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Kansas City Chiefs 2012 NFL Schedule Breaks Down Into Five Segments

The 2012 NFL schedule is out, and while it’s always dicey to try and evaluate schedule strength in the preseason—the fluidity of the league from year-to-year, and even month-to-month when the season begins can make today’s analysis outdated in a hurry. But sitting here in April, I think the Kansas City Chiefs schedule can best be understood by breaking it into five distinct segments…

S9: vs. Atlanta
S16: at Buffalo
S23: at New Orleans
Comment: The games against the Falcons and Saints are classic examples of games that will look tough when a team’s official schedule strength is compiled, thanks to their playoff seasons a year ago. But no one knows what to expect from the post-Bountygate Saints and the Falcons may have a sour taste in their mouth from another postseason flameout.

S30: vs. San Diego
O07: vs. Baltimore
O14: at Tampa Bay
O21: Bye
Comment:  Kansas City needs to have its ducks in a row when this part of the schedule hits. There’s a good chance to sweep this segment thanks to home/road setup, and there’s a good chance to go 0-3 if they aren’t ready for quality opponents at home and a potential letdown spot on the road.

O28: vs. Oakland
N01: at San Diego
N12: at Pittsburgh
N18: vs. Cincinnati
N25: vs. Denver
Comment: Unless the first six games go extremely well or extremely poorly, this five-game sequence defines the Chiefs’ season.  The game in San Diego on November 1 is a Thursday night and ensuing Steelers’ game is a Monday night, so there’s lots of rest and lots of exposure.

D02: vs. Carolina
D09: at Cleveland
Comment: Carolina might end up better than I’m giving them credit for here, being part of an NFC South that it’s tough to get a handle on. If the Chiefs are in playoff contention—and if we’re not going to assume they will be, there’s no point in having this discussion—they absolutely cannot overlook a visit to a game in Cleveland that will likely be in tough weather.

D16: at Oakland
D23: vs. Indianapolis
D30: at Denver
Comment: That’s a tough way to finish, with two tough road games in the division and it means the Chiefs probably want to be 9-4—certainly no worse than 8-5—coming into this final part of the schedule.

Follow me on Twitter @DanFlaherty

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