With the good always comes the bad.
After perusing the 2014 Kansas City Chiefs’ football schedule that was released on Wednesday, my first reaction was that the good times won’t be rolling quite like they were in 2013.
The NFL saw to that with the early season gauntlet it set up for the Chiefs to survive.
There won’t be an electrifying 9-0 start to the season that was greatly influenced by a string of tissue-soft opponents like last year.
Instead, the Chiefs could be set up for an 0-6 start.
The first game is going to set the tone as the Chiefs get to open at home against a Tennessee team it defeated on the road last season. If they don’t get the “W” in that one, the free fall is going to begin.
In order after the Titans, the Chiefs play at Denver, at Miami, home against New England and then at San Francisco. No NFL team, especially one like Kansas City which is expected to be a fringe playoff contender, could possibly go 3-1 in that stretch of games except for the elite.
It’s a good thing the Chiefs’ bye week comes after the San Francisco game because they’re going to need the time to regroup and lick their wounds.
The next block of games is where the Chiefs must be gold. They play at San Diego, then are home for two absolute must-win games against St. Louis and the New York Jets. Wrapping up the winnable four-game run is a game at Buffalo.
The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks then invade Arrowhead, which is followed by a road trip to Oakland. KC plays three of its last five at home — Denver, Oakland and San Diego — while the remaining road games are against Arizona and Pittsburgh.
At this point, the Chiefs look to be much weaker when compared to last year. They’ve taken some costly free-agent hits (Branden Albert, Dexter McCluster and Geoff Schwartz to name a few) and because of little salary cap space, they haven’t been able to sign capable replacements. Also, the Chiefs don’t have a second-round draft pick (gone in the Alex Smith trade) and they’ll be picking much lower in the first round than last year when they had the overall No. 1 pick, which at this point it’s easy to say the jury is still out. Albert was jettisoned so that the top pick, Eric Fisher, can play left tackle. He was like a fish out of water last year at right tackle and was besieged by injuries.
Here is the Chiefs schedule:
• Sept. 7 — Tennessee. Should be a win. The Titans have QB problems.
• Sept. 14 — at Denver. No chance.
• Sept. 21 — at Miami. The Chiefs generally don’t fare well in the Florida humidity.
• Sept. 29 — New England. Tom Brady against that porous Chiefs secondary? Could get ugly.
• Oct. 5 — at San Francisco. See Sept. 14.
• Oct. 12 — Mercifully, the bye week
• Oct. 19 — at San Diego. Philip Rivers must be licking his chops.
• Oct. 26 — St. Louis. This is one the Chiefs have to have.
• Nov. 2 — New York Jets. See above.
• Nov. 9 — at Buffalo. The Bills generally aren’t very good, but for the most part have had the Chiefs number in recent years.
• Nov. 16 — Seattle. World Champs just too physical.
• Nov. 20 — at Oakland. The Raiders will probably be in tatters by then.
• Nov. 30 — Denver. The Chiefs get extra time to prepare for Peyton Manning.
• Dec. 7 — at Arizona. The Cardinals seem to be getting better, but the teams are similar.
• Dec. 14 — Oakland. Already a mark in the win column.
• Dec. 21 — at Pittsburgh. December is Steelers weather. Doesn’t look good.
• Dec. 28 — San Diego. The Chargers don’t like to leave sunny California in December.
• Predicted record — 7-9.