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Can the Kansas City Chiefs Repeat in the 2020 Season?

| September 10, 2020 5:35 am PDT
Can the Kansas City Chiefs Repeat in the 2020 Season?

For football fans, it always seems a long time between seasons but this year has been particularly strange. It seems a lifetime ago that Patrick Mahomes inspired a fourth-quarter comeback to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.

A lot has happened since that night in Miami but now the NFL is gearing up to start a new season – as scheduled. There may be a vastly reduced number of fans inside the stadiums but America’s true favorite sport is back. Kansas City Chiefs get things going on the evening of Thursday, September 10 as it begins its defense of the Vince Lombardi Trophy with a match up with the Houston Texans.

Great things are expected of Mahomes and the Chiefs once again – but can Kansas City go all the way again and become the first team since the 2003/4 New England Patriots to win back-to-back Super Bowls?

Latest Odds

It is no surprise that the Chiefs are the big favorites to win the AFC West for the fifth year running – and many pundits have Kansas City as a shoo-in for the AFC Championship game at the very least.

Here are some of the Kansas City Chiefs betting markets available at BetOnline for the upcoming season.

Kansas City Chiefs to win AFC West-450
Kansas City Chiefs to win AFC Championship+300
Kansas City Chiefs to win Super Bowl LV+600

Andy Reid’s men are the favorite in all three of those markets, with the Baltimore Ravens a close second for the AFC Championship and Super Bowl. No one else comes anywhere close in the division.

More confidence in Chiefs dominance is shown in the regular season wins markets where BetOnline has the team -145 to record over 11.5 wins and +115 to fail to meet that total. It took 50 years for Kansas City to win its second Super Bowl title but the bookmakers now seem to be fairly sure that Mahomes and his team have what it takes to repeat immediately.

Quick 2019 Recap

Just in case it does seem too long ago, the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV by defeating San Francisco in Miami in February. But the season wasn’t all plain sailing. Patrick Mahomes played with a slight injury at the start of the year before dislocating a kneecap in week 7 and remarkably returning to the field of play in week 10. There were other injuries as well, including top wide receiver Tyreek Hill limping out of the season opener and not coming back until week 6.

When Mahomes returned in week 10 it was in a loss to the Tennessee Titans that left the Chiefs with a record of 6-4. That seems fairly bleak but six consecutive wins – including a season-changing victory over the Pats – swept Kansas City into the playoffs ranked second behind Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens.

The Chiefs had a habit of allowing opponents to rack up the points in the postseason before coming back in the final quarter. Houston was beaten 51-31 after trailing by 21 points to zero after the first quarter. Then Mahomes needed to perform his magic for 14 points in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship game against the Titans to win 35-24. The incredible comeback against the Niners in the Super Bowl was just about expected by the time it came around.

Offense

It looks as though the NFL could be Patrick Mahomes’ own personal plaything this year. The entire league has gotten used to an exciting new generation of dual-threat quarterbacks but he is the main man now – even with Tom Brady selling shirts in Tampa. Kansas City recognized what he brings to the organization by signing him to a ten-year deal worth over half a billion dollars. The extension keeps the player as a Chief until he is 35 and sends a message to the rest of the league that Kansas City expects to be winning championships for a while yet.

Mahomes may be the franchise star but there are other players that lead the league in their chosen disciplines. Tight end Travis Kelce was an immensely important part of the Super Bowl-winning team and he also received a huge extension deal to keep him happy. He should be troubling defenses once again this year.

Tyreek Hill is hoping to complete the season this year and will undoubtedly find himself on the end of passes from Mahomes on a regular basis. He will be joined by fellow wide receivers Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson, and Mecole Hardman in scoring plenty of points for the cause. The other piece of business that shocked many was when running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was taken in the first round of the draft. But when Damien Williams opted out of the season due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic that move suddenly looked like a stroke of genius.

Defense

Although the Kansas City Chiefs defense was criticized last year it still finished the season ranked number seven and was particularly good at scoring points of its own. Playing against a running game seemed to be somewhat of a problem but there were already signs last year that Steve Spagnuolo’s ideas were getting across to the players.

The playoffs showed that there was still a lot of work to be done – as the offense ended up taking the Chiefs to eventual glory. But the defense was only allowing 11.5 points per game in the final six games of the regular season and ten of the eleven starters have returned for this year.

This is a unit that will be much better than at the beginning of last season – and with a mostly friendly schedule in the opening weeks, we are unlikely to see the 20-plus points totals scored against this Kansas City Chiefs defense as was the case in the early months of the 2019 season.

2020 Season

Staying injury-free is obviously a very important factor for any team looking to repeat a Super Bowl triumph. But if we assume that Kansas City can keep its regular starters on the field for the majority of the season, the outlook does look very encouraging.

All football fans will be looking forward to week 3 when the Chiefs travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. But even if Lamar Jackson gets the upper hand on that day there is a good chance that Kansas City will be 10-1 when it goes to Tampa to a take on a Bucs team led by Tom Brady. With the schedules bringing up games against the AFC East and the NFC South, there are few teams to be wary of as the season progresses.

Buffalo could pose a problem in week 6 but the weather will not have truly turned by mid-October so Patrick Mahomes hands shouldn’t get too cold. The only other real test in the schedule is the New Orleans Saints as the last road trip just before Christmas in week 15. If all goes to plan – and even allowing for losses to the Ravens and Saints – that would bring about a 14-2 record that easily surpasses the 11.5 wins BetOnline has as a marker.

With the postseason changing this year to accommodate seven teams from each conference, there is absolutely no way that Kansas City Chiefs don’t make the playoffs. Only the number one ranked team will receive a first-round bye and miss the playoffs but that could easily be the Chiefs if Mahomes plays like he did last year.

Baltimore, Tennessee, and Buffalo would seem to be the main threats to Kansas City making through to the AFC Championship game – and then the Super Bowl itself. If Andy Reid takes his team to another championship game then it will probably be against one of New Orleans or San Francisco.

So, Can the Chiefs Win Super Bowl LV?

Kansas City definitely has the personnel to win another Super Bowl. In fact, a number of the players have already been predicting that the organization is headed to pick up five or more championships in the coming decade. But that confidence could be one of the only reasons why the Chiefs don’t go on to become a dynasty and dominate the league in the years ahead.

The Patriots did it, but there have been some other great teams in the last ten years that were unable to repeat – or even consistently reach Super Bowls. Many of those teams took it for granted that they would be back for the big game the next year. But Super Bowl winners take to the field the next season with a target on their backs. Everyone will want to take down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs now – and Andy Reid will have had to figure out how to keep his players focused and hungry for further success.

But the fact is that this Chiefs team is humble compared to many in the league – and there is a very good chance that this group of players could well go on to win more Super Bowls in the coming years. In Patrick Mahomes the organization has a phenomenal talent who can change the course of a game in an instant. He is ably backed up by a supremely skilled offense – and a defense that looks like being one of the best in the league this season.

A lot can happen between now and February 7 when the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa hosts Super Bowl LV. But for the first time since Tom Brady was collecting rings with the Pats at the start of the 2000s, there is a football team that could repeat its championship triumph. And then who knows? It might be the start of a spell of Kansas City domination in the NFL.

Dan Roberts
Dan Roberts

Dan Roberts is an experienced freelance writer specialising in sports and sports betting. He is particularly knowledgeable about world soccer, but also writes about football, basketball and cricket.

As a fan of Nottingham Forest, New York Knicks, Minnesota Vikings and New York Mets, Dan has not had much to celebrate recently.

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