History suggests that the Chiefs’ road back to the Super Bowl may be daunting. Only eight teams in NFL history — the 1971 Cowboys, the ‘72 Dolphins, the ‘73 Vikings, the ‘87 Broncos, the 1991-93 Bills and the 2018 Patriots — have returned to the Super Bowl the year after losing the Big Game. And out of those teams, only the ‘71 Cowboys, ‘72 Dolphins and ‘18 Patriots were able to hoist the Lombardi Trophy a year after being on the short end of the Super Bowl scoreboard.
While getting back to the Super Bowl has proven to be a daunting task for the Super Bowl runner-up, simply making it back to the playoffs is also not a guarantee. Several recent runner-ups have failed to qualify for the postseason the year after playing in the Big Game.
For Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry, there’s no NFL player he’d rather watch than Kansas City Chiefs supernova Patrick Mahomes.
“Mahomes, for sure,” Curry answered asked who his favorite NFL player was to watch on the latest episode of the Huddle & Flow Podcast with NFL Network’s Jim Trotter and Thomas Warren, the latter filling in for Steve Wyche.
A three-time NBA champion with the Warriors, two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and six-time All-Star, Curry is one of the game’s greatest shooters of all-time and has often done it to a dynamic degree.
Some of his brilliance on the hardwood has lent itself to comparisons of Mahomes on the gridiron and that’s part of the appear for Curry, but there’s far more.
“See a lot of myself in him, obviously there’s been a lot of comparisons,” Curry said. “Just that creativity, you can’t blink or you’ll miss something special. I just love his confidence, when he knows that at any point he can do something special.”
Edwards-Helaire immediately grabbed the league’s attention with a dynamite debut. After posting 4.4 yards per carry in 2020, he is clearly Kansas City’s lead back of the future. Gay didn’t play a ton of snaps but was effective when he was on the field, recording 39 tackles (three for loss), one sack, three passes defensed and a Pro Football Focus grade of 68.1. Niang opted out of the 2020 season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Sneed has been an absolute steal, filling a versatile defensive back role for the Chiefs. He landed on our list of unsung heroes in the AFC and finished as the No. 1 rookie DB in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus, all despite missing a good chunk of the season due to a broken collarbone. Danna and Wharton helped provide the Chiefs with some unexpected depth on the defensive front, while Kansas City found its replacement for Dustin Colquitt in Townsend, a member of the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team. Keyes became the second Tulane defensive back in the past two drafts to be chosen in the seventh round and arrive at the NFL with a pre-existing injury (the other was 2019 seventh-rounder Donnie Lewis, who was selected by the Browns). Keyes started out on the reserve/NFI list but ended up returning in time to make special teams contributions before being called into action in Kansas City’s meaningless Week 17 loss to the Chargers.
Dominance over the Raiders
There was no love lost in those days between the Chiefs and the Raiders. A Raider during the first 11 years of his career, Allen was eager to face his former team upon joining the Chiefs in 1993. Perhaps the only other person on the planet who wanted to beat the Raiders as badly as Allen was Schottenheimer, as the player and coach shared a mutual dislike of their rival. The duo went 9-1 against the Raiders during their first years together in Kansas City.
“I always, always, always referred to it as Raider Week,” Schottenheimer said during an NFL Films documentary. “Raider Week was different than any other week. Everybody in the locker room, everybody in the stadium, I’m sure, knew this was not just another game for Marcus Allen. But if it was the Raiders, it wasn’t just another game for Marty Schottenheimer, either. I hate to personalize it, and I have great respect for Al [Davis]. But I always felt that he thought that the Raiders were everything.
“Marcus and I were like brethren when it came to looking at the Raiders saying, ‘If we’re going to win one game, this is the team we want to beat.’”
Round 1 - Pick 31
Samuel Cosmi OL
The Chiefs have to look to the future at the offensive tackle spot. Cosmi has good pass-blocking technique.
Around the NFL
If you look at the history of QBs drafted in the past few years, you realize how much of a crap shoot it is, even with the number one pick. Since the idea of taking a quarterback in the first round seems so attractive, let’s go back and look at the last decade of first round QB picks to see just how difficult it is to get your franchise guy, even with the first overall pick. The overall position is noted for each.
1 - Cam Newton
8 - Jake Locker
10 - Blaine Gabbert
12 - Christian Ponder
That should immediately give you pause for what you can do with the tenth overall pick. Newton was the only first-rounder to have any success in the league. Of the rest, Blaine Gabbert is the only one to manage to hang around as a career backup.
4. WR Reggie Wayne (2001-2014)
Unfairly cast as the Robin to Marvin Harrison’s Batman, Wayne carved out his own niche in Indianapolis. A six-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLI champion, Wayne led the NFL in receiving in 2007. The eighth all-time leading receiver at the time of his retirement, Wayne was the No. 1 receiver on the Colts’ 2009 AFC championship team. Wayne’s association with Harrison is likely one of the main reasons why he will have to wait at least another year to receive a bronze bust and a gold jacket.
A 17-Game Schedule
The fact that the NFL was able to put on its 16-game schedule in 2020 was remarkable—but it may have been the last one ever. The NFL will expand the season to 17 games this year, a move made possible by the new CBA. The NFL won’t formally announce it until they negotiate new media rights deals with their broadcasting partners, but it’s happening. Subsequently, the preseason is expected to be cut down to either two or three games. Football may be over for us now, but the NFL will be force-feeding us even more next season.
Heinicke was taking math classes at Old Dominion University, where he played collegiately, when Washington signed him to its practice squad Dec. 8. He had been out of the NFL since final cuts of 2019, going back and forth between living with his mom and his sister.
“I was not very fun to be around when I wasn’t in the league,” he said. “Those two have done so much for me. They kept my head straight.”
He also worked out at a local gym. He said his story was one of hard work and resilience.
“A lot of times I didn’t want to wake up and go work out but they kept on pushing me and here we are,” he said. “This isn’t just a big accomplishment for me, it’s a lot of previous coaches, friends and family. They’re just as big a part of this as I am.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
The path to ‘Taking It Back’
Acknowledging room for improvement
This is the most we will look to the past in this article, and it has nothing to do with any specific game. Instead, let’s start with the last offseason, in which the entire philosophy seemed to be to “Run It Back.”
That translated to this: “field the exact same team that just won the Super Bowl and try to do it again.” It was a good idea theoretically, but in practice, it never should have worked as well as it did. To see why, we have to go into the past to five years ago.
Over the last five years, the Super Bowl-winning team has made significant improvements to their team compared to the previous year.
2016 Patriots: Kyle Van Noy, Chris Long, Martellus Bennett
2017 Eagles: Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Chris Long
2018 Patriots: Jason McCourty, Trent Brown, Danny Shelton
2019 Chiefs: Tyrann Mathieu, Frank Clark, Terrell Suggs
2020 Buccaneers: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown
Pre-orders for the 2021 KC Draft Guide are now available.— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) February 10, 2021
The guide will launch on April 5th!
You can pre-order for $8.99 with promo code "TakeItBack" by clicking this link: https://t.co/EqfKZGrQQY pic.twitter.com/Mvyr1KoPjQ