Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes gets his second shot at consecutive Super Bowl titles — Andscape
During the Super Bowl era, only seven franchises have won consecutive NFL championships, and the New England Patriots were the last to accomplish the feat by winning Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.
The Kansas City Chiefs are striving to join the exclusive club.
After rallying for a 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII last season, the Chiefs reported to training camp this week in hopes of capping this season with a victory in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada.
Of course, the Chiefs are only getting started during practice at Missouri Western State University at St. Joseph, Missouri. During a 17-game regular season, there’s a whole lot that can go wrong. Additionally, having won two Super Bowl titles in the past four seasons, the Chiefs know firsthand how hard it is to complete the journey to a championship.
They also know they’re led by superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who inspires confidence throughout the organization. The view from outside looks good, too.
With Mahomes, the Chiefs have a rock-solid foundation on which to begin their trek anew. And being led by the NFL’s best player at the game’s most important position is a great place for the Chiefs to start, Mike Shanahan said.
As head coach of the Denver Broncos in the late 1990s, Shanahan led the franchise to consecutive victories in Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII. Although the Chiefs have a strong roster overall, Mahomes, obviously, is the key to their aspirations to repeat.
“You just watch him, you study him, and what hits you is that this guy does a lot of things other guys just can’t do,” Shanahan said in a phone interview recently. “Even the other great quarterbacks in the game today … what separates him is his ability to extend plays. And when he’s scrambling and making plays or throwing balls off-balanced and making plays, those are plays that make a difference in big games. That’s how you win those big games.”
In the NFL today, Mahomes is second to none in the league’s biggest game.
After winning his second Associated Press MVP award for his performance during the 2022-23 regular season, Mahomes capped the postseason by making key plays down the stretch as the Chiefs rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit against the Eagles at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Mahomes, still hobbled after suffering a high ankle sprain earlier in the playoffs, went 21 of 27 for 182 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 44 rushing yards on six carries – including a 26-yard scramble on the Chiefs’ game-winning drive.
At only 27 (Mahomes turns 28 on Sept. 17), the two-time first-team All-Pro already has two Super Bowl championships, two AP league MVP awards and two Super Bowl MVP awards. Then only 24 in 2020, Mahomes became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to have a Super Bowl title, a Super Bowl MVP award and a league MVP award.
The Chiefs’ championship window remains wide open this season and beyond because Mahomes “is still so young,” said Shanahan, who began coaching in the NFL in 1984 and is considered among the greatest offensive playcallers in NFL history.
Back-to-back Super Bowl winners
Seven NFL clubs have won consecutive Super Bowls titles. Pittsburgh is the only franchise to have accomplished the feat twice:
Green Bay Packers
- I, Jan. 15, 1967 – Green Bay 35, Kan. City 10
- II, Jan. 14, 1968 – Green Bay 33, Oakland 14
- VII, Jan. 14, 1973 – Miami 14, Washington 7
- VIII, Jan. 13, 1974 – Miami 24, Minnesota 7
- IX, Jan. 12, 1975 – Pittsburgh 16, Minnesota 6
- X, Jan. 18, 1976 – Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17
- XIII, Jan. 21, 1979 – Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31
- XIV, Jan. 20, 1980 – Pittsburgh 31, LA Rams 19
San Francisco 49ers
- XXIII, Jan. 22, 1989 – San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16
- XXIV, Jan. 28, 1990 – San Francisco 55, Denver 10
- XXVII, Jan. 31, 1993 – Dallas 52, Buffalo 17
- XXVIII, Jan. 30, 1994 – Dallas 30, Buffalo 13
- XXXII, Jan. 25, 1998 – Denver 31, Green Bay 24
- XXXIII, Jan. 31, 1999 – Denver 34, Atlanta 19
New England Patriots
- XXXVIII, Feb. 1, 2004 – New England 32, Carolina 29
- XXXIX, Feb. 6, 2005 – New England 24, Philadelphia 21
“Winning one Super Bowl is incredibly hard to do, let alone winning two in a row,” Shanahan said. “But you know how good Mahomes is because he makes plays when there’s nothing there. So what you have to do, especially if you’re facing [the Chiefs] in the playoffs, is you have to play great defense and control the ball [on offense].
“You have to limit those opportunities for him to make those big plays. You have to limit their possessions. Now, you say that, but it’s a lot harder to actually do it. And when you’re in the biggest game, the Super Bowl, and those great athletes [on defense] get tired late in the game, then that’s when they happen [Mahomes’ difference-making plays].”
Mahomes and the Chiefs are taking their second swing at back-to-back titles.
Kansas City defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV and then advanced to Super Bowl LV against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers overwhelmed the Chiefs’ injury-ravaged offensive line and pressured Mahomes relentlessly throughout their 31-9 blowout victory. In Week 12 of that season, visiting Kansas City defeated Tampa Bay 27-24. But the Chiefs were without their starting left and right tackles in the Super Bowl.
In retrospect, the title game’s outcome wasn’t surprising, Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy said.
“By the time that the Super Bowl came around, they were actually missing four of their best five offensive linemen. So other than having that great talent at quarterback, no team would’ve probably even made it to the Super Bowl,” said Dungy, who led the Indianapolis Colts to a victory in Super Bowl XLI.
“But because he [Mahomes] is so great, because of the things he does to lift up his team, he covered up a lot of flaws. We kind of overlooked the fact that you basically had a great defensive line going against a second-string offensive line. There haven’t been a lot of quarterbacks in the history of the league who could do that.”
Not surprisingly, Mahomes has embraced the challenge of trying to reach the mountaintop again this season.
“I’m always confident that we have a chance to get to the Super Bowl. I understand it’s a process. I understand it’s not easy,” Mahomes told reporters last week after reporting to training camp. “I’m going to continue to build myself and then help our team get better and better.
“We have a lot of motivated guys. You’ve seen from our culture that we want to continue to build this thing. We have a special group that can carry out a legacy, we have the right guys, so now let’s just go out there and do it.”
In all likelihood, for Kansas City to become the eighth franchise to win consecutive Super Bowl championships, it will have to do it on Mahomes’ shoulders. Fortunately for the Chiefs, he has the broadest in the NFL.