The Chiefs are now trying to become the first NFL team to three-peat. Here are four reasons that won’t happen.
The Kansas City Chiefs just repeated as Super Bowl champions for the first time in 19 seasons. Now, Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, Travis Kelce, and the rest of the Chiefs will try to make history and become the first-ever three-peat champions. Here is why this won’t happen.
Mahomes and the Chiefs are officially a dynasty. With four Super Bowl appearances in five years and three wins under their belts, there is no denying that this is the team that has taken the mantle of the best franchise in the NFL from Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots.
Just like the Patriots, the Chiefs simply seem to refuse to lose when the chips are down, and no matter what their issues are, there seems to be some sort of black magic that makes the opposing team give into their worst tendencies to let KC hang around, and then Mahomes and Kecle do their thing to pull out the win.
It’s a formula that makes just enough sense to believe that it will happen again next season. Why wouldn’t it? Well, here are four reasons why.
They likely won’t face Kyle Shanahan again
Kyle Shanahan might be an offensive genius. And not in that way where everyone smart is a “genius,” including the people who work in the Apple store. I mean a real offensive genius.
Taking the torch from his father, Shanahan creates some of the most interesting and unstoppable offensive schemes in football history. They are the ones that everyone else steals and that shape the game for decades to come.
That said, when the ball gets kicked, especially in the biggest moments, Shanahan is an average (or worse) head coach.
There are a lot of examples of this, most recently with his players telling the media after Super Bowl 58 that they didn’t know anything about the new overtime rules. Just looking at his Super Bowls, though, tells the tale.
Shanahan allowed a 10-point lead to slip away in Super Bowl 58, just like he allowed a 10-point comeback in the fourth quarter against the Chiefs in Super Bowl 54. And worst of all, he was the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator in Super Bowl 51 when his team coughed up a 28-3 third-quarter lead to the Patriots.
The Super Bowl losers haven’t returned to the Big Game the next season since the Patriots did it in 2019, and before that, it was the Buffalo Bills going four times in the early 1990s. Chances are, the 49ers will not go back next season, which is bad news for the Chiefs.
After a championship, everyone on the team who can get paid the next offseason wants to, and the winning team can almost never afford that. NBA legend Pat Riley called this “the disease of me.”
Kansas City finds itself in this predicament in 2024, as they have several key free agents who they may not be able to re-sign unless those players are willing to take a hometown discount.
Star defensive tackle Chris Jones is the big one. He sat out Week 1 this season in a contract dispute, and unless the Chiefs pony up big money this offseason, there’s a good chance he leaves in free agency.
Additionally, cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, linebackers Drue Tranquil and Willie Gay Jr., left tackle Donovan Smith, defensive end Mike Danna, running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon, and wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who made the game-winning catch on Sunday, are all free agents along with 16 other players on this year’s roster.
The Chiefs will have to carefully pick their priorities this offseason, and will almost certainly return in 2024 with an even younger and more inexperienced team than they had this year, which will hurt their chance to three-peat.
The AFC quarterbacks
Tom Brady had to face Payton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Philip Rivers in the AFC while winning his six Super Bowl titles. Patrick Mahomes’ AFC quarterback gauntlet is even tougher than that.
Like Brady, Mahomes has his AFC rivals in Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Lamar Jackson. However, the AFC QB field is stacked more than ever heading into 2024, with players like Trevor Lawrence, Justin Herbert, and CJ Stroud on the rise and vets like Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, and Tua Tagovailoa capable of big things under the right conditions.
Anthony Richardson and Will Levis, rookies in 2023, have also flashed potential, and the Patriots, Las Vegas Raiders, and Denver Broncos could all take QBs in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.
The only AFC team not mentioned above is the Pittsburgh Steelers, and QB or no QB, they haven’t had a losing season since 2003.
With all due respect to Brady and what he accomplished, he never faced a gauntlet like Mahomes, and company will next season.
Finally, the Chiefs will not be able to three-peat because history says they won’t. Yes, records and streaks are made to be broken, but the NFL is the league of parity, and it is set up to make sure no teams win three in a row.
As great as the Chiefs are, they would have to do better than not just the 2000s Pats but the 90s Dallas Cowboys, the 80s 49ers, the 70s Steelers, and the 60s Green Bay Packers. This will happen in the NFL someday, but chances are it’s not in 2024.