How the 2023 Chiefs should change how we view football (2024)

Let's get this out there right away: I didn't think the 2023 Kansas City Chiefs could win the Super Bowl.

When did this mindset start for me?

I would say around the Philadelphia Eagles game, where the offense had a poor showing after a bye. At that point, I was entirely skeptical of the team in general. While the defense was undoubtedly an excellent unit, the offense continuously stumbled and regressed over the season. Before the bye week, the offense wasn't necessarily good, but they were hitting rock bottom with performances against the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills — and eventually the Las Vegas Raiders.

Even after a bye week and many opportunities to get this fixed, the offense just kept hitting new lows for itself.

Speaking of that Raiders game, that was when I admittedly was done with this team. And for good reason. The team played a horrendous offensive game in Week 16 after 15 weeks of prior struggles. They had hit rock bottom. I wrote on this website that the offense was broken, and in hindsight, I still believe it was true. From Weeks 8 to 16, the Chiefs were 18th in expected points added per play and 12th in success rate, which isn't a sign of a broken offense. However, the Chiefs were 20th in passing EPA and 12th in success rate while also being 19th in rushing EPA and 26th in success rate. They were a below-average-to-poor offense for almost half the season.

Even without stats, the film wasn't making it look any better at all: the offensive tackle problems, the wide receiver mistakes and the turnovers. The fact that tight end Travis Kelce's production had taken a step back from previous years. The Chiefs themselves made it clear they were done with the offense. Between Kelce throwing his helmet on the sideline, and guys screaming at each other, the offensive vibes were awful. It wasn't just myself that had doubts about this Chiefs offense; everyone around the entire organization was struggling to find answers offensively.

And yet, the Chiefs just won their third Super Bowl in five years.

And here I sit, with pie on my face, as the team that I didn't believe won the Super Bowl ended up pulling it out. The team that I famously picked to lose to both the Bills and Ravens in the playoffs ended up winning the Super Bowl.

So, where was I wrong? What did I miss about this team? How could I ever have doubted Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid? Well, it's because the Chiefs had never won like this before.

When the Chiefs won their previous two Super Bowls, there was no doubt that the Chiefs were an elite football team. In 2019, when Patrick Mahomes, Eric Fisher, Chris Jones and Tyreek Hill played, they weren't beaten (in fact, this remained the case through both 2019-20 in one of the most underrated two-year runs ever).

The Chiefs' defense wasn't quite as good in 2019 as it would be in 2022 or 2023, but by the end of the year, they had rounded into being an above-average unit, and the offense was still reaching supernova levels when they were fully healthy. In my opinion, the only reason why the 2019 team isn't mentioned as one of the best teams ever is because of the playoffs' slow starts. That team was an outstanding football team.

In 2022, there was zero doubt that the Chiefs were an elite football team.

They undoubtedly had the best offense in the NFL while also having a top-10 defense the second Trent McDuffie returned from injured reserve. Their Super Bowl opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles, was also a tremendous team on both sides of the ball and could have won that game, but that version of the Chiefs was a terrific team that I also feel will be underrated over time.

So, in both 2019 and 2022, I truly believed the Chiefs could win the Super Bowl because I viewed them as an elite group. There was no doubt in my mind they were Super Bowl favorites. Like any team, they had to face adversity in order to win, but there never was a moment that I didn't view them as that level of team.

For the 2023 Chiefs, I never viewed them as that. They were clearly always a playoff-level team that would be a tough out, but I genuinely thought the Ravens and Bills — and particularly the Ravens — were among the best teams I've ever watched.

So... what did I get wrong?

Well, the way I view football can be very analytical, and to a fault. I view what I watch on Sundays and through statistics as the way I measure elite teams. I don't think about football as who is the tougher, stronger group of players, but how they look on a football field and how they match up with opposing teams. If you have elite units on both sides of the ball, I will take you seriously as a Super Bowl-level team.

The 2023 Chiefs weren't that. Analytically, this wasn't an elite team like the 2019 and 2022 teams. They were massively flawed. Even within this playoff run, the offense had a ton of moments of mistakes or sputters as they had to grind out these games. Even with playoff focus and experience, this team had many flaws that showed up in each of their last three wins.

And yet, where I was wrong on this team is that resiliency, perseverance and experience do matter. Those factors are shown in every Super Bowl team ever.

It doesn't always have to be analytical — sometimes, just having a team with the right mindset and mentality can be enough when you have an all-time quarterback, coach and one elite unit.

So, moving forward, I'll now view Chiefs teams differently.

I won't be as analytical and buy into those factors. The 2023 Chiefs proved to me that the factors that are unquantifiable matter. Just because you don't appear to be a Super Bowl-level team doesn't mean you can't be one. As long as this team has the core tenets of their foundation moving forward, they should be viewed as a team that can win a Super Bowl any year.

And for the last time: I couldn't have been more wrong on the 2023 Chiefs. I'm glad they proved me wrong, and I'll revere what they did as a team for the rest of my life.

