The Kansas City Chiefs might've just made it to their fourth Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, but Patrick Mahomes and the reigning Super Bowl LIV champions are no strangers to the bright lights.
Kansas City is hoping to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champs since Tom Brady and the New England Patriots did it all the way back in 2003 and 2004, beating the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles by a combined six points en route to Brady winning his second and third Vince Lombardi trophies.
If one reads or listens to any media outlets or content online this week though, prominent figures in the sports talk industry have brushed the Kansas City Chiefs over to the sideline. The "narrative" so far, as it seems, is more around the astonishment that Brady has gone to yet another Super Bowl at age 43, cementing his already G.O.A.T. legacy with his tenth appearance and chance for his seventh overall title.
The team that Brady is facing, however, is unlike anything we've seen in a very long time - and arguably ever. This Kansas City team is dangerous offensively, we all know that. Still, I believe they are still not getting enough credit for what they have achieved, both in 2019 and the most recent 2020 season.
Last season, the Chiefs only failed to cover six games. They went 12- 4 SU and 10-5-1 against the spread in the regular season and a perfect 3-0 ATS in the playoffs. Kansas City and quarterback Patrick Mahomes were the twinkle in everyone's eye then, and every talking head, sports newscaster, or podcast host hyped them endlessly. As per Covers.com, here is how the Chiefs stacked up with their competition in 2019:
Pretty impressive, right? We were all seemingly in shock and awe, and we ran to the TV whether we were a Chiefs fan or not just to watch what we considered simply amazing football. Watching Kansas City march through its competition by the end of the year, we were shocked that they did not go 14-2, 15-1, or even 16-0. After Steve Spagnola took over the reins on the defensive side of the ball, it was clear that he may have been the final piece in Kansas City's Super Bowl LIV success. Now let's flash forward to 2020.
Kansas City was virtually better in every stat this year, ranking near the top of nearly every major offensive category. Again. Yet for some odd reason, the hype has not followed as nearly enough as it did in 2019.
The Chiefs cruised through the competition again. The key word here being "cruised." Remember what I just talked about a paragraph before? Well brace yourself, because as per Covers.com, here we go:
Arguably the best tight end in football, Travis Kelce, is having a career year. Kelce ranked second in the league in receiving yards (1,416) and fifth in receptions (105) during the regular season. In the AFC Championship Game, Kelce had a game-high 13 catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns. That wasn't against a bunch of "nobody's either, as Kelce tore through a legitimate top 10 Buffalo Bills defense.
Kansas City went 14-2 this year, sure, but according to Vegas the team "underachieved” by going just 7-9 ATS. Now why exactly is that? Was there some defensive regression? The simple answer is "yes." There was a little bit of defensive regression solely based on the numbers, sure, but does that even matter here?
The honest answer is that I do not know. The real answer, however, could be a lot scarier than that. The Chiefs are, for lack of a better term, "boring." And that's not necessarily a bad thing either. Outside of the their dismantling of the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3, no one batted an eye seemingly all season long.
Kansas City was essentially an automatic win every week, outside of a divisional rivalry loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5 and a Week 17 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers with its main starters resting.
Everything has become so matter-of-fact with this team, and subsequently all of Kansas City's games give an almost lifeless appearance to what they once were. No game feels like the Chiefs are actually in the running to lose. Mahomes with his flashy passes, big arm and explosive weapons are so casual that it makes you feel like every play is just a handoff up the middle. The bar has been set so incredibly high that explosive highlight reel plays are looked at as being the minimum standard for Mahomes & Company.
These Chiefs are winning by playing their own brand of "boring" football. Why? Because they simply can.
That should frighten you, especially if you're a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan or "TB12" backer. Back when these two teams played each other in Week 12 it was Kansas City that won by "just" three points. And oh yeah, Tyreek Hill also had 269 receiving yards with 3 TDs. The game never felt like it was out of the Chiefs' control, and once they went ahead by 17 after the first quarter, we all knew what the end result would be.
This Kansas City team is not just at a level that is rare for the franchise - it’s rare for the NFL itself.