arrowhead stadium with fireworks

A Quick Return To The SB Isn’t Guaranteed

 29 replies

The Chiefs may have already reached their peak.

We all know the story. A franchise who never had much at the quarterback position finally finds their man. In his first year the team does well, winning a playoff game but ultimately failing to reach the Super Bowl. But in his second year the team takes a step forward and finally wins a Super Bowl for a team and fanbase that had been long without one. In the quarterback’s third season the team makes the Super Bowl again, but loses to Tom Brady. But despite that loss there was lots of optimism that the team would be successful for a long time.

I’m talking, of course, about the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson.

Embed from Getty Images

Since that Super Bowl loss, the Seahawks have been a consistently good team, but have failed to even make it past the divisional round in the playoffs.

Now yes, there are differences. The Seahawks were more of a defensive team, and in the modern era it’s really hard to keep that level of defense together for more than a year or two. And yes, Mahomes is much better than Wilson. But the point remains, just because the Chiefs have had an awesome 3-year run doesn’t mean they’ll be going to the Super Bowl half a dozen times in the next decade.

To be perfectly frank, there’s more reason to believe the Chiefs are going to be closer to the post-2014 Seahawks than to the past three years. Mahomes is going to take up much more of the cap. In 2021, he will make $24 million, more than his first four seasons combined, and it will only get worse as time goes on, going up to $31 million in 2022 and $42 million in 2023. Of course the deal is a good one for the Chiefs, as NFL quarterback contracts are irrational and elite guys are underpaid, but that doesn’t change the fact that we now can’t spend that money on other players.

No more offseasons like 2019, where you sign big money free agents like Watkins, Hitchens, and Mathieu and trade premium draft picks for another expensive contract in Clark. You have to build through the draft, as those players are much cheaper, but the only Pro Bowler the Chiefs have drafted so far in the last 3 drafts is Hardman, who made it as a returner.

Embed from Getty Images

To be clear, it’s not all doom and gloom. Mahomes is still the best quarterback in the NFL and will be for a long time, and that alone means the Chiefs will always be in contention. But it won’t be as easy as it has been the past couple years. The roster will have holes. We will be starting a half dozen players who should be backups. We’ll have to watch as other teams sign the big name free agents while the Chiefs are mostly left with the scraps.

Luckily, Chiefs fans have endured far worse than having merely a top 5 team, but we need to make sure our expectations are reasonably managed.

3 6 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
29 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Maw423
Maw423
02/22/2021 7:12 pm

Seems like every time I swing by AG anymore, that you’d think we’d never won a single SB, let alone a playoff game in the history of football.
Chiefs can and will be absolutely decimated by any peewee team that shows up in the vicinity.

Last edited 5 days ago by Maw423
stjoechief
02/22/2021 7:04 pm

Oh, this was definitely the year the window was open widest. But it didn’t slam shut with the loss to the Bucs, either. With the core group of Mahomes, Kelce, Hill, Mathieu, and Jones in place they’ll have a better shot at returning to the SB than all but a very few Chiefs rosters before Mahomes (or BM in my mental Chiefs calendar system). That should be about another 4 years. Their chances in any one of those years will vary with the quality of the supporting cast and injuries, but will probably never be as good as 2020. I would expect at least one return appearance in that time span, but best laid plans yada yada. Once that core group breaks up, whether by moving on or retirement, this version of the Chiefs will be done and Veach et al will have to assemble a new nucleus.

Slayer0810
Slayer0810
Reply to  stjoechief
02/23/2021 9:58 am

How do you define “the window” though? Because I’d say our window might be more open next year if you consider all the things that went wrong this time around. I’d bet you any amount of money that if we’re in the Super Bowl next year:

  • Our OL won’t be down to third stringers across the board
  • Our receivers won’t completely forget how to catch the football
  • Our QB won’t be playing on an injured foot
  • Our HC won’t be distracted by off-the-field issues with his son
  • Our opponent won’t be playing in their home stadium

I didn’t list the officiating or the opposing team’s game plan, because those are things that very well could go against us in future years. But it’s near-impossible to have another year with the sheer number of unlucky things going against us that we saw in this year’s SB.

