The Chiefs approached Sunday’s matchup with a strong belief in their ability to win the game — an attitude refined by numerous obstacles they had faced through the 2023 season. It was evident from the opening kickoff. Kansas City scored on its first drive — and never looked back.
“The thing that stood out to me most was just the positive attitude on the sideline — through all the highs and lows, a positive attitude,” head coach Andy Reid told reporters after the game. “That tells you the season. It gives you the whole story there. The guys never doubted. They just put themselves in a position where they had a chance, and they took care of that. Great attitude on this team.”
The Chiefs’ championship mentality persevered throughout the year, bringing them to their fourth Super Bowl appearance in five seasons. It’s a big accomplishment that the team doesn’t take for granted — especially knowing the fatigue that comes with one extended season after another.
“That’s a tough thing,” acknowledged Reid. “We played a lot of football games and you’ve got to work through that. You’ve got to work through that mentally. That’s not an easy thing — so I’m happy for the guys and how they handled that. When it came time to put the hammer down, they put the hammer down — which was important.”
Kansas City’s fatigue was compounded by the fact that every opponent was itching to take down the champion. While this was sometimes frustrating during the regular season, it prepared the team for the intensity of the playoffs. On Sunday, the Chiefs were clearly more poised than the Ravens.
“There are no games off,” declared Reid. “There’s no light opponent. You’ve got to bring it every week. So again — to be in this position — that tells you a little bit something about the mental makeup of this football team.”
General manager Brett Veach came into the offseason determined to refresh the roster with players hungry for another championship — and weapons for quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“We’re always trying to get Pat offensive help — no matter what people might think or say,” insisted Veach. “It was a unique free agency — and there wasn’t a lot to choose from. Then you’re picking last in the draft, so we took what we had and we invested in some veteran defensive players.”
Veach was referring to defensive end Charles Omenihu, linebacker Drue Tranquill and safety Mike Edwards — all of whom played key roles for the 2023 defense.
“We did try to get a receiver earlier in the draft. That didn’t work out, but we were patient,” recalled Veach. “That’s what you need to do: just be patient and disciplined. Thankfully, it worked out. Rashee [Rice] has done great — but you don’t have to give No. 15 much. You give him a little — and he’ll do the rest.”
“I actually think that a big reason [for] why we’re here tonight is because of that Vegas game,” he said. “Sometimes, the worst things that happen to you (or in your season) turn out to be the best thing.
“We were finding ways to win games, but something was off. Whether it [was] offense or defense or special teams, it just wasn’t in sync. We were winning — and I think sometimes that’s just a deodorant and you just keep going and going and going — [but] that loss, I think, really hit us.
“I think it allowed the whole organization to take a look in the mirror. I really point to that game as really being one of the key motivating factors to just getting everyone dialed in.”
So despite their struggles in 2023, the Chiefs are just one game away from becoming back-to-back Super Bowl champions. They’ll breathe a sigh of relief to celebrate — but Reid and the rest of the team remain focused on finishing the job.
“The best part is we’re not done yet,” said Reid. “We’ve got another game. You love these seasons to carry on as long as they can possibly carry on. We’re there.
“[But] now we’ve got to get right back at it.”