019 — but their exposure in the playoffs may have shown teams the way to slow them down. I believe they will revamp their philosophy this offseason to counter, but Chiefs fans should feel confident that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo can get his unit to have perform similar to last season’s Week 3 win over Baltimore. WIN, 3-0.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Ravens in Week 3?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Yes
    (2707 votes)
  • 37%
    No
    (1648 votes)
4355 votes total Vote Now

Week 4 - vs. New England Patriots (Oct. 4, 3:25 PM, CBS)

This was my favorite matchup for opening night, but I understand why the NFL chose not to go with this. There is a possibility that second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham is the future for New England, but there is also a very real possibility that he fails. The defense is still good — but it is nowhere as scary as it was last season. WIN, 4-0.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Patriots in Week 4?

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    Yes
    (4084 votes)
  • 1%
    No
    (74 votes)
4158 votes total Vote Now

Week 5 - vs. Las Vegas Raiders (Oct. 11, 12:00 PM, CBS)

We should know by this point in the season if the Raiders are legitimate or not. It’s easy to forget, but the Raiders were playoff contenders in 2019 before a Week 13 trip to Arrowhead Stadium resulted in a whooping — which was the second of five losses in their last six games. We may see Las Vegas get off to a good start in the first quarter of the season, but a trip to Kansas City will bring them back down to earth. WIN, 5-0.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Raiders in Week 5?

This poll is closed

  • 97%
    Yes
    (4001 votes)
  • 2%
    No
    (86 votes)
4087 votes total Vote Now

Week 6 - at Buffalo Bills (Oct. 15th, 7:20 PM, FOX)

I declared it when I first saw the schedule: This may be the toughest game of the season. Traveling to an Arrowhead-esque atmosphere in Buffalo on a short week of preparation is a recipe for a stumble. The Chiefs offense would have already played some tough defenses by this point in the season — but Buffalo’s could arguably be better than any of them.

While it’s hard to see this team fall to anybody, I won’t be predicting a perfect record. This will be a huge statement game for Buffalo and its fans. LOSS, 5-1.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Bills in Week 6?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Yes
    (3053 votes)
  • 26%
    No
    (1126 votes)
4179 votes total Vote Now

Week 7 - at Denver Broncos (Oct. 25th, 3:25 PM, CBS)

For the third year in a row, the Chiefs get their road trip to Denver in the first half of the season. Some say Denver has an advantage early in the season because of the altitude change, but I think the Chiefs avoid a potential snowy, severely cold game in Denver if it were later in the year. Either way, you can expect a competitive game from the rival.

I will be high on Broncos’ quarterback Drew Lock and their offense this year, but the Chiefs will use their 10 days of rest to continue their dominance of the division. WIN, 6-1.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Broncos in Week 7?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Yes
    (3705 votes)
  • 6%
    No
    (271 votes)
3976 votes total Vote Now

Week 8 - vs. New York Jets (Nov. 1, 12:00 PM, CBS)

The Jets could be a surprise team this season with the continual progression of third-year quarterback Sam Darnold. At the same time, this won’t be a game that the defending champions lose at home. WIN, 7-1.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Jets in Week 9?

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    Yes
    (3813 votes)
  • 1%
    No
    (65 votes)
3878 votes total Vote Now

Week 9 - vs. Carolina Panthers (Nov. 8, 12:00 PM, CBS)

The Panthers will look a lot different than the last time the Chiefs met up with them. They officially started the rebuild by hiring former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule and getting younger in player personnel. They could put up some points with debatably the best running back in the NFL in Christian McCaffrey — but it’s likely they aren’t very competitive in 2020. WIN, 8-1.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Panthers in Week 9?

This poll is closed

  • 97%
    Yes
    (3751 votes)
  • 2%
    No
    (111 votes)
3862 votes total Vote Now

Week 10 - Bye

The Chiefs have gotten fortunate with bye weeks in the Mahomes era. It continues with another one in the second half of the season.

Week 11 - at Las Vegas Raiders (Nov. 22, 7:20 PM, NBC)

I’m sure I’m not the only Chiefs fan that saw this game and immediately looked into a weekend trip. This will be the inaugural visit to the Raiders’ new home in Las Vegas — so it’s “unfortunate” that the Chiefs will have to ruin it by packing the stands with their fans and blowing up the scoreboard. I’m not even sure quarterback Derek Carr will be the starter by this game. WIN, 9-1.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Raiders in Week 11?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Yes
    (3638 votes)
  • 4%
    No
    (186 votes)
3824 votes total Vote Now

Week 12 - at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Nov. 29, 3:25 PM, CBS)

This may be the game I’m anticipating the most on the Chiefs’ schedule. I am very curious about how this experiment will work for the Buccaneers. It’s not like they sacrificed much for the future to get quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski — but they could be using these years to develop the next starter rather than a short-term solution.