Severely Concussed
Severely Concussed
02/22/2021 1:34 pm

comment image

MasterChief
MasterChief
Reply to  Severely Concussed
02/22/2021 1:58 pm

comment image

Severely Concussed
Severely Concussed
Reply to  MasterChief
02/22/2021 2:20 pm

comment image

Slayer0810
Slayer0810
02/22/2021 12:00 pm

Meh. I’ll take my chances with Mahomes.

If he’s already hit his peak, that peak is best QB in the NFL and one of the best ever to play the game. But what if he’s still getting better? What if peak Mahomes is still several years down the road? This SB loss was a perfect storm of so many things, and Mahomes still came close to willing them into the game.

I’d be willing to bet anything that Mahomes ends his career closer to Tom Brady than to Russell Wilson. He’s the MJ of the NFL, and good luck to anyone who tries to stop him.

probablyamistake
probablyamistake
02/22/2021 11:31 am

This is why I said (and got blasted for) the chances of a dynasty for this team pretty much left last SB Sunday. We needed that W and got embarrassed. Coming back from that kind of loss and get another SB W will be tough enough (Patrick is our only hope, sure as heck isn’t the staff), let alone a dynasty. Will say that stranger things have happened in sports, but we’re in a tough spot. We’ve been exposed. First be the faiders and now by the bucs.

SCKSChief
SCKSChief
Reply to  probablyamistake
02/22/2021 11:37 am

Agree. The OL was putrid and the defense was purely smoke and mirrors. That said, I do think the defense, with some minor upgrades, is passable with an improved OL. Not a small improvement, mind you. Must be a significant improvement…more than LDT brings to the table. Must get another starter type at C, get Osemele back healthy, and probably find two starters-in-waiting/starters-right-now at OTs.

Slayer0810
Slayer0810
Reply to  probablyamistake
02/22/2021 12:06 pm

With all due respect, that’s complete BS.

If by “exposed” you mean that the combination of the opposing team playing a home SB for the first time in history, a perfect offensive/defensive gameplan by the other team, major help from the officials, a decimated Chiefs OL, and off-the-field distractions by the HC’s son is a blueprint to beat KC, I’ll give you that. As it turns out, that’s also the blueprint to beat literally any team who has ever played football.

I’m not saying it’s easy to win SBs, but I feel fairly confident in saying that we’ll probably never again see Mahomes & Co face the overall adversity in a SB that they saw against the Bucs. Certainly there’s things that we could have done better, but when the blueprint to beat KC is “everything that can go right has to go right for our team, and everything that can go wrong has to go wrong for KC”, I’ve got confidence that this isn’t the end of the dynasty conversation.

probablyamistake
probablyamistake
Reply to  Slayer0810
02/22/2021 5:10 pm

Wow, you used every excuse in the book except for the sun got in our eyes. Nicely done.

BleedingRedAndGold
Reply to  probablyamistake
02/22/2021 5:37 pm

It’s hardly an excuse to describe the SB OL as being in shambles, because it was – but it also isn’t representative of the initial starting lineup or the one that played most of the season. It also is not a good model on which to use as the basis for ‘what must be fixed in ’21’, since it isn’t statistically representative of anything at all, being at that point little more than an ad hoc collection of individual players.

What is an excuse, however, is saying that cohesion and mutual experience don’t matter to how an OL is able to perform, that any 5 OLs average can be put together into a dominant unit in a week or two, no excuses.

He did leave out Mahomes’ foot injury, which is also…a serious matter that needs to be addressed in the draft or FA, I guess? I don’t know if it was you, too, but plenty of people are saying that every injured OL from last year is done in KC, but a foot injury that also required surgery is a slam dunk to return while other injuries are slam dunks to not return.

Mahomes’ foot will heal, however, and of our injured players I’d be a little surprised to not see any of them back and able to start Game 1, but my bottom line here is that if everything the Chiefs had going against them in the SB is nothing more than an “excuse”, then you literally cannot fix the ’21 Chiefs by fixing the SBLV Chiefs, not when you’re thrown any sort of accurate analysis out the window by dismissing relevant facts from consideration.

