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How the 2023 Chiefs should change the way we view football

Let’s say it 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 performance after a bye. At that point, I was totally skeptical of the team in general. While the defense was undoubtedly a great unit, the offense continually stumbled and regressed throughout 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 ultimately the Raiders. Las Vegas.

Even after a bye week and numerous opportunities to fix this problem, the offense continued to reach new lows.

Speaking of that Raiders game, that’s when I was done with that team. And for good reason. The team played a horrible 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 looking back, I still believe it was true. From Weeks 8-16, the Chiefs were 18th in expected points added per play and 12th in success rate, which is not a sign of a broken offense. However, the Chiefs were 20th in EPA pass rush and 12th in pass rate, while also being 19th in pass rush EPA and 26th in pass rate. They were a subpar offense for almost half the season.

Even without the stats, the movie didn’t make things better at all: the offensive tackle issues, the wide receiver mistakes, and the turnovers. The fact that Travis Kelce’s production has taken a step back compared to previous years. The leaders themselves have made it clear that they are done with the offensive. Between Kelce throwing his helmet on the sideline and the guys yelling at each other, the offensive vibes were horrible. It wasn’t just me doubting this Chiefs offense; everyone in the entire organization was struggling to come up with offensive responses.

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

And here I am, with pie on my face, as the team I didn’t think won the Super Bowl ended up making it. The team I picked to lose to 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 have doubted Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid? Well, that’s because the Chiefs had never won like this before.

When the Chiefs won their previous two Super Bowls, there was no doubt that they were an elite football team. In 2019, when Patrick Mahomes, Eric Fisher, Chris Jones, and Tyreek Hill played, they were not beaten (in fact, this remained the case throughout 2019-20 during one of the playoff series). two of the most underrated years of all time).

The Chiefs’ defense wasn’t as good in 2019 as it would be in 2022 or 2023, but by the end of the year, they had become an above-average unit, and the offense was still performing well. supernova levels when they were perfectly healthy. In my opinion, the only reason the 2019 team isn’t mentioned as one of the best teams of all time is the slow start to the playoffs. This team was an exceptional football team.

In 2022, there was no doubt that the Chiefs were an elite football team.

They arguably had the best offense in the NFL while also having a top-10 defense in Trent McDuffie’s second return from injured reserve. Their Super Bowl opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles, were also a great team on both sides of the ball and could have won that game, but this version of the Chiefs was a great team that I think will also be underrated down the stretch. time.

So, in 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 that they were the Super Bowl favorites. Like any team, they had to face adversity to win, but there was never a time when I didn’t consider them to be a team of this level.

For the 2023 Chiefs, I’ve never seen them like this. This was clearly still a playoff-level team that would be tough, but I honestly thought the Ravens and Bills – and especially the Ravens – were some of the best teams I’ve ever watched.

So…what did I get wrong?

Well, my way of looking at football can be very analytical and wrong. I view what I watch on Sundays and through stats as how I measure elite teams. I don’t think of football in terms of which group of players is toughest and strongest, but how they look on a football field and how they compete against 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 were not that. Analytically, this was not an elite team like the 2019 and 2022 teams. They were extremely flawed. Even during this playoff run, the offense had a ton of moments of mistakes or stutters as they had to fine-tune these games. Even with the focus and playoff experience, this team had many flaws that showed up in each of its last three wins.

And yet, where I was wrong on this team is that resilience, perseverance and experience matter. These factors are featured in every Super Bowl team.

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 an elite unit.

So going forward, I’m going to look at Chiefs teams differently from now on.

I won’t be as analytical and buy into these factors. The 2023 Chiefs proved to me that unquantifiable factors matter. Just because you don’t seem like a Super Bowl-level team doesn’t mean you can’t be one. As long as this team applies the fundamentals of their foundation, they should be considered a team capable of winning a Super Bowl in any year.

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

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