Travis Kelce: I like playing potential top teams early

The full schedule for the 2024 season will be announced on Wednesday night, but the Chiefs got a head start on their planning this week.

Announcements from networks and the league ahead of the full reveal showed that the Chiefs will be hosting the Ravens in the first game of the regular season and that they'll be at home against the Bengals in Week Two. Those are a couple of expected contenders in the AFC and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said on his New Heights podcast that he likes getting a chance to "gauge where we are" against such teams in September.

"I do like playing the potential, like, top teams in the league early," Kelce said. "I'd rather play them early or like midseason. I don't like playing at the end of season outside of the division. I just feel like it's too close to the playoffs and if I have a chance to play them in the playoffs, I want to keep that game fresh."

Kelce added that he usually feels "beaten up" in December as another reason why he's fine with opening the season against tough opposition.

Some might see a stiff early schedule as having the potential to send a team on a downhill trajectory right out of the game, but the Chiefs' recent run of success and their late-season/postseason play in 2023 in particular likely make that prospect feel like a remote one.