After a 10-6 season and a disappointing first-round loss in the playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs are set to look much different last season.
The organization traded quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins, leaving last year's first-round pick Patrick Mahomes in charge of the offense. While Smith had led the Chiefs to a winning record in each of the past five seasons, the 2018 season is now a mystery.
Meanwhile, the trade of Marcus Peters took away one of the most talented players on the defense.
Of course, there is still continuity in head coach Andy Reid as well as elite skill players like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt and Eric Berry among others.
This team is well-suited to have another strong year against a reasonable 2018 schedule, courtesy of the team's official site.
Chiefs' 2018 Schedule
Week 1: at Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 9 at 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 2: at Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 3: vs. San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. ET on Fox
Week 4: at Denver Broncos on Oct. 1 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
Week 5: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 6: at New England Patriots on Oct. 14 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
Week 7: vs. Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 8: vs. Denver Broncos on Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 9: at Cleveland Browns on Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 10: vs. Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. ET on Fox
Week 11: at Los Angeles Rams (in Mexico City) on Nov. 19 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
Week 12: BYE
Week 13: at Oakland Raiders on Dec. 2 at 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 14: vs. Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 15: vs. Los Angeles Chargers on Dec. 13 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox/NFL Network
Week 16: at Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 23 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
Week 17: vs. Oakland Raiders on Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
It's difficult to know what to expect from the AFC West, especially since all of the four teams have the talent to win the division as well as the inconsistency to finish in dead last.
However, it's not exactly the toughest division in the NFL, while a few games against the AFC North could also help the record. Overall, the schedule is tied for the 19th toughest in the league based on 2017 records, per ESPN.
Although a lot of focus will be on the offense with Mahomes under center, the season will likely come down to the play of the defense.
Kansas City ranked 28th in the NFL last season in yards allowed, including 29th against the pass. It won't be easy to improve after losing the team's best cover corner.
Kendall Fuller could help in the secondary, but the squad will need an improved pass rush and more consistency all around in order to return to the postseason in 2018.
While divisional matchups are always exciting, perhaps the most interesting battle on the schedule will be the road game against the New England Patriots in Week 6.
The Chiefs sent a message last year with its Week 1 win in New England, announcing themselves as a legitimate contender before beginning the year 5-0. They also notably destroyed the Pats in a home game in 2014.
New England continues to change its roster, but as long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are still there, this is a Super Bowl contender. A strong performance in this game will show once again that the Chiefs need to be taken seriously.
Kansas City will also need to continue its recent success against the Chargers, having won their last eight games against them over the previous four seasons.
Los Angeles is a team on the rise behind a young and talented defense, but the Chiefs can retain control of the division with their head-to-head matchups.