The NFL schedule-makers have the Chiefs playing on every day but Tuesday next season

With their record-setting quarterback and pop-star dating tight end, the Kansas City Chiefs were the NFL’s version of the Beatles last season.

This season Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and the Chiefs will be as close to matching the Beatles’ “Eight Days a Week” as any NFL team in nearly 100 years.

Along with the traditional Sunday games, Kansas City is also set to play games this season on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday under the newly released schedule — an odd occurrence that has happened only once before in the NFL.

The Chiefs will be the first team since the 1927 New York Yankees — the football version, not the version with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig that dominated the baseball diamond — to play games on six days of the week in a single season. Those NFL Yankees under coach Ralph Scott went 7-8-1 that season with a roster that featured Hall of Famer Red Grange and played every day other than Monday.

The increase of television packages and broadcast windows have given one of the NFL’s most high-profile franchises a most unusual schedule with a maximum of 11 games to be played on Sundays with at least two of those in prime time.

The Chiefs will open the season at home on Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 5 in the traditional spot for the defending champions. They will also play twice on Monday nights (Oct. 7 against New Orleans and Nov. 4 against Tampa Bay) and then were tabbed for two of the newer broadcast windows to fill some of other days of the week.

Kansas City will host the Las Vegas Raiders in the second annual Black Friday game on Amazon Prime Video on Nov. 29 and was picked for the Christmas Day doubleheader on Netflix for a Wednesday game at Pittsburgh. The teams playing on Christmas in Week 17 were given Saturday games in Week 16 to get adequate rest, with Kansas City hosting Houston that day.

That gives the Chiefs games scheduled for every day of the week other than Tuesday.

The three other teams playing on Christmas — Pittsburgh, Houston and Baltimore — will all have games on five days of the week, missing only Tuesday and Friday. The only other team to do that in the modern NFL was the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021, when they played a Tuesday game postponed because of COVID, along with scheduled games that season on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

REST UP

The defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers find themselves on the short end of the stick when it comes to rest.

The Niners will face four teams coming off their bye weeks, tied for the most in a season since byes returned to the NFL in 1990, according to research from ESPN. Indianapolis faces three teams coming off byes.

The 49ers will have 22 fewer days of rest than their opponents this season, tied for the third-largest gap since the start of the eight-division format in 2002, according to ESPN. They will play Dallas, Kansas City, Buffalo and Seattle following byes for those teams but San Francisco does get a few extra days before the Super Bowl rematch with the Chiefs in Week 7 thanks to a Thursday night game the previous week.

The Ravens are at the other end of the equation with a league-high 16 more days off than their opponents thanks in part to games on Wednesday and Thursday. That’s the most extra days of rest for any team since 2002, according to ESPN.

New England is tied for the second-best rest disparity in that span with 13 extra days off.

There are 14 teams in all that will play multiple games this season with four days off or fewer thanks to the Black Friday game, the two Wednesday games for Christmas this year and rule changes put in place last season to allow teams to play multiple Thursday night short-week games.

That includes Dallas and the New York Giants, who will play a pair of Thursday games with a Week 4 night game and a Thanksgiving game. This is just the third time in NFL history that teams will play on Thursday twice in a season. Detroit and Green Bay did it last season and the Chicago Bears and Cardinals did it in 1926.

ROOKIE QBS

Caleb Williams could get a chance to face the two other rookie quarterbacks the Chicago Bears passed on to pick Williams first overall.

The Bears face No. 2 pick Jayden Daniels and Washington on Oct. 27 and then host No. 3 pick Drake Maye and New England two weeks later.

There have been only five times in the common draft era that quarterbacks taken with the top two picks met as rookies, with No. 1 pick Bryce Young besting No. 2 pick C.J. Stroud last season.

No. 2 pick Zach Wilson beat Trevor Lawrence in 2021, No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota defeated Jameis Winston in 2015, No. 1 pick Peyton Manning topped Ryan Leaf in 1998, and No. 2 pick Rick Mirer bested Drew Bledsoe in 1993.

The Bears also have two games scheduled against the Vikings, who picked J.J. McCarthy 10th overall last month. That gives Williams a chance to set the common draft era record for most starts against a fellow rookie QB. Mac Jones did it four times for New England in 2021.

FREQUENT FLYERS

Jim Harbaugh’s first season as Los Angeles Chargers coach will feature plenty of time on the plane.

The Chargers are slated to travel an NFL-high 26,803 miles this season, according to Bookies(dot)com, thanks in part to five trips to the Eastern time zone and nine overall road games with NFC teams getting the extra home game this season.

The other heavy-travel teams this season are Miami, Seattle and New England, with all of those teams slated for at least 25,000 miles in travel. Five teams all have less than 13,000 miles of travel with Washington set for a league-low 10,550 miles. The other low-travel teams are Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Atlanta.

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