The dynastic Chiefs are the NFL’s king of the hill once again
sIn early-September, 32 teams stepped into the NFL gauntlet. When the smoke cleared in Glendale on Sunday night, the Kansas City Chiefs emerged as the lone survivor.
This was supposed to be a retooling year for the Kansas City Chiefs. Unfortunately for the rest of the NFL, that memo never made it to Andy Reid’s desk. On Sunday night, before a packed house at State Farm Stadium, the Chiefs edged the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 to win their second title in four years. Coupled with hosting five-straight conference championship games, three trips to the Super Bowl, five-straight division titles and another Lombardi trophy, and it’s clear Kansas City has distinguished itself as an NFL dynasty. The Chiefs join the Patriots (’01-’18), the 49ers (’81-’94), the 70’s Steelers, 90’s Cowboys and 70’s Dolphins as dynastic teams of the Super Bowl era.
The Chiefs, with an evergreen flair for the dramatic, overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to win on Sunday. Coming into the game, teams with a double-digit lead going into the half were 26-1. Over the final two frames, the Philadelphia Eagles could manage only 10 points on four second half drives. Conversely, the Chiefs scored touchdowns on three-consecutive possessions when play resumed. This was after Mahomes apparently re-aggravated the high-ankle sprain he sustained in the Divisional Round.
30 minutes into regulation, it appeared the Philadelphia Eagles might cruise to victory. Mahomes had tweaked his ankle, the offense had a missed field goal and two punts in their last three second-quarter possessions and Philly had overcome a defensive score to build a two-score lead. A lesser team in this league might’ve folded. At the risk of sounding glib, the Kansas City Chiefs are cozy in such game situations. During the Super Bowl LIV run, they overcame double-digit leads in three straight games on their way to a world title.
Defensively, the Chiefs were less stellar than their offensive counterparts. The Eagles scored 35 points — the most in a losing effort in Super Bowl history. Fortunately for them, they made meaningful plays down the stretch. On Philadelphia’s first third quarter drive, Kansas City stifled a 17-play drive by holding the Eagles to just three points. On the next series, the Jalen Hurts-led offense went three-and-out. With two much-needed stops, Kansas City had the occasion to climb back into the game on the heels of a 14-3 run.
Andy Reid’s offensive coaching staff had its finest moment of the season on Sunday night. In the lead up to the game, pundits gave Kansas City’s offensive line little hope to manage the league’s best pass rush. The Eagles posted 70 sacks in the regular season (good for third-best all-time for a single season). That fearsome front didn’t get home once in this game. Furthermore, Chiefs’ running backs averaged 5.7 yards per carry on 19 carries for 110 yards.
That balance resulted in Mahomes posting a Super Bowl-high 96.4 QBR. He had just six incompletions on the night and despite a momentary scare, scrambled for 26 yards on the game-winning drive. It was another one of those performances the late, great Chiefs beat writer Terez Paylor called an “over my dead body” game. To date, the one criticism that stuck to Mahomes was how he played in previous Super Bowl trips. No such criticism will be attached to his outing on Sunday. He was brilliant.
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The most intriguing part of this Super Bowl run is the fact that the Chiefs got significantly younger, just put together its best draft class in 14 years (that 2008 draft was an impressive haul), are projected to have $70 million in cap space and have 12 picks in April’s draft. With a few timely extensions and another 2-3 key additions, the Chiefs could be favored to win the Super Bowl again next year.
It’s an unbelievable time for Chiefs Kingdom. The Kansas City Chiefs have reset their Super Bowl window and the best quarterback on the planet is just 27 years old. There was some conversation about Andy Reid mulling over the possibility of retirement, but it’s hard to believe he’ll hang up his headset now. Time will ultimately tell what Big Red decides, but for now, the Chiefs are set for yet another parade back in Kansas City this week. Much to the chagrin of the National Football League and opposing fan bases across the league, the Chiefs are back on top of Mount NFL.