The “Five Week Stretch” is Nov. 21st to Dec. 18.

The “Five Week Stretch” is Nov. 21st to Dec. 18.

The part of the 2011 NFL schedule that will help define the Kansas City Chiefs and Todd Haley.

The first game, Nov. 21, the Chiefs will be at New England. This game is similar to 1994 when San Francisco came to Kansas City. In one corner Steve Young of the 49ers, Joe Montana’s former team, and in the other Montana who led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game the year before. It was a big deal. The media had fun, but I’m sure when the Chiefs and Pats meet, contrasts will be made over quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Tom Brady. How Scott Pioli has planted the New England way into Kansas City will be another.

Better yet, it’ll be on Monday Night Football for all to see. No pressure!

Carl Peterson had a thing with the 49ers, while there’s a definite connection now with the Chiefs and Patriots. The one issue I have is it’s not going to be at Arrowhead!

The other games include the Steelers, Bears, Jets and Packers. All have a combined record of 58-22. They are all playoff teams with the Pats, Steelers and Bears winning their divisions. It’s the Goliath part of the Chiefs schedule.

A 2010 PLAYOFF RUN FOR THE CHIEFS: Second chances do happen, but it’s an opportunity to watch and see if the Chiefs can play better this time around. This caliber of competition won’t be easy, but I’m looking forward to it. Win, lose or draw the experience gained from it will be big for the players – not only for a young guy like Eric Berry, but for Haley who’s still learning.

Already I’ve heard fans call 610 Sports thinking 10-6. The experts say 7-9, but that depends on how the Chiefs respond. How they react could change everything.

Here are three questions I’m asking Chiefs fans. Do you believe in Scott Pioli? Haley, do you trust him? The Chiefs, do you have faith?

If we’d rewind a bit to the start of 2010 before the Chiefs first game, numbers like 6-10 and 7-9 were thrown out. A preseason game hadn’t been played, no OTA’s or training camp, but between the “experts” and Monday morning quarterbacks, the Chiefs would win eight tops.

A few brash fans had the self-confidence to say 10-6, maybe as many as 11.

Then that was crazy talk. There was too much wrong with the Chiefs in 2009 to even speculate they’d sniff anything above .500 for 2010. But they did and the ones who predicted it probably felt great.

Looking at the schedule based on what teams like the Bears did last season, those five games for the Chiefs will be difficult. But for fans with unshakable faith, like the ones last year, there’s nothing guaranteeing the Bears or the Jets will be as good either.

Change happens all the time in the NFL. Injuries and lack of chemistry can adjust fast. Teams go up and down and Peyton Manning and the Colts won’t beat the Chiefs forever.

Bad luck happens to everyone, but so does the right bounce of the pigskin. The Chiefs in 2009 won just four games, but managed to beat the Steelers. I thought it was a great win, but then the Steelers lost a couple weeks later to the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns. The Chiefs caught the Steelers at the start of a five-game losing streak.

The pundits didn’t predict that. The thing is until the Chiefs draft, sign, and train, not even us fans know how good they can be. Until it’s on the field, we don’t.

Schedules aren’t the final decider. What will determine it is how the Chiefs line up against the Green Bay Packers. Good teams aren’t afraid of tough schedules, but neither should loyal fans.

The Chiefs surprised many people last season. They played well, with only a couple games where they didn’t. It was a far cry from 2009, but who’s to say the Chiefs won’t do it again? It’s their time to shine and to be recognized. The 2011 schedule is made to do exactly that for the Chiefs. All Haley and his team need to do is claim it.

Chiefs’ will might take on a whole new meaning in 2011, but that’s if there is a season.

So with fingers crossed, lucky horseshoe on, avoiding any broken mirrors and crossing under a ladder, let’s get ready to rumble!

Good day, Chief fans!