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Who will Chiefs play in the 2024 NFL season opener? Rankings of Kansas City’s top potential opponents in Week 1

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

Coming out of the third ring for Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Andy Reid, there is a lot of speculation about who they will play. After winning Super Bowl 54 in 2020, they hosted and defeated the Texans. In 2023, the Lions, the future NFC runner-up, were the surprise winning opponent in an interconference matchup.

Who’s best to come to Arrowhead on September 5 for the traditional 8:30 PM ET NBC broadcast? Here we look at the four best options, based on the chances of being the visitors for that special evening:

MORE: See where the Chiefs rank in SN’s latest NFL Power Rankings

Potential Chiefs opponents in Week 1, ranked:

1. Houston Texans (35 percent chance)

The Texans are this year’s Lions, the most exciting young, sneaky Super Bowl contenders. They also faced the Chiefs in the 2020 opener and lost 34-20. CJ Stroud vs. Mahomes plus all the offensive talent around them would make for a high-scoring thriller and a way to get Houston into more valuable primetime games this season.

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2. Baltimore Ravens (30 percent chance)

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

Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes

3. Los Angeles Chargers (20 percent chance)

This would be the clear division game of choice, with Reid and Mahomes taking on 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 achieving the ultimate goal at the two highest levels of football.

However, there are two factors working against this game. First off, Mahomes is tied 5-1 against Justin Hebert, so there may be some concerns about how competitive this could be. Second, there hasn’t been a divisional game to open the season in 12 years, when the Giants hosted the Cowboys after New York’s loss to 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 immediately become one of the elite, high-powered AFC offenses again. However, it is more likely that this match will take place later in the season given its importance to the play-off race.