Repeating as Super Bowl champions is hard in the NFL. Can the Kansas City Chiefs learn anything from other teams that failed to do so recently?
The Kansas City Chiefs are looking forward to the 2020 season and attempting to repeat as Super Bowl champions. That’s not an easy task in the NFL. It has only happened eight times in the history of the Super Bowl, the last time being when the New England Patriots won for both the 2003 and 2004 seasons, which was 16 years ago. While the Patriots had a remarkable run during the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era, they were still only able to repeat as champs in back-to-back years.
What makes the feat so difficult in the NFL? Common sense says there are many factors at play that make repeating hard. Free agency, injuries, and the overall level of competition in the league are just a few of the reasons most of us would come up with for justifying it. The NFL is an ever-evolving league, so what made it hard to repeat 20 years ago could be different than what makes it hard today.
To try and gain a little perspective, I decided to look at the two previous Super Bowl champions before the Chiefs to see if there were any clear causes that Kansas City may want to make an effort to ignore. The Philadelphia Eagles were the 2017 season champs, but followed up their 13-3 Super Bowl season with a 9-7 year and couldn’t make it out of the divisional round of the playoffs in 2018. The 2018 champion Patriots had a good record last season at 12-4, but limped into the playoffs and were subsequently bounced in the Wild Card round.
I’m sure the fans of both of these teams were convinced that they had a great chance to repeat, just like us Chiefs fans right now. However, while neither team was “bad” the following season, they simply weren’t able to replicate the success of their Super Bowl winning season. So what were the main contributing factors and are any of those reasons things that the Chiefs need to be weary of this coming season?
Let’s start by taking a look at the 2017 and 2018 Eagles and see what we can learn from them.