The NFL announced on Thursday that the Kansas City Chiefs would be one of two teams playing a game in Germany in the 2023 regular season.
Additional game details with opponent, date and so on will be announced at a later date, but we do know that K.C. will play one of their nine home games in Germany in 2023. We also already know the nine opponents on the Chiefs’ home schedule in 2023.
There are some opponents that we can rule out for this game — the most notable being the Buffalo Bills. They’re one of three NFL teams slated to play in London in 2023, so the league would not assign them two international games. The league has also previously stated they don’t want division rivals playing in international series games, so don’t expect to see the Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders or Los Angeles Chargers as the team’s opponent.
With all of that in mind, here’s a look at our thoughts on the likeliest opponent for Kansas City:
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The Lions make a lot of sense as an opponent for the Chiefs in Germany. They’re a team on the rise that quietly boasted one of the better offenses in the NFL in 2022. Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes previously combined for an all-time great performance on “Monday Night Football” in 2018 when Goff quarterbacked the Los Angles Rams. That game was previously slated to be played in Mexico City, but it was moved to Los Angeles due to issues with the turf at Estadio Azteca. Detroit similarly was slated to play the Jaguars in London in 2020, but the international series was played at home that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lions’ last game played abroad was actually Kansas City’s first-ever international game in London in 2015.
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This would be an interesting possibility for a few reasons. Chicago holds the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft and their GM Ryan Poles is a former front office executive with Kansas City. The quarterback matchup between Patrick Mahomes and Justin Fields would be compelling for an international audience and very easy to promote. The Bears are also due for an international game, with their last game coming at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against the Las Vegas Raiders in 2019.
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The storyline here could vary in this matchup. On one hand, it’s another game between Andy Reid’s former team and his current team, both top teams in their respective conferences. That game feels like one that could be played anywhere. On the other hand, this could be a rematch between Super Bowl teams as both are still in contention for Super Bowl LVII. If the latter is the case, I’d be surprised to see the NFL host that game on international soil. That said, the Eagles have only ever played one game abroad and that came at Wembley Stadium back in 2018. They’re due for an opportunity and this could be it.
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There’s really no reason that this game couldn’t be made an international game, but Miami has played abroad five times with their most recent outing coming in 2021. This would rob Chiefs fans of Tyreek Hill’s homecoming at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, just a season after he was traded to the Dolphins. Hill would still be facing his former team, but it feels like the NFL might want this one to unfold in Kansas City as intended.
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I’d be very surprised to see this game as the one played internationally, but the Bengals are due for an international game. They last played in London in 2019, which is also the last time the Chiefs played an international game. It’s a compelling matchup with two of the top teams in the AFC conference that will be expected to be competing against each other in January. The Chiefs, however, have an 0-3 record against the Bengals dating back to the 2022 regular season. I feel like the team would not be thrilled to play this game anywhere other than GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.