“Dynasty” is one of those sports words, like “choke” or “momentum,” that is functionally useless because no one can agree on an exact definition. For some, a dynasty must include, as a bare minimum, three championships over a condensed time frame. That’s an incredibly—almost unreasonably—hard feat to accomplish.
The Green Bay Packers inaugurated the modern era of the NFL by winning five titles in seven years, from 1961 to 1967—but only two Super Bowls, because the Super Bowl didn’t exist (and therefore the Packers never had to play the AFL champion) for their first three. In the entire Super Bowl era, just four teams have ever won three Super Bowls in a five-year span: The 1974-79 Pittsburgh Steelers (who won four in six), the 1992-95 Dallas Cowboys, the 2001-05 New England Patriots, and the 2014-18 Patriots. Even the iconic San Francisco 49ers of the 1980s and 1990s never won three titles in five years. (They won three in six. No other team has ever won three Super Bowls in a span of less than eight years.)
But if your definition of “dynasty” is less rigidly adherent to rings alone as a marker of domination, there’s an interesting discussion to be had about the Chiefs, who have just completed the most dominant five-year stretch of any team that didn’t win three titles in that span.
Let’s start with a basic question. Since the start of the 2018 season, the Chiefs have gone 64-18. How many NFL teams have won more games within five years? Just two:
1 - Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 6
2022 stats: 20 games | 67.8 pct | 5,953 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 48 pass TD | 12 INT | 418 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 6 fumbles
2021 final ranking: 7 | 2020: 3 | 2019: 2 | 2018: 1 | 2017: N/A
There is no match. No comparison. No other. Mahomes has come from a distant star to alter the way we think about quarterbacks. To blow up our expectations, raise the bar a million miles and force us to reconsider what it means to ride as an MVP. Kansas City’s beating heart lands as a performer who pulls from the deepest inner rooms to silence pain, ignore the odds and craft his own tomorrow. His heroic last-gasp scramble against the Eagles could fairly be labeled the greatest play in Super Bowl history. Too much? Perhaps I’m impacted by watching it in person, realizing in the hours that followed what a privilege it was to see Mahomes ripping through Philly’s confused defense in real time for 26 yards — to help set the table for a game-winning field goal that would trigger the second Lombardi of his career. A month ago, it was fair to ask what else Mahomes could do to transform what we feel about him. He’d already achieved so much — so quickly, so young — but here we are. Multiple championships, multiple MVPs — and a sense that it’s all just beginning for the league’s brightest light.
9. Head Coach Andy Reid joined an elite group of legendary coaches.
Reid is now one of just 14 head coaches in NFL history to win multiple championships, joining Bill Belichick (6), Chuck Noll (4), Bill Walsh (3), Joe Gibbs (3), Vince Lombardi (2), Tom Flores (2), Jimmy Johnson (2), George Seifert (2), Mike Shanahan (2), Tom Coughlin (2), Bill Parcells (2), Tom Landry (2) and Don Shula (2).
In his 10 years as Chiefs’ head coach, Reid has led Kansas City to nine playoff appearances, seven AFC West titles, three AFC titles and two Super Bowl championships.
It isn’t all on Rodgers, either. What the Chiefs did so well this season was evolve. Their roster didn’t look the same as in the previous year, so neither did their scheme. In Super Bowl LVII, with the Eagles toting a dominating pass rush and taking away Kelce for a lot of the game, Kansas City ran the ball more. They did it more than Philadelphia expected and it ended up being the difference.
That’s the reason Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has enjoyed such longevity in his last few stops as the top guy. He retools his offenses every season to play to the strengths of the personnel he has available.
The Packers… didn’t.
Mahomes’ 26-Yard Scramble in Super Bowl
Naturally, we should start with a play that led to the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory. There were so many, including countless plays in which the Chiefs’ offensive line dominated the Philadelphia Eagles‘ pass rush. A unit that had 70 sacks heading into the big game. They got zero of Mahomes.
Mahomes Magic was on display in spectacular fashion in the second half when the Chiefs scored 24 points. The biggest of all their QB’s contributions was a 26-yard scramble – on a bum ankle he aggravated in the first half – taking the Chiefs down to the Philadelphia 17-yard line and setting up Harrison Butker’s chip-shot field goal for their second championship in four seasons.
“It’s been an amazing run these last five, six years,” Mahomes said, “and let’s keep it rolling.”
Gannon was asked about the disappointing Super Bowl loss at his introductory press conference with the Cardinals on Thursday.
“It was hard because you feel for the players. When you get to that game, I don’t feel sorry for myself – I feel bad about the players,” Gannon said. “Everything that I do, that’s where be where your feet are. I’m always trying to learn from experiences that happen right in real time. That’s what I did. I feel bad about not being able to get that done. It was an excellent learning experience for me and I know I learned a lot from that game, things that I would need to do different moving forward to win that game.”
Round 1 - Pick 23
Trent McDuffie CB
NFL DRAFT • 5’11” / 193 LBS
Byron Murphy is set to hit free agency, so the Cardinals need to replace him with a steady youngster. That’s precisely what McDuffie is. After getting injured early in his rookie season he was a consistent inside and outside corner for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs.
Around the NFL
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reported Thursday that Jones’ next deal is expected to “come in at over $35 million per season.”
The 25-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career in 2022. He threw for a career-high 3,205 yards and 15 touchdowns and ran for 708 yards and seven touchdowns.
As a result, a player who recently looked like he was on his way out of New York could collect a massive payday.
A $35 million annual salary wouldn’t make Jones the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. He would be tied for ninth at the position with the Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins. He might quickly fall down that list since Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts could all sign long-term contract extensions this offseason.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Most receiving yards in team history
A generation ago, a less heralded coaching staff and front office began their tenure in Kansas City by trading future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. Simply put, Chiefs fans had never seen a player like the 1997 first-round selection. Even after a 14-year absence from Kansas City, Gonzalez remains the team record holder for receptions (916), receiving yards (10,940), and receiving touchdowns (76).
Kelce likely is held in higher esteem than Gonzalez, regardless of milestones. Entering his 11th season, however, Gonzalez’s once seemingly unattainable club marks are within Kelce’s reach.
Kelce currently stands 596 receiving yards behind Gonzalez’s Chiefs’ total. Assuming health, the two-time Super Bowl champion — with seven consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons — should pass him near the season’s midpoint.
Gonzalez’s other categories are on the table as well. Kelce needs 103 receptions and eight touchdowns to set new franchise bests. He has met or exceeded the needed catches three times in his career — including his 110 receptions in 2022. Kelce’s touchdown totals have varied from season to season, though he has found the end zone more than eight times each of the past three seasons.
A complicating factor could be Kelce’s declining snap counts over the past four seasons. While passing Gonzalez in receiving yards next season seems almost certain, the other marks may wait until 2024 — if the Chiefs start managing Kelce’s usage to extend his career.
A tweet to make you think
I’m picking the Chiefs to win the AFC and everyone left the set.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 24, 2022
Andy Reid. Patrick Mahomes. Travis Kelce.
They will be just fine. https://t.co/z4OVSliqOj