How the 2023 Chiefs should change how we view football (2024)

FAQs

Will Kansas City Chiefs change their name? ›

While the NFL's Washington Commanders (whose name was previously a slur) and Cleveland Guardians (formerly the Indians) have given in to public pressure and changed their monikers since 2020, the Kansas City team—which played in the Super Bowl in 2020, 2021, and 2023—has refused to follow suit.

Will the Chiefs become a dynasty? ›

With a Super Bowl LVIII win over the 49ers, the Chiefs cemented themselves as a dynasty.

Why are the Chiefs the best NFL team? ›

Defense is a big reason why the current Chiefs are ranked ahead of the '20 team. Led by Chris Jones, George Karlaftis and Trent McDuffie, this year's Chiefs squad finished the regular season with the second-ranked scoring defense.

What is the racist history of the Kansas City Chiefs? ›

The Kansas City Chiefs is one of the professional sports teams involved in the controversy regarding the use of Native American names and imagery, but received less attention than other teams until 2013 when fan behavior at games, including stereotypical headdresses, face paint, performing a "war chant" and tomahawk ...

Why are the Chiefs allowed to keep their name? ›

Nope. The Chiefs are named after Roe Bartle former KC Mayor when was referred to as Chief. Besides that the Pottawatomie Nation supports the team and the name. There's nothing insulting about either names or organizations to any native tribe.

Why don't the Kansas City Chiefs need to change their name? ›

One explanation for the staying power of the Chiefs is that the name is less obviously pejorative than those of other teams. While writing Mascot Nation, Black asked a national sample of 1,076 people to evaluate the “acceptability” of various team names.

Who will win Super Bowl 2024? ›

NFL 2024 Super Bowl odds
Team2024 Super Bowl odds
San Fransisco 49ers+550
Kansas City Chiefs+600
Baltimore Ravens+900
Buffalo Bills+1100
28 more rows
Mar 20, 2024

When did the Chiefs become good? ›

In 1963, owner Lamar Hunt moved the team to Kansas City and the team was renamed the Chiefs. The Chiefs won three AFL championships in the 1960s, becoming the team with the most championships in the short-lived AFL. They also won their first Super Bowl when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7, in 1970.

Who will inherit the Kansas City Chiefs? ›

The four adult children of Lamar Hunt retain ownership of the Chiefs. The Hunt family has a $24.8 billion fortune, according to Forbes. One of his three sons, Clark Hunt, has held the team's CEO position since 2010.

Who is the biggest rival of the Chiefs? ›

The rivalry between the Chiefs and Raiders is considered to be one of the NFL's most bitter rivalries. Since the American Football League (AFL) was established in 1960, the Chiefs and Raiders have shared the same division, first being the AFL Western Conference, and since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, the AFC West.

Did Kansas City win the 2024 Super Bowl? ›

The Kansas City Chiefs have proven it time and again, and they did so at the 2024 Super Bowl, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime to win their second championship in a row and their third in the last five years.

Why do people want Chiefs to win? ›

A dynasty in the making

The Chiefs have been an AFC powerhouse for years, making the playoffs every year since 2015 and reaching three Super Bowls since 2019, winning two of them. They defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl last year and are looking for their second straight championship.

How do Native Americans feel about the Kansas City Chiefs name? ›

Many feel the team's name—a reference to Indigenous chiefs, people with powerful leadership roles within their communities and nations—is appropriative, and its associated imagery (the arrowhead logo, the tomahawk chop war chants popular among fans) is racist, rendering Native Americans as stereotypical caricatures.

What was the worst year for the Kansas City Chiefs? ›

The 2012 team tied the 1977 (2–12) and 2008 (2–14) teams for the franchise worst seasons in terms of fewest wins. The 2008 and 2012 seasons were the worst in terms of win percentage (. 125) in franchise history. They tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the NFL's worst record.

Why is the Chiefs logo an arrowhead? ›

Hunt reportedly designed the logo on a napkin on a road trip back to Kansas City, and he took inspiration from the logo of the San Francisco 49ers, and the interlocking 'S' and 'F', which sit inside an oval.

Do Native Americans want the Chiefs to change their name? ›

Many feel the team's name—a reference to Indigenous chiefs, people with powerful leadership roles within their communities and nations—is appropriative, and its associated imagery (the arrowhead logo, the tomahawk chop war chants popular among fans) is racist, rendering Native Americans as stereotypical caricatures.

Are they trying to change the name of Arrowhead Stadium? ›

In 2021, the Chiefs sold the naming rights for Arrowhead Stadium to GEHA, renaming it GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Arrowhead Stadium will be one of the hosts for the 2026 FIFA World Cup and it is scheduled to undergo small renovations in the years ahead.

Is Arrowhead Stadium changing its name? ›

FIFA will change name of GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium for 2026 World Cup. When FIFA announced earlier this month that six games in the 2026 World Cup would be played at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, international soccer's governing body left out some details.

When did Kansas City change its name? ›

City founders derived the name from the Kansas, or Kaw, River which was named for the Kansa Indians. The state of Missouri then incorporated the area as the City of Kansas in 1853 and renamed it Kansas City in 1889.

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