The Chiefs are Super Bowl champions — again. At this point Kansas City feels like a juggernaut, and Patrick Mahomes threw down the gauntlet on Sunday night by saying this is only the beginning of the Chiefs dynasty.
Winning one Super Bowl is difficult enough, let alone three in a row. It would firmly put the Chiefs on par with the Patriot among the greatest teams of this era, adding another layer of pressure to the task at hand. So let’s dive in and look at three reasons why the Chiefs could run it back, and three reasons why this dream could fall by the wayside.
Three reason the Chiefs can three-peat the Super Bowl
No. 1: The band is staying together
The big question entering the Super Bowl in 2024 was whether this would be the swan song of an era. We had questions swirling about Andy Reid’s coaching future, how much longer Travis Kelce would keep playing — and how these two men would impact Patrick Mahomes’ ability to keep winning.
If you hoped this would end, we’ve got some bad news. Reid has said he’s commited to be back, Kelce isn’t done playing. Pair the three man offensive nucleus of Kansas City with Chris Jones and Trent McDuffie on defense and the bones are there to do this again.
When you’re the best coached team in the NFL, and have so many of the best players in the league at key positions there’s literally no reason to doubt the ability to run it back. Heck, we can’t even use the whole “Super Bowl hangover” as an excuse, because Kansas City overcame that too.
No. 2: The Chiefs are masters of reinvention
What the Chiefs did between 2022 and 2023 is a masterclass in team management. The way Kansas City transformed themselves into a defensive team is truly incredible, and now they’re a complete football team with so much room to grow.
This is an organization with an uncanny ability to be honest about its own strengths and weaknesses, without any front office ego. The Chiefs will move players around, trade players, sign ones that fit their system — and keep finding guys who are productive on both sides of the ball.
We just witnessed Kansas City win the Super Bowl when their best wide receiver was Rashee Rice. He’ll have another year under his belt, the Chiefs will bring in new players — and the defense can keep building to the point where this team could easily be the best in the league on both sides of the ball in a year.
This team just doesn’t set a foot wrong when it comes to personnel decision making, and this is the fruit of those labors.
No. 3: Patrick Mahomes
When you have the best quarterback in the league, the best of his era, and maybe the greatest of all time, it allows for a hell of a lot of wiggle room to have deficiencies in other areas.
Mahomes is in his own tier among NFL quarterbacks, and there’s literally nothing he’s bad at. He can push the ball downfield for the big play, take what defenses give him, be clutch when it’s needed, put the game on his back without it ever feeling like it’s too much for Mahomes to bear. The man is a phenom, and when you have that kind of difference maker at the most important position in the game you can never, ever write them off.
It’s more than just “writing them off” though, because Mahomes is so good, so transcendent that he makes the Chiefs the favorite by default. We had back-to-back years where the expectation was “well, now they’ve pushed him too far” and he casually went and won back-to-back rings.
This is Mahomes’ league, and everyone else has to find a way to exist in it.
Three reasons the Chiefs will fall short
No. 1: The AFC remains a gauntlet
Look around the rest of the AFC.
This is still a deeply-talented conference.
In the AFC West alone, you now have Jim Harbaugh getting to work with Justin Herbert in Los Angeles. While the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos have quarterback situations to figure you, those fanbases have some hope heading into the offseason, and the Raiders did manage to stun the Chiefs on Christmas Day, leading many to wonder just how deep the Chiefs could go in the playoffs.
Then in the rest of the conference you still have the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins in the East, a host of teams that will be tough in the AFC North, and what could be another emerging power in the AFC South in the Houston Texans.
Also, go down the list of quarterbacks that play in the AFC. Two-time MVP Lamar Jackson. Joe Burrow, who has beaten the Chiefs before in the postseason. Herbert. Josh Allen. Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud.
There is a lot of talent in the AFC. So just getting back to the Super Bowl will be a challenge.
No. 2: Father Time
Father Time comes for us all.
Certainly Mahomes is in a good place, just entering the prime of his career. But there are some veterans on the Chiefs roster that will be another year older next season. At the top of the list might be Kelce, who faced some retirement rumors of his own as the season wound down and given his physical style of play could slow down at some point. In fact, we saw some of that this season, when during the regular season his production dropped down the stretch.
He bounced back to deliver in a huge way in the playoffs, but Kelce is not getting any younger.
And he is not alone on that Chiefs roster.
No. 3: History
There is a reason the Chiefs would be the first team to ever three-peat in NFL history.
Because the simple fact is, it is extremely hard to win two in a row, let alone three.
And it is hard for a reason. In football, things happen. This is not like golf or tennis where you have to simply account for yourself. There are a lot of moving parts at work to get an NFL team to two-straight Super Bowls, let alone three.
Take the last team in this position, the 2005 New England Patriots. That team dealt with a rash of injuries during the regular season, starting with linebacker Tedy Bruschi’s stroke shortly after Super Bowl XXXIX. He returned to the field in late October, but was one of many injuries the team endured during the season. The Patriots ended up starting 45 different players that year, setting a record for the most different starters from a division winner (and breaking their own record of 42 set back in 2003).
It was enough for them to get to the playoffs, and they won at home on Wild Card weekend. But then they had to go on the road, and lost at Denver in the Divisional Round.
Things happen over the course of the season, unexpected injuries or illnesses, that can alter the course of a season.
Perhaps the Chiefs will be the first team to overcome the history. But a lot can happen over the next 11 months.