Those who simply want to replace the entire front five should simply say that’s what they want to do for reasons of their own, rather than using SBLV as an excuse to do so.

Slayer0810
Slayer0810
Reply to  probablyamistake
02/23/2021 7:56 am

An excuse would be simply saying “we lost because of the refs”. An explanation is making the argument that while we would have been able to overcome one (or more) of the factors on their own, the cumulative weight of all of the things that went against us was too much to overcome. And given what I’ve seen Mahomes overcome at various points over the last two years, I’m comfortable saying that the adversity was significant enough to rise above the negative connotation of “excuse”.

I’ll try another way to make my point: Let’s just assume for a moment that in some hypothetical world, the Chiefs played a “perfect game” given the circumstances on Super Bowl Sunday, controlling everything that they could control. The WRs didn’t drop balls. The OL was merely terrible rather than non-existent. The playcalling, while still less-than-ideal give Andy’s distraction during the week, was semi-functional.

Even if all of that went “right” (or as right as it could, given the circumstances), the Chiefs still probably would have lost. The decimated OL, even at their best, isn’t good enough to hold up against the Bucs pass rush. Andy definitely isn’t at 100% focus. The officials still destroyed the momentum with terrible calls on key drives. Patrick is still slightly hobbled with foot injury. The Bucs still had a perfect offensive and defensive gameplan to counter what we were able to do. And the Bucs still had all the advantages of playing at home.

So despite the Chiefs hypothetically playing the closest thing to a perfect game that they could considering the circumstances, the outside variables were likely still too much to overcome. At which point those variables are not “excuses” anymore.

upamtn
Reply to  Slayer0810
02/22/2021 5:37 pm

with all due respect: Chiefs got beat in just about every possible way … period

the REAL blueprint? score more points than the other team … Bucs did that, Chiefs didn’t

NM_ChiefsFan
NM_ChiefsFan
02/22/2021 10:41 am

Take your negativity somewhere else!

upamtn
Reply to  NM_ChiefsFan
02/22/2021 10:58 am

looking at things objectively, it’s not at all “negative” … that’s a “value judgement” … truth in and of itself is never a “negative”

upamtn
02/22/2021 10:29 am

in Life, nothing is guaranteed … except Death

keep a good thought, folks (cheesey grin) and Happy Monday (if there can be such a thing)

SCKSChief
SCKSChief
Reply to  upamtn
02/22/2021 10:46 am

…you failed to mention taxes.

upamtn
Reply to  SCKSChief
02/22/2021 10:50 am

those can be avoided …

seems that there are two ways to go about it: 1) be dirt poor, or 2) be filthy rich

😀 <<<<<<—— supposed to be a cheesey grin smiley face

Last edited 6 days ago by upamtn
SCKSChief
SCKSChief
Reply to  upamtn
02/22/2021 10:53 am

comment image

upamtn
Reply to  SCKSChief
02/22/2021 10:55 am

LMAO! well done, Sir, well done!

SCKSChief
SCKSChief
02/22/2021 10:13 am

If the Chiefs can actually fix the OL, I think their chances are better than Seattle because they will have Hill and Kelce for a while together.

SCKSChief
SCKSChief
Reply to  Tony Sommer
02/22/2021 10:47 am

Agreed. I also believe that Kelce is in far better physical condition than Gronk was before he retired and he was the only real weapon Brady had for years. Interestingly, the only years the Pats didn’t go to/win the SB were years their OL couldn’t protect Brady.

upamtn
Reply to  SCKSChief
02/22/2021 10:43 am

mos’ def’ better than if they DON’T upgrade O-Line

MasterChief
MasterChief
Reply to  SCKSChief
02/22/2021 11:42 am

I agree and think as long as we have Mahomes, we have a shot… just like Tom Brady. Every year he has a shot. He doesn’t make it every single year, but he is always around. I think we have a great chance of that type of career from Mahomes.

SCKSChief
SCKSChief
Reply to  Tony Sommer
02/22/2021 10:12 am

“Uplifting.”
comment image

Straybrit
Straybrit
Reply to  SCKSChief
02/22/2021 12:09 pm

That is bizarrely hypnotic

29
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x