Chiefs to play in NFL opener

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson on the NFL's opening night.

And the raising of a Super Bowl banner, to boot.

The Chiefs will begin their Super Bowl defense on Thursday Night Football on Sept. 10, with national TV cameras converging inside Arrowhead Stadium for the stand-alone NFL opener against the Texans.

That's the plan for now.

As the coronavirus pandemic has wiped out sporting events across the world, the NFL released every team's 2020 schedule Thursday _ or at least what it hopes will be their 2020 schedules.

"We have and will continue to prepare for the season. We've been doing it carefully; we'll continue to do it diligently working with outside experts making sure that we're ready to go and ready to deal with whatever contingency comes our way," Chiefs president Mark Donovan said on the schedule-release show on the team's website. " ... The key for us is that it's safe for our players, for our coaches, for our fans, for our staff, for everybody involved and for our fans, obviously. So, that's where we're working towards."

Last month, in reply to a question about the possibility of a delayed start to training camp or the season, Chiefs chairman and owner Clark Hunt said, "Unfortunately, the truthful answer to many of those questions is we just don't know right now."

If all does progress as planned - or hoped - the Chiefs will be a mainstay on primetime TV. They have five games slated for national TV, all in the first 13 weeks.

It starts with opening night. Two months ago, the Royals altered their schedule to free up the Truman Sports Complex for Sept. 10. The Chiefs and Texans will occupy the lot in a rematch of an AFC Divisional Round Game that saw the Chiefs put together their biggest playoff comeback in playoff history.

The Chiefs make back-to-back road games after the home opener, a trip to Los Angeles to play the Chargers and then one to Baltimore on Sept. 28 (Week 3) for a Monday Night Football matchup between the past two MVP award winners in the NFL - Patrick Mahomes in 2018 and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2019. That game also pits the betting favorites in the AFC in 2020.

In other prime time games, the Chiefs travel to Buffalo for Thursday Night Football on Oct. 15 (Week 6); they travel to Las Vegas on Nov. 22 (Week 11); on Sunday Night Football; and they play host to Denver on Dec. 6 (Week 13) for another Sunday night game.

The Patriots will make the trip to Kansas City in Week 4. Their former quarterback - Tampa Bay's Tom Brady - will host the Chiefs in Week 12. Both of those are late Sunday afternoon tilts.

Broncos quarterback Drew Lock, a Lee's Summit High graduate, will make his second start in his hometown on Dec. 6. Lock was 4-1 as a starter last year, his lone defeat a 23-3 loss inside Arrowhead Stadium last December.

The Chiefs and Texans played twice last season, with Houston taking a regular season matchup that became largely forgotten after the playoff classic. The Chiefs trailed by 24 points in the first half of the AFC Divisional Round matchup before rallying for the top comeback in playoff franchise history and a 51-31 win that sent them to the AFC Championship Game. In a battle of 2017 first-round draft picks, Mahomes out-shined Watson with five touchdowns.

As was previously known, the Chiefs will play host to Atlanta, Carolina, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Chargers, New England and the New York Jets at Arrowhead Stadium this year. They will visit Baltimore, Buffalo, Denver, Las Vegas, the Chargers, Miami, New Orleans and Tampa Bay.

In the preseason, the Chiefs will play Cincinnati and Green Bay at home and travel to Dallas and Arizona. The dates for those games are still to be determined.


– Sept. 10: HOUSTON, 7:20 p.m.

– Sept. 20: at Los Angeles Chargers, 3:25 p.m.

– Sept. 28: at Baltimore, 7:15 p.m.

– Oct. 4: NEW ENGLAND, 3:25 p.m.

– Oct. 11: LAS VEGAS, noon

– Oct. 15: at Buffalo, 7:20 p.m.

– Oct. 25: at Denver, 3:25 p.m.

– Nov. 1: NEW YORK JETS, noon

– Nov. 8: CAROLINA, noon

– Nov 22: at Las Vegas, 7:20 p.m.

– Nov. 29: at Tampa Bay, 3:25 p.m.

– Dec. 6: DENVER, 7:20 p.m.

– Dec. 13: at Miami, noon

– Dec. 20: at New Orleans, 3:25 p.m.

– Dec. 27: ATLANTA, noon