To say that head coach Andy Reid and QB Patrick Mahomes have transformed Kansas City would be a massive understatement. They are in sync with one another and have become synonymous with championship football.
Make no mistake. Kansas City has had more than its share of excellent coaching tenures, especially with Hank Stram, Marty Schottenheimer and Dick Vermeil.
But it is Reid who has the highest all-time winning percentage (.722), while he and Mahomes have led the Chiefs to two Super Bowl victories (2019 and 2022) over the last four seasons while losing another in 2020. The first win marked the end to a 50-year Super Bowl victory drought.
Lamar Hunt would be proud. He reportedly coined the phrase 'Super Bowl' in the summer of 1966 in a letter to then-commissioner Pete Rozelle. The name stuck and Hunt's Kansas City Chiefs played in the very first Super Bowl game. They lost that January, 1967 contest ('66 season) to Green Bay, but returned three years later to claim their first Super Bowl win over the Minnesota Vikings on January 11, 1970. Later that year, the AFL and NFL became the all-encompassing NFL.
This year, Kansas City is favored to improve its Super Bowl record to 4-2, despite another tough schedule, The home games include Miami, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Philadelphia. The away slate actually seems easier with visits to the NY Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings being, perhaps, the biggest threats.
Right now, Kansas City is a 6.5-point favorite in the season opener at home against Detroit, a huge favorite to win their division at -160, and lead all teams at +600 to win the Super Bowl.
Reid became the head coach of the Chiefs in 2013 and won 11 games (11-5) in his first season, but lost to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in the wild card playoff. Alex Smith was also in his first season as Kansas City's QB after being traded by San Francisco for a 2nd-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
2014 would become the ONLY season since Reid's arrival that Kansas City hasn't won at least 10 games, and is the only season that the club has not made the playoffs during his tenure.
Kansas City rebounded to another 11-5 finish in 2015, but fell to New England in the divisional playoffs. That year, the Chiefs became the first team to start 1-5 and make the playoffs.
2016 saw a one-win improvement to 12-4, but yet another AFC Divisional playoff loss - this time to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nonetheless, 2016 is an important year in Kansas City football history as that began the current 7-year run of AFC West division championships.
Patrick Mahomes would then be drafted with the No. 10 over-all pick in the 2017 NFL Draft after trading up from the 27th pick with the Buffalo Bills. It marked the first time since 1983 that the franchise drafted a quarterback (Todd Blackledge, 7th over-all pick). However, Alex Smith remained the quarterback and the Chiefs went 10-6. The final win, a 27-24 victory, at Denver in the season finale saw Mahomes make his first start while Smith and other starters rested for the playoffs. Mahomes was actually relieved after building a 24-10 lead but Tyler Bray's first play was a 38-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Denver, and his second series was a 3-and-out. After the punt, Denver tied the game at 24 in just 3 plays with 2:53 to play.
That's where the Mahomes magic went on display for the first time as he came off the bench to lead an 11-play, 67-yard drive that ended with Harrison Butker's 30-yard walk-off field goal.
Smith returned for the playoffs, but the Chiefs were bounced by Tennessee in the wild card game. Less than a month later, Smith would be traded to the Washington Redskins for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 3rd-round pick in the NFL Draft.
In 2018, Mahomes' career as the starting quarterback began with a bang as he set an NFL record by throwing 10 TD passes in his first two games. His first four games saw 14 TD throws with zero interceptions during a 4-0 start. He would throw his first two picks, and have a no-TD performance against Jacksonville in week 5, but the Chiefs still took a 30-14 home victory. That game began a five-game stretch in which he would wind up tossing 7 interceptions, but had more scoring strikes than turnovers in each.
KC and Mahomes suffered their first defeat of the season the following week, falling 43-40 at New England when the original comeback kid, Tom Brady, led the Pats to a three-minute clock-killing, game-winning drive that ended in a walk-off field goal.
Kansas City would go on to complete a 11-3 regular season, rout the Colts in the playoffs, but lose at home to New England in overtime in the AFC Championship game.
2019 would see the Chiefs go 12-4 in the regular season, and then whip Houston, Tennessee and San Francisco to claim the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The sting of another loss to Tom Brady occurred the following year, this time at the Super Bowl in Tampa. And the 2021 season ended with a loss at home to Cincinnati in the AFC Championship game.
However, 2022 brought Reid and Mahomes back to the top of the mountain with a rousing 38-35 win comeback win over Philadelphia in Super Bowl LVII.
Reid's Kansas City marks are now 117-45 over-all, and 12-7 in the playoffs, including a 2-1 record in the Super Bowl.
Including his 14 seasons at Philadelphia, his career records are 247-138-1 over-all and 22-16 in the playoffs. His Eagles' teams made just Super Bowl appearance (2003 season) and lost to you-know-who - yep, Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Mahomes, in just 5 seasons as the starting QB, has a record of 64-16 over-all and a silly 11-3 in the playoffs. Along the way, the Chiefs have made 3 Super Bowl appearances and won 2 of those, while he has been named the league MVP twice. He also holds multiple current NFL records, including his 5,614 passing yards last season.
To say the least, it is going to be interesting to see how the rest of this young exceptional athlete's career plays out, and how long the Reid-Mahomes magic continues.