The Chiefs relinquished the distinction of hosting NFL opening night when they lost last season’s Super Bowl, but they’ll be a fixture on primetime TV nonetheless.
The Chiefs are scheduled to play five primetime games in 2021, they unveiled during the NFL schedule release Wednesday evening — though just two of those will be played under the lights at Arrowhead Stadium.
But first they’ll open the season at home with a 3:25 p.m. afternoon kickoff against the Browns on Sunday, Sept. 12, a rematch of the AFC Divisional Round matchup last January.
Tickets for the Chiefs 2021 regular season games will go on sale Thursday and can be purchased on the team website. Jackson County taxpayers will have the first crack from 8-10 a.m. Thursday. After the pandemic limited capacity to 22% in 2020, the Chiefs are selling tickets under a full-capacity Arrowhead Stadium.
The first primetime game arrives quickly. The Chiefs travel to Baltimore in Week 2 for Sunday Night Football, on which they will make three appearances this season. The first home night game is a Week 5 date against the Bills in an AFC Championship Game rematch. The two teams will meet Oct. 10 on Sunday Night Football.
The Chiefs will also host the Giants in a Week 8 Monday night game on Nov. 1. And two of their three divisional road games will earn a primetime spot — a trip to Las Vegas on Nov. 14 (Week 10) is slated for Sunday Night Football, and a date with the Chargers (Week 15) on Dec. 16 slots in for Thursday night.
The Chiefs’ bye week falls in Week 12, the week of Thanksgiving.
The Chiefs are the Vegas favorite to win the AFC, but they play the next three teams on that sheet — the Bills, Ravens and Browns — this season.
And they have a pretty attractive meeting with an NFC team, to boot. It’s Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers — for now — on Nov. 7 (Week 9) at Arrowhead Stadium. When the NFL voted to add a 17th regular season game in 2021, the Packers jumped on the Chiefs’ schedule. Provided Rodgers remains a Packer — he’s been the subject of trade speculation — the matchup would pit the two odds-on favorites to win the NFL MVP award. Mahomes is listed at 5-to-1, with Rodgers at 9-to-1. Rodgers won the award last season.
With the addition of the 17th game, the NFL schedule stretches to 18 weeks and concludes one week later in January. The Chiefs finish in Denver in Week 18 on Jan. 9.
The opener against the visiting Browns will be broadcast by CBS and feature two of the playoff-returning teams in the AFC. The Chiefs beat the Browns 22-17 in the AFC Divisional Round of last year’s postseason on their way to a second straight Super Bowl appearance, even though Mahomes missed the majority of the second half with an injury. The Chiefs have won their last four meetings with the Browns. They’ve won six straight season openers, including last year’s 34-20 victory to kick off the NFL season, a reward as the previous year’s Super Bowl champion.
That honor this season fell to the Buccaneers, who will play host to the Cowboys and drop the championship banner on Thursday, Sept. 9.
The Vegas oddsmakers quickly pounced on the schedule release. The Chiefs are 5 1/2-point favorites opening weekend against the visiting Browns.
As was previously known, the Chiefs play host to the Broncos, Chargers, Raiders, Browns, Steelers, Bills, Giants, Cowboys and Packers at Arrowhead this season. They will make trips to the Broncos, Chargers, Raiders, Ravens, Bengals, Titans, Eagles and the Washington Football Team.
In the three-game preseason, the Chiefs travel to San Francisco (TBD) and Arizona (Aug. 20) before closing out with a home game against the Vikings (Aug. 27).
2021 CHIEFS SCHEDULE
Sept. 12: BROWNS, 3:25 p.m.
Sept. 19: at Baltimore, 7:20 p.m. (SNF)
Sept. 26: CHARGERS, noon
Oct. 3: at Philadelphia, noon
Oct. 10: BILLS, 7:20 p.m. (SNF)
Oct. 17: at Washington, noon
Oct. 24: at Tennessee, noon
Nov. 1: GIANTS, 7:15 p.m. (MNF)
Nov. 7: PACKERS, 3:25 p.m.
Nov. 14: at Las Vegas, 7:20 p.m. (SNF)
Nov. 21: COWBOYS, 3:25 p.m.
WEEK 12: BYE
Dec. 5: BRONCOS, noon
Dec. 12: RAIDERS, noon
Dec. 16: at Los Angeles Chargers, 7:20 p.m. (TNF)
Dec. 26: STEELERS, 3:25 p.m.
Jan. 2: at Cincinnati, noon
Jan. 9: at Denver, 3:25 p.m.