It's hard to see any team beating the Chiefs entering a more dominant stretch of the Golden Mahomes Age. With a defense trending up towards the top 10 or top 5 paired with the most legendary QB, HC and Offense known to man seems like teams will have to rely more on the fates and misfortune than actual gameplay to beat us. Mahomes has never had a top 10 ranked defense ever, most SB Winning QBs have always won Super Bowls with top 5 ranked units, Brady never won the Super Bowl without an elite Belichickian Defense. Mahomes has more often than not especially from 2018-2020, won in spite of his defense, not because of it.
The scary premise for the league is that the Chiefs have gotten resoundingly better edging towards elite at all three phases of defense, whether it be CJ95, Karlaftis on the front, Bolton, Gay Jr and Truequill in the LB Corps and Sneed, McDuffie, Reid and Mike Evans in the Secondary. All things being equal, complacency sometimes has gotten the better of Mahomes and the Chiefs until they wake or find motivation. I'd rather have Mahomes entering the playoffs like he did this year with a serious Michael Jordanesque chip of pettiness on his shoulders (i.e. the loss to the Bengals and the Burrow being better bullsh*t narrative), rather than entering it feeling too comfortable.
The Bengals are not on this list because after the shit talking they pulled with that mayor, the players and their fans, the Chiefs will never "NOT" need an incentive to crush them! The Bengals will always be on our shit list as the team nipping at our heels with their disrespect in their desperation trying to be us. Mahomes will always be incentivized to shut down the "Joe Burrow" talk.
Therefore thinking of the "best" motivational losses for the Chiefs to keep the chip high for the playoffs, I narrowed it down to 2 teams.
1.) Las Vegas Raiders - an L in Las Vegas, somehow with Jimmy G and a bad defense.
Reasoning: Motivation to win and celebrate the Super Bowl in Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas... with Chiefs confetti pouring down and the Lombardi Trophy presentation in the middle of their field, forever cursing their new home.
2.) An Aaron Rodgers led Jets team - an L in MetLife Stadium to a good defense and HoF QB.
Reasoning: To reignite the "Is Rodgers better than Mahomes" argument before the playoffs, the idiotic talks of the "badddd man" being back with the NY Media overshadowing Mahomes prematurely crowning a diva playoff choking QB. Supplying enough motivation for Pat and Co to absolutely wreck the AFC playoff contenders once again.
My Pick: The A-Rod led Jets (assuming their good). I just don't think the Chiefs or Mahomes really respect the Raiders enough to value a shock loss to a hypothetical bad team as any more than a fluke. I don't think the media, the Chiefs or really even the Raiders themselves would view it as any more than a trap game fluke win. Additionally, any regular season loss to Allen or even a surging Lawrence can no longer carry a narrative, those QBs just don't have comparable resumes at this point to earn that type of respect again i.e. Josh Allen. With Mahomes stacking his trophy cabinet, those QBs regular season wins would be seen as nothing more than a close fought game between two teams with the Chiefs probably not having peaked yet. However, a loss to Rodgers (assuming the Jets are good) opens up a narrative with the NYC Media at the forefront pushing an A-Rod over Mahomes narrative that's bound to unleash the "destroy all in the playoffs" version of Mahomes.
Who's Your Pick?