Why the 2022 Season was/is the AFC's best chance of stopping Chiefs' dominance for the foreseeable future.

It simply comes down to money as the primary factor à la' the salary cap. There are other externalities such as division/schedule strength, injuries etc... however all things being equal. Mahomes primary competitors in the QB rich AFC being Joe Burrow, Josh Allen* (already inked $), Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson are all about to get massive QB contracts which will reset the market. Ostensibly, Mahomes has more than proved his worth by continual AFC-MVP Super Bowl berth domination well after his contract and loss of Tyreek Hill. In terms of needing "help," Mahomes compared to the treasure trove of elite WRs and Defensive All-Pros that Burrow, Herbert and Allen has or the elite defense in-depth that Lamar has will all be taking massive hits in subsequent free-agency markets whether 2023 or 2024.

There is no way past 2024 Mahomes and the Chiefs primary threats will be able to field all of these pieces together in future seasons:

Bengals: Joe Burrow

Ja'Marr Chase, Joe Mixon, Tee Higgins, Hayden Hurst, DJ Reader, Trey Hendrickson, Chidobe Awuzie

Chargers: Justin Herbert

Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, Derwin James Jr, Asante Samuel Jr, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler

Bills: Josh Allen*

Micah Hyde, AJ Epenesa, Shaq Lawson, Von Miller, Jordan Poyer, Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Devin Singletary

Needless to say, teams are going to be forced to choose and players with the ephemeral nature of NFL health and careers will be pressured by their agents and necessity to take max contracts elsewhere. I do expect a lot of these players to take deals in the QB poor NFC where the path through the playoffs is less contingent on generational QBs while also getting max contracts. The fact that Mahomes and the Chiefs were able to dominate the division and despite the outcome of the Arrowhead Invitational in a season where the Super Bowl window was wider for Mahomes' primary conference rivals is very very good news for us and bad news for the rest of the AFC (for a long time). All things being equal with relative health being the only real facet, the salary cap has really played to the Chiefs favor somehow (along with very good drafting save for the infrequent error such as CEH) that will force the future QB throne aspirants to do more with less just like the Chiefs. Not to mention coaching departures such as Lou Anarumo taking its toll, just look at how much Brian Daboll's departure caused Josh Allen to regress.

The good news for us, is that Mahomes doing more with less is somehow better than Mahomes with more (Tyreek) and the problem for them is what can your guy do without elite defenses and/or wide receivers (because you'll have to choose one or the other!)? Given that these QB contracts will require them to do more with less just like Mahomes and also the tall order of beating Brett Veach at his game by gambling on the right prospects in the draft to make room for those hefty QB contracts. That's why if it happens, it'll be the sweetest AFCCG title of them all in the last five seasons, even more than Brady in 2018; if beating the Bengals where Joe Burrow needs elite help across the board at receiver, offensive line, tail back and defense (just like LSU) in a Chiefs "down year" to get to the Super Bowl and win it, would be possibly even sweater than the first Mahomes Super Bowl win, because after this year and the next, it only gets easier for our guy and harder for yours!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.