In just three years in the NFL and two years as a starter, Patrick Mahomes has gone from backup quarterback to NFL MVP to Super Bowl champion. Already, Mahomes has shown an innate ability to get the ball down the field and show up when things look bad.
The Kansas City Chiefs are all the better for this. Although when the 2020 season kicks off, NFL team will need to know that nothing comes easy, even for the defending champions.
What makes the Chiefs special?
Save for the Patriots, no other team has been able to repeat as champions and prolong their success (recently). From aging QBs experiencing their last hurrah to seasons that fell into place for teams in a non-sustainable way, being a Super Bowl champion does not ensure success in the immediate future.
The Chiefs seem different, however. Kansas City began to show they were the real deal during the last season. While a combination of Mahomes’ brief injury and the rise of Lamar Jackson brought the conversation elsewhere, they stayed in the thick of things throughout the season.
Mahomes is only 24 years old. While many quarterbacks his age struggle to find their place in the NFL, he’s already shown his ability to overcome adversity. With seasoned head coach Andy Reid and another young superstar in Tyreek Hill by his side, the Chiefs are in prime position to use this not as a one-off memory, but the jump-off point for years of success.
Assuming the team only gets better from here, however, some teams will look to dethrone Mahomes and company and ensure this Super Bowl was Kansas City’s last for a long time.
New England Patriots
When the Patriots struggle, it is not the same as when other teams struggle. New England might have had a first-round exit on the back of a struggling Tom Brady. But throughout the team’s historic run, it’s never shown that it will go away.
There are question marks regarding Brady’s age, how much longer Belichick will coach, and whether the team can continue without either of them. But until the final nail is in the coffin, it’ll be hard to count out the team that never dies.
Lamar Jackson had one of the best two-way seasons the NFL has ever seen, and he did so in only his second year. Despite stealing the spotlight from Mahomes and the Chiefs, Jackson and company struggled against the same Titans who took out the Patriots — and their story were cut short.
What’s scariest about the Ravens, however, is the fact that they have a quarterback who, like Mahomes, shows abilities that reach beyond his years. With Brees and Brady in their twilight, Jackson and Mahomes could be the next generation’s legends in the making.
San Francisco 49ers
The Chiefs defeated the 49ers when it mattered, but it doesn’t mean the team is in the clear. Lost in the amazing comeback was the fact that the 49ers had the team’s back up against the wall. Just one or two throws going the other way, and the headlines are about the 49ers’ decisive win over Mahomes and company.
With a young defensive superstar in Nick Bosa, a reliable quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, and George Kittle becoming the heir apparent to Rob Gronkowski, the 49ers won’t likely go anywhere. Even if the Chiefs have the number currently, with any improvement the 49ers could be out for blood.