The K.C. Chiefs are two weeks removed from a disappointing performance in Super Bowl 55. There are a lot of woes that were exploited on Kansas City’s end. However, those are simple fixes that can be made in the offseason as the team looks ahead to 2021.
The Chiefs just completed their third season with Patrick Mahomes as their starting quarterback. Mahomes has played 54 games in his career, including postseason games, and he owns a 44-10 record as a starter for the Chiefs, going back to his debut in Week 17 of the 2017 season in Denver.
Among those 10 losses, the first nine were within eight points. In Super Bowl 55, the Chiefs suffered their 10th loss with Mahomes under center. The Chiefs lost by 22 points, the first time the Chiefs lost by more than one possession with Mahomes. It is the team’s biggest loss with Mahomes and the first blowout suffered by the Chiefs since Week 4 of the 2016 season, when the Chiefs lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football by a final score of 43-14.
It is worth noting that since Mahomes replaced Alex Smith as the starter for the Chiefs, they have made it very far all three seasons. In 2018, the Chiefs were an overtime (and an offsides) away from the Super Bowl. The following year, the Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in 50 years. This past year, the Chiefs returned to the Super Bowl.
Kansas City’s “worst” finish to a season with Mahomes so far was when the team lost to the New England Patriots in overtime in the AFC Championship. On top of that, Kansas City has played 10 home games, regular and postseason, every year with Mahomes as the starter, including hosting the AFC Championship game three consecutive years at Arrowhead Stadium, which has never been done in the history of the AFC.
Patrick Mahomes will keep the KC Chiefs standards high.
For 2021 and beyond, it is fair to expect that, at the very least, the Chiefs should appear in the AFC Championship game. For reference, let’s look at the Patriots dynasty with Tom Brady, which saw a dominant 19-year run from 2001 through 2019.
The Patriots won six Super Bowls and appeared in three more. Out of those 19 seasons, the Patriots appeared in the AFC Championship game 13 times. The Patriots lost either in the Wild Card or Divisional rounds just four times while missing the playoffs only twice.
Kansas City’s Super Bowl trajectory and overall postseason success is promising. From 1962 through 2015, the Chiefs have won only nine playoff games, four of them coming after the 1970 NFL merger. The Chiefs have won six postseason contests under Mahomes in three years. Ever since Mahomes took the starting reigns in 2018, the Chiefs have won 44 games—including the playoffs—more than any team with the Saints coming in second with 40 wins.
By now, you get the idea. The first three years, we were enamored with Mahomes’ abilities and feeling great that he landed in Kansas City. While Mahomes has been putting on a show, the team has won at least 12 games each season with him. This was the honeymoon phase.
That phase is now over. Mahomes will continue to raise eyebrows with his playmaking abilities. At the same time, the high level of play is now the standard in Kansas City.
Yes, the Super Bowl loss still stings, and it will for a while. It may not be Mahomes’ last Super Bowl loss. But one thing is for sure: Kansas City Chiefs fans can expect Mahomes and the Chiefs to bring several Lombardi trophies to Arrowhead during his tenure with the team.