Who will Chiefs play in 2024 NFL season opener? Ranking Kansas City’s best potential Week 1 opponents

The Chiefs will once again have the privilege of kicking off the NFL season. As back-to-back reigning Super Bowl champion, Kansas City will host the Week 1 Thursday night opener to begin the 2024 schedule.

Coming off the third ring for Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Andy Reid, there is much speculation on whom they will play. After winning Super Bowl 54 in 2020, they hosted and beat the Texans. In 2023, the Lions, the future NFC runners-up were the surprise winning opponent in an interconference matchup.

Who is the best bet to come to Arrowhead this Sept. 5 for the traditional 8:30 p.m. ET NBC telecast? Here’s looking at at the four top options, based on chances of being the visitors for that special night:

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Chiefs’ potential Week 1 opponents, ranked:

(Getty Images)

1. Houston Texans (35 percent chance)

The Texans are this year’s Lions, the buzziest young sneaky Super Bowl contenders. They also faced the Chiefs in the 2020 opener, losing 34-20. C.J. Stroud vs. Mahomes plus all the offensive talent around them would make for a high-scoring thriller and a way to start getting Houston into more worthy prime-time games this season.

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2. Baltimore Ravens (30 percent chance)

Mahomes holds a 3-1 advantage over Lamar Jackson in the regular season and got to 1-0 in the playoffs when the Chiefs won the AFC championship in Baltimore ahead of their Super Bowl repeat. The Texans, Bills and Ravens are all set up to play the Chiefs since those teams finished in first place in their respective AFC divisions. Such a matchup should be a favorite, but keep in mind there’s another team from the AFC North that has some history with the Chiefs.

Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes

(Getty Images)

3. Los Angeles Chargers (20 percent chance)

This would be the clear division game of choice with Reid and Mahomes facing off with Jim Harbaugh’s Chargers in the latter’s return to NFL coaching fresh off winning his own national championship with Michigan. That would reward both coaches for reaching the ultimate goal in the two highest levels of football.

There are two factors working against this game, however. First, Mahomes is 5-1 head-to-head against Justin Hebert, so there might be some concerns about how competitive this could be. Second, there hasn’t been a divsion game to open the season in 12 years, when the Giants hosted the Cowboys following New York’s upset of the Patriots in Super Bowl 46.

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4. Cincinnati Bengals (15 percent chance)

Mahomes is 0-2 vs. Joe Burrow in the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs. Burrow should be healthy for the next installment in the rivalry and the Bengals should go right back to being one of the elite, high-powered AFC offenses. It’s more likely, however, this matchup will be set up for later in the season given its importance on the playoff race.

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