LAS VEGAS: This was speculated to be the yr when the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs have been susceptible. Their extensive receivers have been dropping passes, their offense was committing penalties, Travis Kelce was supposedly getting previous and there was no means that Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes might probably overcome all of that.
But they did, and wiped away any doubt that the Chiefs are the brand new NFL dynasty.
With their come-from-behind time beyond regulation win over the San Francisco 49ers within the Tremendous Bowl on Sunday evening, the Chiefs raised their third Lombardi Trophy in 4 journeys over a five-year span. They usually grew to become the primary workforce because the New England Patriots with Tom Brady twenty years in the past — the final nice soccer dynasty — to efficiently defend their title.
Even Mahomes, when requested whether or not the Chiefs had develop into a dynasty, replied: “It’s the beginning of 1.”
“It’s a bit bit surreal,” Reid mentioned. “I don’t know what a dynasty is. You guys have the thesaurus, so you possibly can determine it out. It’s an ideal win as a result of I understand how onerous it’s to do and the way onerous the season was, the ups and downs of the season, and the way proud I’m of the fellows for simply hanging with one another and staying constructive with one another.”
By no means earlier than has an underdog in back-to-back Tremendous Bowls received each, and which will greatest illustrate two vital details: The Chiefs have been eminently beatable this season, and no one was capable of beat them when it mattered.
Begin with the roster, which needed to be creatively put collectively by basic supervisor Brett Veach round $37 million in wage cap area taken up by Mahomes, the largest cap hit within the NFL this season. But the architect of every of their final three title runs was capable of finding bargains akin to Jerick McKinnon and Drue Tranquill who contributed far past their financial worth.
Take a look at their extensive receivers, children and journeymen who dropped extra passes than any workforce within the league this season. But they galvanized round a quiet rookie, Rashee Rice, who not solely grew to become their No. 1 possibility however a bona fide star.
It goes past personnel, although. Take into account the street Kansas Metropolis needed to navigate this season.
At one level, the Chiefs performed six consecutive video games wherein the opposite workforce had further days of relaxation, the one time that has occurred in NFL historical past. They needed to play in Germany, beating the Dolphins in Frankfurt in a preview of a future wild-card sport, and at one level misplaced 5 of eight halfway via the season to drop to the No. 3 seed for the playoffs.
After beating the Dolphins within the fourth-coldest sport in NFL historical past, the Chiefs hit the street within the postseason for the primary time in six years with Mahomes because the starter. However as underdogs in Buffalo and Baltimore, the Chiefs embraced their newfound standing as hunters reasonably than the hunted, they usually responded by taking part in their greatest soccer of the season.
By way of energy of opposition, the Chiefs efficiently navigated the hardest path to the Tremendous Bowl in historical past.
Then got here a becoming finale in Las Vegas.
The Chiefs began off by making the identical foolish errors that dragged them down too usually through the common season, they usually fell behind San Francisco by double digits, simply as they did in every of their 4 Tremendous Bowls with Mahomes beneath middle. However simply as they did in beating the 49ers 4 years in the past, and the Eagles final yr, one of the best workforce of its period rallied round what’s quick turning into one of the best quarterback of any period to mount a comeback to recollect.
Mahomes drove the Chiefs for a area objective to tie the sport 16-all with about 5 1/2 minutes to go. He drove them for one more area objective with 3 seconds left to power time beyond regulation. And he answered a area objective by San Francisco to begin the additional session with a gutsy drive that Mahomes capped along with his successful landing throw to the much-maligned Mecole Hardman.
“Similar as all the time,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned of Mahomes afterward. “He’s unbelievable.”
Similar as all the time for the Chiefs: unbelievable.
“They’re all powerful. I’m not going to say one’s more durable than the opposite,” Mahomes mentioned of the championship run. “It takes your greatest, and I believe for me, personally, it was simply battling via adversity all through the season, every time the offense wasn’t taking part in like I wished it to play, and simply to imagine and battle. However all these video games are powerful. It takes your greatest soccer.”
Reid and Kelce assuaged some issues amongst Chiefs followers that they’d retire after the Tremendous Bowl, saying late Sunday each deliberate to be again subsequent season. Mahomes and most of their key gamers additionally shall be again, although some tough choices loom in relation to pending free brokers.
All-Professional defensive sort out Chris Jones and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed will demand large contracts, and the Chiefs have to be aware of subsequent yr, too, once they have a number of extra vital gamers reaching free company.
The Chiefs will have fun their newest Tremendous Bowl triumph with a parade via downtown Kansas Metropolis on Wednesday, and after a short exhale, Veach will be part of Reid and the remainder of their mind belief in getting again to work. The cycle will start anew.
As a result of sustained success — the sort the Chiefs have achieved, yr after yr — is what turns nice groups right into a dynasty.
“I imply, I’m going to have fun tonight. I’m going to have fun on the parade,” Mahomes mentioned after incomes his third Tremendous Bowl MVP award, “after which I’m going to do no matter I can to be again on this sport subsequent yr, and take a look at for that three-peat.
“I believe Tom mentioned it greatest: When you win that championship, and you’ve got these parades and also you get these rings, you’re not the champion anymore,” Mahomes added. “It’s important to come again with that very same mentality, and be taught from guys like that which were the best of all time, on the high stage, and so that’s my mindset. I’m going to have fun with my guys due to how we’ve completed this, however then we’re going to work our means again to this sport subsequent yr.”