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Have the Chiefs Done Enough to Return to the Super Bowl?

Posted on | May 24, 2021 | No Comments

The Kansas City Chiefs were dismantled in the Super Bowl by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, failing in their bid to become the first franchise in 16 years to win back-to-back Vince Lombardi Trophies.

Patrick Mahomes was harassed by the Buccaneers’ defense for the entirety of the contest, which resulted in the Chiefs’ inability to score a touchdown for the first time with the 26-year-old as their starting quarterback. Injuries to starting tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz loomed large, while their replacements failed to rise to the occasion.

Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett were a constant presence in the backfield and not even Mahomes’ brilliance was enough to overcome the deficiencies on the offensive line. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers’ offense had the upper hand over the Chiefs, mustering 31 points with relative ease to claim the crown.

It was a missed opportunity for Andy Reid’s side to cement their place as a dynasty, although two titles in three years would still be considered a great achievement for the current roster. The Chiefs are the leading contenders in the NFL odds on bet365 to win Super Bowl LV as Reid and general manager Brett Veach have made strides to overcome their issues that cost the team last term.

After releasing Fisher and Schwartz, the Chiefs made a significant move in free agency by signing Joe Thuney to the most expensive contract signed by an offensive guard after a stellar run with the New England Patriots. They then traded away their first-round pick in the 2021 Draft to acquire tackle Orlando Brown from the Baltimore Ravens. The strengthening of the line continued as the Chiefs used their second-round selection on center Creed Humphrey, ensuring that Mahomes will have no issues with protection this season when it comes down to the crunch.

Kansas City have also bolstered their roster with defensive tackle Jarran Reed and cornerback Mike Hughes. The idea is to hand defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo useful pieces to maneuver in a bid to stymie their opponents after failing to hold back the Buccaneers.

On paper, the Chiefs appear to have the strongest chance to return to the Super Bowl. Only the Buccaneers may have a better roster, although it remains to be seen if Brady can keep operating at a high level at the age of 44. Mahomes is in the prime of his career and he will be hungry to prove a point after his campaign ended in disappointment at the hands of the GOAT for a second time.

An area of concern will be the depth of weapons the Chiefs have at their disposal. The trifecta of Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce has wreaked havoc on the league. However, Hill was off form in the Super Bowl, while Kelce will be 32 before the start of the new season and it is likely that the Chiefs have seen his best football. Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle, and Demarcus Robinson have been solid support pieces, but they are unlikely to be able to carry the load if Hill or Kelce miss time due to injury or suffer a decline in 2021.

Mahomes’ excellence can bring out the best of the talent around him, but it could be a cause for concern, especially with an additional game to play in the new campaign.



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