clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

5 things we learned from the Chiefs repeating as Super Bowl champions

With its win over San Francisco, Kansas City earned its third Lombardi Trophy in five years.

TOPSHOT-AMFOOT-SUPERBOWL-CHIEFS-49ERS Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before.

Early in the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs came back from a 10-point deficit to win a thrilling victory. This Super Bowl might have been the best one yet, as Kansas City battled its way to back-to-back NFL championships with a 25-22 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers.

Here are five things we learned from the Chiefs solidifying themselves as a dynasty.

1. Greatness isn’t perfection

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images

This isn’t a perfect Chiefs team. The 2022 squad would probably beat them. So would the 2019 Chiefs. Heck, 2018’s roster might be more talented than the 2023 roster. But this Kansas City team is imbued with greatness.

Throughout sports history, the greatest champions are the teams and players who can find a way to win after being on the ropes. If you ask these players, they will tell you that this was a hard season. But while there were some very dark days, they never stopped believing they could achieve their goal: to be the first team in nearly two decades to win back-to-back NFL championships — to become a real NFL dynasty by winning its third title in five seasons.

There is a difference between saying you will run it back and actually doing it. The difference is greatness. No team ever had a harder road to a Super Bowl title than the 2023 Chiefs.

Kansas City won the 58th Super Bowl for its legendary No. 58 — Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas — along with the late Norma Hunt and all of the members of Chiefs Kingdom who have gone before us.

2. Steve Spagnuolo is the Chiefs’ 2023 MVP MVC

NFL: JAN 13 AFC Wild Card - Dolphins at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Once upon a time, we lamented that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo would never bench linebacker Ben Neiman and safety Dan Sorensen because he didn’t trust rookies; he wanted veterans on the field.

Then general manager Brett Veach gave Spagnuolo one of the league’s most talented young defenses. Spagnuolo didn’t have a choice but to play those rookies in 2022 — and the team won Super Bow LVII.

Being forced to coach up these young guys unlocked something inside of Spagnuolo that had lain dormant. It awakened the teacher within him — the one who excels at conveying information in a way that makes sense to his players. In 2022, he had a hungry group of youngsters. Now those same players are battle-tested — and are making plays all over the field.

There is no salary cap for coaches. Spagnuolo and head coach Andy Reid have both earned large raises. And it’s time to start planning for two statues on the grounds of Arrowhead: one for Reid and another for Spagnuolo.

3. Down by three with the game on the line, we always know what’s going to happen

AMFOOT-SUPERBOWL-CHIEFS-49ERS Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

While few things in life are inevitable, quarterback Patrick Mahomes is one of them. Down three points with two minutes left in regulation, we knew what was going to happen — just like we knew what was going to happen when the team was down three in overtime.

If you’re a 49ers’ fan, you have to be livid that your coach chose to give Mahomes the ball in overtime with a chance to win the game. He might as well have chosen to hand the ball to Michael Jordan with his team down one with three seconds remaining in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. You might as well have intentionally walked Mark Koenig to get to Babe Ruth in the World Series.

Savor this moment in time. We are watching the greatest, most clutch football player of all time.

31 other teams want to be us. There will be backlash and hate. But that’s fine — because we can’t see their negativity through the glare of the ice on the Chiefs’ Super Bowl rings.

4. Mecole Hardman was worth his draft position

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Don’t look at his stats. They don't matter. Don’t think about what he did last year — or what the Chiefs gave up to get him back after letting him walk in free agency. Don’t think about the players who were drafted after him.

This is about just one thing: the catch that Kansas City wide receiver Mecole Hardman made to win Kansas City its second straight Super Bowl — and its third in five seasons.

Everything Hardman has done before this has been washed away. We can’t say what the future holds for him. We don’t know if he’ll even be on this team next year; that’s a problem for the future.

But know this: when we needed him the most, Hardman stepped up.

Nothing else matters.

5. Remember this defense

AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The group of men who made up the Chiefs' 2023 defense is one of the greatest of all time. Led by veterans like Chris Jones and L’Jarius Sneed, the unit did something that sounds almost impossible: for the majority of the season, it carried a team quarterbacked by three-time Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.

The best thing the Chiefs’ defense did on Sunday night was make San Francisco’s star running back Christian McCaffrey one-dimensional. For most of this game, he was just another running back — not a Swiss Army knife. And 49ers’ star tight end George Kittle? The Kansas City defense almost completely erased him from the game.

The sad truth is that no football team is the same from year to year. So when you witness something special, take note of it. Appreciate it. This might be the best Kansas City defense we will see in our lifetimes. We were lucky enough to get to watch them play. Years from now, we’ll be telling our grandkids about this group of men — and how they won Super Bowl LVIII for our city.

It's Game Time.

It's time for a title defense in Chiefs Kingdom. Sign up for Arrowhead Pride Premier and we’ll deliver 3 newsletters leading up to the Super Bowl packed with exclusive coverage and analysis from Las Vegas you won’t find anywhere else. For a limited time, use the code SUPERBOWL30 to save 30% plus a free trial