By Jack Johnson, Sports Radio 810 Contributor
Every season, the media highlights multiple games on the Chiefs’ schedule that catches their
eye. Those selections range from primetime matchups, rivalry showdowns, or playoff
rematches. With less than two months to go until the season opener, here are three matchups
that standout on the 2021 schedule.
1. September 26, 2021, Week 3 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
We’ve seen the video surface all over the internet. As Patrick Mahomes is walking up the
fairway at a American Century Championship, a Chargers fan to his right shouts, “Watch out for
Justin Herbert this year.” Mahomes, after a short pause, responds with, “I’ll see it when I believe
it.” The 25-year-old quarterback has since explained that the words were taken out of context.
“Yeah, I think it got taken out of context,” Mahomes told Jori Epstein of USA TODAY. “I was
talking some trash to all those Raiders and Broncos and Chargers fans out there. I have a ton of
respect for him as a player.”
Regardless, the stage has been set.
For seemingly the last five offseasons, the Chargers have been viewed as the Chiefs’ biggest
divisional threat. However, since Mahomes entered the league in 2017, Los Angeles has won
10-or-more games just once. Additionally, they’ve gone 1-4 when Mahomes is the starter.
It isn’t as much of a rivalry as it is an important divisional meeting. Mahomes and Herbert have
only gone head-to-head once and Kansas City prevailed with an overtime victory at SoFi
stadium last season. Herbert is coming off a rookie campaign in which he threw for over 4,000
yards and 31 touchdowns. However, Mahomes and a capacity crowd at Arrowhead Stadium is a
different animal. In three seasons as a starter, Mahomes has lost at home just five times and
only twice to an AFC West opponent. The last thing you want to give him is a reason to crush
2. October 10, 2021, Week 5 vs. Buffalo Bills
Is there anything more electric than Sunday Night Football at Arrowhead? Well, it’s going to be a
deafening environment when the Bills come to town for a rematch of the 2021 AFC
The Bills, for the foreseeable future, have the same roadblock that the Baltimore Ravens have
had under Lamar Jackson. It’s also the same obstacle the Chiefs had when Tom Brady was still
in New England. To earn respect, you have to dethrone the king. Jackson and the Ravens are
0-3 against Mahomes. Josh Allen and the Bills are 0-2. This doesn’t indicate that a win at
Arrowhead Stadium in October puts Allen above Mahomes and Buffalo over Kansas City.
However, it would arguably be the best win of Allen’s young career. On the other hand, if the
Chiefs defeat the Bills again, there won’t be too much question as to who remains the team to
beat in the AFC.
3. October 17, 2021, Week 7 at Tennessee Titans
The Titans aren’t necessarily a different team, but they’re revamped with the addition of Julio
Jones. When you pair that with Derrick Henry and AJ Brown, the Titans’ offense becomes a
legitimate force to be reckoned with. The question is, however, can Ryan Tannehill turn them
from an AFC threat into a Super Bowl threat?
By the looks of it, this Week 7 showdown could be flexed from its 12:00 p.m. slot. As things
currently stand, the Colts and 49ers square off on Sunday Night Football. If the Chiefs/Titans
game moves to primetime, Nissan Stadium will be welcoming Kansas City with a playoff
Unlike the Bills, the Titans appear to be the shiny, new toy in the AFC — mainly from Jones’s
presence. After back-to-back playoff appearances with Tannehill as a starter, this year’s
Tennessee squad has as much offensive firepower as any team in the league. The defense,
though, will determine how successful they are. Expect this game to be one of the most wild
shootouts of Patrick Mahomes’ career.
Agree with our list? What game are you looking forward to the most?