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Could an NFL team really make a trip to the Super Bowl for a third straight year? Yes, it’s happened three times, with one club making four straight appearances.
1972: L 24-3 vs. the Dallas Cowboys
1973: W 14-7 vs. Washington
1974: W 24-7 vs. the Minnesota Vikings
1991: L 20-19 vs. the New York Giants
1992: L 27-24 vs. the Washington Redskins
1993: L 52-17 vs. the Dallas Cowboys
1994: L 30-13 vs. Dallas Cowboys
New England Patriots
2017: W 34-28 vs. the Atlanta Falcons
2018: L 41-33 vs. the Philadelphia Eagles
2019: W 13-3 vs. the Los Angeles Rams
Kansas City has made back-to-back trips, winning 31-20 to the San Francisco 49ers in the 2019 season and losing last year 31-9 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Well, I’m going all in on the Chiefs to make it to the Super Bowl once again.
The biggest problem last season was the offensive line. The Chiefs had to deal with a slew of injuries that carried into the postseason.
Starting guard Kelechi Osemele was lost in Week 5. All-Pro right tackle Mitchell Schwartz landed on injured reserve in November with a back injury. Starting left tackle Eric Fisher suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the AFC championship game.
What the Chiefs ended up with was a complete reorganization. Right tackle Mike Remmers moved to left tackle. Guard Andrew Wylie moved to right tackle. Stefen Wisniewski, waived by the Pittsburgh Steelers in November, filled in as right guard.
Needless to say, the line was ineffective and a Super Bowl loss with zero passing touchdowns from Mahomes was not all that shocking, all things considered.
Coach Andy Reid saw that it was the offensive line that cost his team a Super Bowl. So, he rebuilt the quarterback protection and turned a weakness into a strength.
The Chiefs dropped Fisher and Schwartz, and added former New England guard and second-team All-Pro Joe Thuney and two-time Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long, who retired from the Chicago Bears in 2019. The Chiefs also get back guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who opted out of last season. The Chiefs also signed Austin Blythe from the Los Angeles Rams, and drafted Orlando Brown Jr. and Creed Humphrey, while also adding another guard in the sixth round.
The offensive line is projected to be sixth best entering the 2021 season.
Having Mahomes behind a much-improved offensive line that now has some depth? That’s definitely one reason to like the Chiefs.
Another reason: strength of schedule. In 2018, when Mahomes won NFL Offensive Player of the Year, NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and, of course, became a Super Bowl champ, he did so playing against 12 teams ranked in the bottom half of passing defense. This year, the Chiefs will play 11 teams ranked in the bottom half of passing defense.
Reid and his squad are projected to face the eighth-easiest schedule of passing defenses, and the third-easiest schedule of rushing defenses.
Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered a sprained ankle in preseason, and although reports have been mostly positive, his timeline to return remains uncertain.
With a new and improved offensive line, a friendly schedule of defenses, and Mahomes at quarterback, we could see the Chiefs replicate their 2018 Super Bowl season. They may even start covering the spread again. Betting tip: The Chiefs last year went 11-5 on six-point teasers, 13-3 in 2019, and 14-2 in 2018. Two-team teasers in the NFL can be a good bet. Look to the Chiefs to be used in this spot.
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