Extra Points: Chiefs on brink of Dynasty after Super Bowl 58 Win
By DAVID WEINBERG
The "D” word tends to get thrown around whenever a sports franchise starts to achieve a lot of success. The qualifications to be called a dynasty vary, but the Kansas City Chiefs are poised to be included in the conversation.
The Chiefs won their second straight Super Bowl championship and third in the last five years last Sunday with a 25-22, overtime victory – just the second overtime game in Super Bowl history – over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII (58).
It had been decades in the making for the Chiefs, who prior to their current streak hadn’t hoisted the Lombardi Trophy since the 1969 season, when quarterback Len Dawson, wide receiver Otis Taylor, defensive end Buck Buchanan, and coach Hank Stram delivered a 23-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings in SB IV.
That’s a lot of years and a lot of Roman numerals ago.
Coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes are the chief reasons behind Kansas City’s recent success.
Reid has rebuilt his legacy. During his 14-year tenure in Philadelphia (1999-2012), “Big Red” had a habit of coming up short in big games. The Eagles reached five NFC Championship games in those years (2001-04, 2008), but lost four – including two at home to Tampa Bay and Carolina, respectively, as the conference’s number one seed. They finally made the Super Bowl in the 2004 season, only to lose to Tom Brady and the Patriots.
By 2012, it was apparent that both the franchise and the coach needed a change. And it worked out for both sides, though it took a while.
The Eagles had to suffer through three years of Chip Kelly before coach Doug Pederson and backup quarterback Nick Foles led them to the franchise’s first Super Bowl win – they had won NFL titles in 1947-48 and 1960 in the pre-Super Bowl era – in 2017.
Meanwhile, Reid’s tenure in Kansas City got off to a rocky start. The Chiefs made the playoffs in 2013, but blew a 28-point lead en route to a 45-44 loss at Indianapolis in the Wild-Card round.
His big-game failings continued for a few more seasons. He made the playoffs in four of his first five seasons with the Chiefs, but continued to come up short. If Chiefs fans wanted to watch a dynasty back then, they had to tune in reruns of the old TV show featuring Blake (John Forsythe) and Alexis (Joan Collins) Carrington.
Kansas City’s fortunes changed soon after Mahomes’ arrival as the Chiefs’ first-round draft pick in 2017 out of Texas Tech.
Starting in 2019, Mahomes and Reid guided the Chiefs to four Super Bowl appearances in a five-year span, a feat attained only by New England’s Brady and coach Bill Belichick in 2014-18 and Buffalo’s Jim Kelly and Marv Levy in 1990-93.
This year’s appearance might have been the most impressive, considering the Chiefs beat the AFC’s top two seeds – Buffalo and Baltimore – to earn the trip to Las Vegas.
Mahomes’ magic appeared to be running out in the first half against the 49ers – he threw for only 123 yards and tossed an interception while the Niners went ahead 10-0 – but delivered when it mattered most in the fourth quarter and overtime.
And there’s little reason to think they won’t be back. The AFC is stacked with talented teams such as the Bills, Ravens, Houston Texans and others, but don’t be surprised if Taylor Swift is watching Travis Kelce from a luxury suite in New Orleans during Super Bowl LIX.
It remains to be seen if brother Jason Kelce will be joining Taylor in the stands as a spectator again or perhaps even standing on the other sideline with the Eagles.
Jason, who is said to be contemplating retirement after 13 seasons as the Eagles’ center, appeared to be embracing his role as a fan in recent weeks.
He was the talk of social media when he became an honorary member of the “Bills Mafia” in Buffalo, chugging booze out of bowling ball in the parking lot, then later leaping barechested into the stands to join in more revelry.
The 36-year-old also enjoyed himself at the Super Bowl, though part of his trip turned out to be a hoax.
Photos began circulating during the week that showed the Sea Isle City summer resident seemingly honoring the host city of Las Vegas by showing up dressed like Alan from “The Hangover,” complete with t-shirt and satchel.
Is this the real Caesars Palace? And is it pager-friendly?
However, the picture was photoshopped. But the other antics were real.
After joining Swift and rapper Ice Spice in another luxury box for the game, he celebrated with Reid and Travis on the field, then was reportedly the hit of the after-party at XS Nightclub in Vegas while clad in a pair of Chiefs-themed overalls and matching Mexican wrestling mask.
No word if anyone kidnapped Mike Tyson’s tiger.
Local NFL update
Speaking of the Chiefs, running back Isiah Pacheco (Vineland) became the first local player to play in two Super Bowls and also to win two.
Pacheco, in his second year with Kansas City, got off to a rough start in the Super Bowl when he lost a fumble and also dropped a pitchout for a loss. But he recovered to deliver a solid performance. He rushed for 59 yards on 18 carries and also caught six passes for 33 yards. He had two receptions for 9 yards and a 3-yard run during the Chiefs’ game-winning touchdown drive in overtime.
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Gallery Credit: Joshua Hennig/Townsquare Media