Kansas City Chiefs: Season in Review
The reigning Super Bowl champs made returning to the big dance look easy. The Chiefs improved their record from 12-4 to 14-2, with one of those losses coming with many key starters resting in the final week against the Chargers.
The offense, meanwhile, managed to get even better, as Kansas City averaged nearly a full point per game higher than the previous season.
So how did they get back to this point?
Kansas City opened up the season an undefeated 4-0, with one wine being seen as an upset on the road against reigning MVP Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. That win showed the world that the Chiefs weren’t going anywhere, as Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdowns while Jackson couldn’t even muster 100 passing yards. The Chiefs were 3.5-point underdogs in the contest.
The Cheifs’ first and only loss with Mahomes dressed this season came against the division rival Las Vegas Raiders. In the game, the Chiefs defense struggled, allowing 40 points to a Raiders team that, at the time, was 3-2 and seen as a potential playoff team.
What followed that upset was a dominant ten-game winning streak to help Kansas City clinch the number one seed and the only bye in the AFC playoffs. Three of those wins were against playoff teams, which included a close one over their Super Bowl opponents, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as a close win over Drew Brees and the Saints.
During the run, the Chiefs got revenge over the Raiders for their loss earlier in the season.
Mahomes was the main reason for those wins as he put up an MVP caliber season with over 4700 passing yards and 38 touchdowns. Mahomes was assisted by Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in that area, each putting up one thousand-yard seasons.
The big difference for the Chiefs offense was the impact of the ground game. With original starter Damien Williams opting out of the season, first round draft pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire was thrusted into the spotlight. Helaire produced over 1,000 scrimmage yards while also missing three games.
The Chiefs also made a mid-season free agency move, as they acquired former Jets running back Le’Veon Bell, who ran for over 200 yards of his own in nine games.
As the Chiefs opened the postseason, they found themselves struggling against the underdog Cleveland Browns. The Chiefs had a 19-3 halftime lead, but Mahomes left the game early with a concussion, forcing backup Chad Henne to close out the game. With the Browns coming back and the Chiefs needing one more first down to win, Henne picked up a crucial fourth down on a short pass to Hill.
The Chiefs would hold on and destroy the Buffalo Bills the following week with Mahomes fully healthy.
The Chiefs are attempting to accomplish a feat that’s hard to accomplish in any sport: win back-to-back championships. The last team to accomplish this feat was the New England Patriots, when they won Super Bowls in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Kansas City will be facing the quarterback of those legendary Patriots teams in Tom Brady, who’s been hotter than ever on the field. Although the Chiefs already beat Brady’s Bucs earlier this season, it wouldn’t be wise to overlook Brady in the month of February.
Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.