Earlier this week, Arrowhead Pride user BispoMiege wrote a FanPost called “A Pessimist’s Perspective.” In it, they argued that the Kansas City Chiefs might not be a dynasty after all. But he also asked for other AP users to “talk me off the ledge.”
After the team took a 31-9 drubbing in the Super Bowl, I imagine other Chiefs fans might be feeling much the same way. So I thought I’d take a shot at talking ol’ Bispo off the ledge — and maybe you, too.
1. It’s really really hard to win the Super Bowl
I remember shortly after last year’s Super Bowl win — one of the best nights of my life — Colin Cowherd said in an interview that he saw Patrick Mahomes winning one more Super Bowl in his career — along with a Super Bowl loss (welp, guess we got that out of the way). At the time. I thought he was crazy; we we’re the NFL’s next dynasty, right?
Well, now it looks like he was on to something. When you look at the history of the league, there haven’t been too many QBs, regardless of talent, who have won multiple Super Bowls. Peyton Manning won two over twenty years; Drew Brees won one over about the same time period. Dan Marino — the Patrick Mahomes of his era — never won one. Just because we have Mahomes doesn’t mean we’re guaranteed any more Super Bowl wins.
I agree: it’s very hard to win Super Bowls. Even the quarterback who has now won seven in his career required 21 seasons to do it — and lost three of the Super Bowls in which he appeared. But that said, you left a few guys off your list of quarterbacks who won multiple Super Bowls. For starters, there’s Peyton’s brother Eli Manning. Then there’s Bart Starr, Bob Griese, Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett, John Elway and Ben Roethlisberger. All of them won two. Then there’s Troy Aikman, who won three — and Terry Bradshaw, who won four. And that Montana fellow — I forget his first name — also won four.
I think it’s wise to consider history. But what history really shows is that 21 Super Bowls were won by quarterbacks (now including Mahomes) who have only won one. The other 34 Super Bowls were won by just 12 quarterbacks.
Maybe I’m crazy. But I think in this case, the odds favor Mahomes becoming the 13th.
Besides... history also shows that Colin Cowherd has only rarely been “on to something.”
2. ...Especially After a Loss
The list of teams to win the Super Bowl the year after losing it is pretty short. What makes us think we’re any different than any of them? I think Mahomes had us believing that we were somehow immune to the problems that face other teams. Well, guess again.
You’re right: that is a short list. Just three teams have won the Super Bowl after losing it the previous season: the 1971 Dallas Cowboys, the 1972 Miami Dolphins and the 2018 New England Patriots. But many more teams have won it after not even making the Super Bowl — even the playoffs — in the previous season.
Again... maybe I’m crazy. But doesn’t that seem like it would be even harder to do?
And yes... having Mahomes doesn’t make the Chiefs immune from other problems. It would have been a lot more fun for Mahomes and the Chiefs to win Super Bowl LV. But now they’ve learned an important lesson. I think they’ll learn from it. Don’t you?
3. Tom Brady, Dynasty Killer
I hate Tom Brady as much as the next guy, but lets be honest; he’s really, really good at killing teams. It’s easy to forget now, but almost twenty years ago he extinguished the Greatest Show on Turf, the Chiefs of the Y2K age. In 2014 he snuffed out the Legion of Boom in its prime. Russel Wilson has yet to play in another Super Bowl.
All due respect to Brady: at this moment in history, he deserves the accolades. But I think you’re giving him credit for some things he didn’t really do.
In Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams, Brady had a passer rating of just 86.2; he didn’t throw a touchdown pass for the whole second half. Thankfully for him, Kurt Warner’s passer rating was even worse — and in the end, Adam Vinitieri won the game with a field goal as time expired.
Brady did have the edge against Dick Vermeil’s early 2000s Chiefs — but not by much. The Patriots were 2-1 against Vermeil — one of those a 41-38 overtime victory. And I’m pretty sure the opposing quarterback in the Chiefs’ 2003 Divisional round game had a horseshoe on his helmet. But my memory could be hazy; I’ve worked pretty hard to forget what happened that day.
As for the Legion of Boom... well, it was Russell Wilson who executed that brilliant drive at the end of the game — not Brady. It was Malcolm Butler — not Brady — who remembered the game preparation and picked off Wilson’s end-zone pass with 26 seconds remaining.
4. The Mental Scar Tissue
One of the many downsides to getting wrecked by Tom Brady is the mental damage. Part of what made us so terrifying was the inevitability of Mahomes; no matter how bad things got, Mahomes was always going to get his. Well... this time, he didn’t. Through no real fault of his own, his team was absolutely humiliated on national television. I can’t picture this team coming back next year with the same swagger or belief in itself. Personally, I feel like I went from Theon to Reek. I can’t IMAGINE the mental toll this took on those who actually had to play the game.
Again... I agree: it’s hard to imagine that mental toll. But if there’s one recent team that has shown itself to be capable of overcoming that kind of adversity, it’s the Chiefs. Under Andy Reid’s leadership, the team has overcome the odds — and their own baggage — time and time again.
This is the team that won 10 straight games to make the playoffs after being written off at 1-5... the team that won four straight to make the playoffs after being 6-6... the team that came back from 24-0 to win a playoff game 51-31... and scored 21 points in the final seven and a half minutes to win a Super Bowl.
But no matter how good you are at overcoming overwhelming odds, you’re just not going to do it every time; that’s precisely why they’re called “overwhelming odds.” If that’s what we fans thought, well... then the Super Bowl loss should be a lesson for us, too.
5. There’s No Easy Fix
I know, I know... “but the offensive line!” No doubt that was the defining factor in this game, but did the loss of one player — Eric Fisher — cause a team that dominated the Bills to turn into the Jaguars overnight? No, there are some real issues on this team. When playoff Sammy Watkins doesn’t show up, we can’t seem to field a competent No. 2 wide receiver. The pass rush is overpaid and underproductive. And there isn’t much we can do in free agency since we’re up against the cap.
Those who investigate plane crashes for a living say that they never happen because of a single failure. Instead, there’s always a chain of failures that causes it.
Well... the Super Bowl was definitely a plane crash.
But just because there was a chain of failures that caused a particular ReidAir flight to plummet to destruction doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t safe to fly with them again. The accident clearly demonstrated that they’ll need to do some better pre-flight planning, get a few new reserve pilots and make some changes in their ground crews. (It wouldn’t hurt if airline regulators did their jobs a little better, too — but good airlines get the job done even when they don’t).
Just the same, the planes they fly have repeatedly been shown to be airworthy. And while all carriers have suffered financially during the coronavirus pandemic, ReidAir still has the industry’s best financial managers. Even with the meager resources available to them, they’ll find a way to get these changes made.