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The Chiefs are now officially an NFL dynasty

“In sports, a dynasty is a team or individual that dominates their sport or league for an extended length of time.”

That is the first sentence from the Wikipedia Page on sports dynasties. 

Sports dynasties aren’t exactly official–they’re mostly subjective–but people tend to know them when they see them. For example, we know that the Green Bay Packers of the 1960s, a football club that won five NFL championships–including the first two Super Bowls–were a dynasty. However, I haven’t heard many people call the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, who won three Super Bowls between 1976-1983, or the Washington Redskins, who made it to four Super Bowls and won three of them between 1982-1991, a dynasty.

The Steelers of the 1970s, a team that won four Super Bowls in six years, were a dynasty. The 49ers of the 1980s, who won four Super Bowls in nine years, were a dynasty. The Cowboys of the 1990s, who won three Lombardis in four years, were a dynasty. The Patriots, who made it to nine Super Bowls and won six of them between 2001-2018, were a dynasty.

I believe the current Kansas City Chiefs meet the criteria for a dynasty. They officially/unofficially joined the ranks thanks to a 25-22 overtime victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday night. It was Kansas City’s second-straight championship (the Chiefs are the first back-to-back winners since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004) and third since 2019. It was the Chiefs’ fourth trip to the Promised Land in five years. Kansas City has played in the last six AFC title games.

I’d say the Chiefs are a dynasty.

Perhaps the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders weren’t considered a dynasty because they won three different Super Bowls with two different coaches and two different quarterbacks. Maybe the Redskins weren’t considered a dynasty because they won three championships with three different quarterbacks.

The Chiefs have won all three Lombardi Trophies with Andy Reid as their head coach and Patrick Mahomes as their quarterback. Tight end Travis Kelce has been around for all three. Defensive tackle Chris Jones has been around for all of the AFC titles and Super Bowl parades.

I think the Chiefs qualify, and they might not even be done yet. Kansas City looked very beatable throughout the 2023 regular season and the playoffs. The Chiefs looked beatable in the Super Bowl, as they fell behind, 10-0, in the first half. Kansas City didn’t take its first lead until late in the third period, and that was a brief one, as the 49ers quickly answered a touchdown with one of their own.

But San Francisco left the door ajar. Jake Moody missed the subsequent extra point. This meant that the Chiefs could tie the game with field goals–twice–late in the fourth quarter, instead of being forced to score touchdowns.

Harrison Butker sent the game into overtime with a 29-yard field goal, and after the 49ers won the toss, head coach Kyle Shanahan elected to take the ball first. Why? Under the new rules, each team gets at least one possession in overtime.

San Francisco had to settle for three on its opening possession of overtime, which meant that Mahomes would have a chance to win the championship with a touchdown. He did just that with a three-yard strike to Mecole Hardman.

Game over. Dynasty established.

Not only did the Chiefs become a dynasty, they did so when they weren’t even at their best. Every dynasty–the ’67 Packers, the ’79 Steelers, the ’88 49ers, etc.–won a title when it wasn’t at its best.

Will the Chiefs now finally sink back to the pack?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Reid doesn’t appear to be done coaching. Mahomes is still only 28 years old. Maybe the Chiefs have more titles left to win.

Either way, they join an exclusive club of NFL dynasties. A dynasty might be subjective, but not if you know what to look for.

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