The Chiefs Couldn’t Beat Them, Now They’re Trying to Join Exclusive Super Bowl Club

The Kansas City Chiefs played in the first Super Bowl. Their owner, Lamar Hunt, even coined the phrase, “Super Bowl.”

So, it’s only natural that the Chiefs become a part of special Super Bowl history.

On Sunday, the Chiefs will officially become the first time in NFL history to host a Conference Championship Game four years in a row, when they host the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium.

But the real prize awaits them with a victory on Sunday. Should the Chiefs get past Joe Burrow and Co., the Chiefs would become the fourth team in NFL history to reach three straight Super Bowls.

The other three teams are the 1971-73 Miami Dolphins, the 1990-93 Buffalo Bills, who played in a record four straight Super Bowls, and the 2017-19 New England Patriots.

And what do these three Super streakers have in common? They all beat the Kansas City Chiefs at least once in the playoffs along their exclusive run.

Here is a look at the three previous Super Bowl triples (and quadruple):

1971-73 Dolphins: One historic first leads to another

The Miami Dolphins were just an AFL expansion team, barely five years into existence, when fortune smiled upon their city. It was in Miami that Joe Namath guaranteed a New York Jets victory over the mighty Baltimore Colts, and when it came to pass, one of the many seismic shifts it created across football was hastening Don Shula’s departure from the Colts.

Now, as the Dolphins’ new head coach in 1970, Shula quickly turned them into an AFC power, announcing their ascendancy with a double-overtime, 27-24 AFC Divisional Playoff victory over the Chiefs on Christmas Day in 1971.

Shula then got sweet revenge on the Colts in the AFC Championship Game, and the first of three straight Super Bowl appearances was theirs. The Dallas Cowboys humbled Miami in Super Bowl 6, but the next year, the Dolphins would not taste defeat the entire season, completing the only undefeated season in NFL history, 17-0, by defeating Washington in Super Bowl 7. The next year, the Dolphins battered the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl 8 to become just the second team to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

It took the incredible “Sea of Hands” touchdown catch by Clarence Davis of the Oakland Raiders in the epic 1974 Divisional Playoff game to deny the Dolphins a shot at a third straight Super Bowl title, but with their three consecutive Super Bowl appearances, the precedent was set.

1990-93 Bills: Four in a row, but no victories in the bunch

The tragedy is that the focus on the Buffalo Bills from the early 1990s is on the four consecutive losses in the Super Bowl, not on the unprecedented accomplishment of reaching four straight Super Bowls.

Maybe if Scott Norwood hits the field goal at the end of Super Bowl 25, everything is remembered differently. Certainly, it would put greater emphasis on what remains the greatest comeback in NFL history.

After losing their second Super Bowl in a row in 1991, famously after Thurman Thomas missed the start of Super Bowl 26 because he couldn’t find his helmet on the sideline, the Bills looked to be out of the Super Bowl business in the 1992 Divisional Round.

Playing the Houston Oilers without injured quarterback Jim Kelly, the Bills fell behind 28-3 at the half and were down 35-3 early in the third quarter after backup QB Frank Reich threw a pick-six.

Then, suddenly, the Bills rose from the dead, scoring four unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to get within 35-31, then taking the lead in the fourth on Andre Reed’s third touchdown of the half. The staggered Oilers managed a late field goal to force overtime, but the Bills prevailed in the extra session, 41-38.

The Bills went on to join the 70s Dolphins as Super Bowl three-peaters, but a blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl 27 left the football world with Bills fatigue, and they hoped a past Super Bowl winner, Joe Montana, could end the Bills’ run in the 1993 AFC Championship Game.

But Montana and his Kansas City Chiefs could not come through, and the Bills were in the Super Bowl for a fourth straight season, only to lose to the Cowboys again for a fourth Super loss.

2017-19 Patriots: Tom Brady’s final GOAT moments in New England

The Bills had the greatest comeback by points in the 1992 AFC Divisional Round, but the greatest playoff comeback really belongs to the 2017 Patriots, who made the first of their three straight Super Bowl appearances the most memorable of the Tom Brady era.

Trailing 28-3 late in the third quarter to the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51, Brady led a furious fourth-quarter charge, aided by some questionable Falcons play-calls in the final minutes, to force overtime. Once there, the Patriots overwhelmed the exhausted Falcons defense for the winning touchdown.

The Patriots then suffered one of its few Super Bowl losses in the Brady-Bill Belichick era, once again to

An NFC East team, the Philadelphia Eagles, in Super Bowl 52.

But in 2019, in what would be Brady’s last Super Bowl with the Patriots, New England outlasted an up-and-coming Chiefs team, led by young quarterback Patrick Mahomes, in the AFC Championship Game, reaching their third straight Super Bowl, where they beat the Los Angeles Rams, 13-3.

Now, the Chiefs are 60 minutes away from joining the club.

Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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