I’m just throwing that out there, cause I do think it was a smart move by a franchise that hasn’t won anything in awhile. I think this will be the first of two matchups between these two teams — and Mahomes evens his record up with Brady at 2-2. WIN, 10-1.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Buccaneers in Week 12?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Yes
    (3330 votes)
  • 14%
    No
    (545 votes)
3875 votes total Vote Now

Week 13 - vs. Denver Broncos (Dec. 6, 7:20 PM, NBC)

Not everyone will agree with me, but I think this game could have some important postseason implications. I think Denver will be a contender for one of the Wild Card seeds — and a late-season game against a conference foe will be important to their positioning in the AFC standings.

This will be a classic battle and a memorable one for both Denver and Missouri University fans. Drew Lock wins the biggest game of his career so far in Arrowhead — and snaps a 10-game losing streak to the Chiefs. LOSS, 10-2.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Broncos in Week 13?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    Yes
    (3709 votes)
  • 5%
    No
    (231 votes)
3940 votes total Vote Now

Week 14 - @ Miami Dolphins (Dec. 13, 12:00 PM, CBS)

I’m a believer in what the Miami Dolphins are building. I think they will be competitive quickly — but maybe not in 2020. This becomes a get-right game for the Chiefs after a divisional loss. WIN, 11-2

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Dolphins in Week 14?

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Yes
    (3601 votes)
  • 3%
    No
    (134 votes)
3735 votes total Vote Now

Week 15 - @ New Orleans Saints (Dec. 20, 3:25 PM, CBS)

I wish this game was earlier in the season. Depending on the records of other AFC opponents at this point, this game may matter very little to the Chiefs. A non-conference win won’t help with tiebreakers for playoff seeding — and a loss would only hurt if the Chiefs were neck and neck with another team for the top seed.

I believe the Chiefs will be so ahead of the pack that a loss here matters very little — and that gets into the heads of the players. LOSS, 11-3.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Saints in Week 15?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Yes
    (1626 votes)
  • 57%
    No
    (2222 votes)
3848 votes total Vote Now

Week 16 - vs. Atlanta Falcons (Dec. 27, 12:00 PM, FOX)

The Chiefs have yet another favorable home schedule down the stretch of the season. They finish off the regular season with two straight games at Arrowhead — and this one may be a more competitive game than some would think at the moment. The Falcons finished strong under head coach Dan Quinn last season after a bad start, and they are a good candidate to bounce back into postseason contention.

That being said, the Chiefs understand they can’t afford to drop another game. They get it done at home. WIN, 12-3.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Falcons in Week 16?

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Yes
    (3546 votes)
  • 3%
    No
    (123 votes)
3669 votes total Vote Now

Week 17 - vs. Los Angeles Chargers (Jan. 3, 12:00 PM, CBS)

For the second year in a row, the Chiefs finish off the regular season at home against the Chargers. The results won’t be much different. Their three losses and the one-seed being the only seed with a bye-week now will force the Chiefs to play their starters and win the game. The game is close — but the Chiefs pull away in the second half and start celebrating the first overall seed in the postseason. WIN, 13-3.

Poll

Will the Chiefs beat the Chargers in Week 16>

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Yes
    (3527 votes)
  • 3%
    No
    (145 votes)
3672 votes total Vote Now

Final Record: 13-3

This record may be the floor for this team.

I truly believe the roster continuity will put this team at such an advantage over most other NFL teams. I think it will be noticeable in the beginning of the season. As much as this team seems unbeatable, I won’t buy into an undefeated regular season though. I think there are flaws that will be exposed by certain teams on the schedule — and injuries and fatigue always have to factor in.

The team will be the first overall seed in the AFC with the 13-3 record — and will boast the league’s MVP as their quarterback for the second time in three years. What do you think their record will be?

Poll

What is your record prediction for the 2020 Chiefs?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    16-0
    (797 votes)
  • 12%
    15-1
    (826 votes)
  • 31%
    14-2
    (2022 votes)
  • 19%
    13-3
    (1228 votes)
  • 18%
    12-4
    (1179 votes)
  • 3%
    11-5
    (219 votes)
  • 1%
    10-6
    (67 votes)
  • 1%
    9-7 or worse
    (69 votes)
6407 votes total Vote Now