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Here’s What Happened the Last Time the Chiefs Played in the Super Bowl

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NFL Football

Jan 29, 2023 · 8:30 PM PST

Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes celebrate their AFC Championship victory
Jan 29, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (left) and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrate after winning the AFC Championship game at GEHA Field against the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
  • The Chiefs are advancing to the Super Bowl for the third time in the last four seasons
  • KC was the Super Bowl favorite prior to the playoffs starting, but opened as a small underdog versus the Eagles
  • Keep reading for a look back at the Chiefs recent Super Bowl runs, and what may be different this time around

It wasn’t pretty, but the Chiefs are once again Super Bowl bound. Patrick Mahomes and Co. finally took down Joe Burrow and the Bengals, beating them for the first time in four tries in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.

Mahomes displayed a level of toughness we haven’t seen before to gut out the victory. He played exceptionally well, in spite of a high ankle sprain that severely limited his mobility. Now, he’ll have two full weeks to heal and prepare for a showdown with the Eagles.

The last time KC advanced to the Super Bowl they were a 3-point favorite over the eventual champion Buccaneers. This time around however, the Chiefs will be catching points.


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Chiefs Recent Super Bowl History

KC opened up as a 1-point underdog to Philadelphia, but that line didn’t last long. Within 20 minutes the spread jumped to Eagles -2.5. It’s since come back down a half point, giving the Chiefs a price of +115 to win it all.

KC was the favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy before the playoffs began. That changed after Mahomes’ injury in the Divisional Round, allowing Philadelphia to overtake them. The Chiefs have closed as favorites in a record 15 straight playoff games and in all 13 of Mahomes’ postseason starts.

Sunday marked the fifth consecutive AFC Championship Game appearance for the Chiefs, and their third conference title victory during that stretch.

Mahomes won his first Super Bowl appearance in 2020, orchestrating a second half comeback to knock off the 49ers. That edition of KC finished fifth in the league in scoring and sixth in total offense. Their defense was top-seven in points allowed, and limited the 49ers to only 20 points in the Championship Game.

The following season, the Chiefs led the NFL in total offense but took a step back on the other side of the ball. They coughed up 31 points in the Super Bowl versus Tampa Bay, but the shocking part about that defeat was how badly they struggled on offense.

KC put up just 9 points against the Bucs. At the time, that was the lowest amount ever put up by a Mahomes led offense. Tampa Bay wrecked the Chiefs offensive line with their front four, sacking Mahomes three times and forcing numerous errand throws – two of which were intercepted.

KC was an abysmal 3-for-13 on third down in that contest, and you won’t win many games losing the turnover battle and finishing with a 23% third down conversion rate.

What’s Different This Time Around

Since getting exposed by the Bucs, the Chiefs have invested heavily in their offensive line. The unit graded out top-seven in pass protection this season and top-five in run blocking. They’ll be under siege all game in the Super Bowl against Philly’s top ranked pass rush.

Speaking of pass rushes, KC’s front seven is much improved over previous Super Bowl runs. They ranked second in pressure rate this season, and finished with five sacks in the AFC title game. They’ll be leaned on heavily against the Eagles, who boast arguably the league’s number one offensive line. That unit has allowed just two sacks all playoffs, giving Jalen Hurts all day to throw.

The biggest difference between the past two Chiefs teams that made it to the Big Game and this one is the subtraction of Tyreek Hill. The Cheetah is one of the most explosive offensive players in the NFL, capable of turning any play into a touchdown.

KC’s offense performed exception during the regular season without him, ranking first per DVOA. However, he was sorely missed on Sunday versus the Bengals. With Travis Kelce seeing double teams and Kadarius Toney and Mecole Hardman out injured, Mahomes was forced to rely on Marquez Valdes-Scantling and a collection of unproven receivers.

Time and time again, Mahomes’ pass catching options couldn’t get open. Numerous drives stalled as a result, and the final one might have as well if not for Mahomes’ heroics with his legs.

Philadelphia’s secondary is loaded with talent, and if Toney and Hardman aren’t 100%, Mahomes could find himself struggling to find open receivers.

Chiefs Super Bowl Odds Movement

The Bills held the pole position in the Super Bowl odds for nearly the entire offseason and the first three quarters of the regular season. KC was always a top-three contender, and overtook Buffalo as the favorite at the end of November.

Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Appearances

Season Opponent Result
2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 31-9
2019 San Francisco 49ers W 31-20
1969 Minnesota Vikings W 23-7
1967 Green Bay Packers L 35-10

Oddsmakers have been bullish on the Chiefs all season, but you can’t blame them for installing the Eagles as the favorite once Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain. Nevertheless, Mahomes proved in the AFC Championship Game he’s still a magician when the game’s on the line. He’ll need to conjure up plenty more magic to upset Philly and earn his second ring.


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