Can the Chiefs win back-to-back Super Bowls?

Can the Chiefs win back-to-back Super Bowls?

The Kansas City Chiefs ended a 50-year drought without winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy by producing a brilliant fourth-quarter comeback to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. Patrick Mahomes brought his team back from a 20-10 deficit to triumph 31-20 over Kyle Shanahan’s men, lifting the Chiefs to the NFL summit for the first time since the 1969 season.

Andy Reid and his side now face the challenge of repeating the feat, although no team in the league has secured back-to-back titles since the 2004 New England Patriots. The Chiefs are backed in the NFL odds on bet365 at +650 to win the crown for the second straight term, making them the leading contenders. They’re a strong outfit and boast the best quarterback in the NFL, but 15 teams have tried and failed to break the trend.

Why the 2004 Patriots were special

The Patriots outduelled the Carolina Panthers at the end of the 2003 season to win their second Super Bowl in three years. Tom Brady was the architect of another clutch drive before Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winning field goal – it was a rinse and repeat from the 2001 campaign. New England were the leading contenders for the crown once again in the 2004 season. Bill Belichick bolstered their already formidable team with a trade for running back Corey Dillon. Vince Wilfork was added to the defense in the 2004 NFL Draft, taking an already dominant unit to new heights.

New England brushed all comers aside during the regular season, losing only two of their 16 games, although their defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers cost them home-field advantage. However, the Patriots were so dominant it did not matter as they eased past the Indianapolis Colts led by Peyton Manning in the Divisional Round before crushing the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. The Super Bowl was a mere formality against the Philadelphia Eagles to secure their third title in four years. Belichick’s men had the rare balance of an elite quarterback and a stoic defense at their peak. No team has been able to match their achievement since, highlighting the difficulty of the task.

Can the Chiefs do it?

The Chiefs have the quarterback to match Brady, although Mahomes has had a few injury scares in his fledgling career. Keeping the 23-year-old healthy has to be the priority for the Chiefs next term and beyond. Kansas City have a lot of young talent around their quarterback, with Tyreek Hill still yet to hit his prime. Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins are still operating at the peak of their powers, while Mecole Hardman and the recently drafted Clyde Edwards-Helaire will provide further speed in the offense. Defenses are going to have their work cut out for them once more to slow down Mahomes and company.

Problems could emerge on the other side of the ball where Steve Spagnuolo worked wonders to form a solid unit by the end of the term. They have had issues with consistency over the years and will have to deal with Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in all likelihood in the post-season. That could be the biggest danger to their hopes of repeat titles – the threat of the Ravens. The Tennessee Titans could also be a potential rival, but the AFC appears to be a straight fight between the Chiefs and Baltimore – bringing back memories of the legendary duels between the Colts and the Patriots. Edging that contest will be the key for Reid, Mahomes and the Chiefs.