KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs have set the modern standard for what other NFL franchises are trying to build.
But, coming into this season, expectations weren’t as high as usual. They lost one of their best players in franchise history with Tyreek Hill being traded in the offseason.
The AFC West spent millions on upgrading their rosters to specifically dethrone the Chiefs.
There was an abundance of Chiefs rookies put in significant roles, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Buffalo and Cincinnati were supposed to be better than Kansas City. It was finally supposed to be the Chargers years. Patrick Mahomes was supposed to get exposed.
The noise even continued into the regular season despite the Chiefs success. Losses to Buffalo and Cincinnati still made people question the legitimacy of the Chiefs as a Super Bowl contender despite their 14-3 record.
Even after beating the Jaguars in the Divisional Round, uncertainty loomed over the Chiefs after Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain in the victory.
And the Chiefs star would be facing the team he had yet to beat, the team that supposedly had his number in the Cincinnati Bengals while playing less than a 100 percent.
Not only did Mahomes play but he looked his usual self, leading the Chiefs to a 23-20 victory.
But it wasn’t just Mahomes. The rookies hit their stride at the right time, Chris Jones played arguably the best playoff game of his career and next thing you know the Chiefs were back in their third Super Bowl in four years.
Although, doubt unsurprisingly still continued for the Chiefs.
The Eagles were favored to win the game and all of Fox Sports’ pregame analysts picked the Eagles to win pregame.
ESPN tallied 45 predictions that the Eagles would win against 26 for the Chiefs.
A tough first half where the Chiefs trailed 24-14, and Mahomes was once again battling an ankle injury, the odds seemed stacked against them. Teams trailing by 10 or more at Super Bowl halftime were 1-26 in previous deficits.
The Chiefs proved to be an exception, and played exceptionally well in the second half, outscoring the Eagles 24-11, winning the game on the foot of Harrison Butker, who overcame his own doubters after suffering an ankle injury in State Farm Stadium to start the year.
Despite all the external noise, the Chiefs are champs for a third time, and fans can start planning for the parade on Wednesday.