We continue recapping the 2019 NFL season with our fellow SB Nation blogs. Today, our team of focus is just a few weeks removed from breaking a Super Bowl drought that lasted five decades — the Kansas City Chiefs. Tom Childs of Arrowhead Pride was able to answer a few questions on Kansas City’s 2019 campaign.
1. 1970. That was the last time the Kansas City Chiefs were crowned Super Bowl champions. The champs one year before that? The New York Jets. Breaking such a long title drought has got to be absolutely exhilarating. Give us Jets fans a little hint of what it feels like!
I’m not gong to lie, it was everything I imagined plus more. We had a taste of what this team could achieve last year, so it felt like there was an air of inevitability about the Chiefs winning a Lombardi. Did that make the journey less enjoyable? Definitely not. I would go as far to say that it made it that little bit more exciting. When you know your team is on the doorstep of immortality, nothing can beat that that feeling of eventually reaching it.
There’s an old saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder. That was absolutely the case. I hope that all of the teams currently in a Super Bowl drought get to experience what we did last season, well all except the Chargers.
2. Was there any belief among Chiefs fans back in 2017 that Patrick Mahomes could become this good, this quickly? What was the initial expectation for his growth curve and career arc, and how incredible has it been to watch him become the best player in football before even turning 25 years old?
Humble brag right off the bat but I was all over the Mahomes hype train weeks before the draft, so was Mahomes being good a shock to me? No. But this is as far as my brag goes because there was no way I thought he would ever be THIS good, let alone as quickly as this. I try not to get carried away when people start mentioning the GOAT work when talking about Mahomes but it’s really hard not to now that he has that first Super Bowl. Everyone says that the first one is always the hardest to win. Having achieved that so early, the sky is surely the limit for Mahomes.
3. Andy Reid has done it, finally getting that enormous monkey off of his back and putting the cherry on top of what has been a remarkable career. What has made the Chiefs, Mahomes, and Reid such a perfect blend?
Mahomes feels like the quarterback Reid has been waiting his whole life for. You only have to watch a Reid press conference to realise the admiration he has for his quarterback. Every quarterback he has ever had at his disposal either had physical or mental limitations, but now he finally has a player that allows him to fully open his playbook. This relationship isn’t as one-sided as I would have you believe. Mahomes has obvious talent but I doubt he would have had the same start to his career under another coach. Some quarterbacks are limited by their situation, whilst other excel because of them. Mahomes landed in the best possible spot, whilst Reid found himself the best possible quarterback.
4. Who would you say are the top two heroes of the Chiefs’ championship season that have been the most overlooked by those who do not follow the team?
There are a few guys I could mention here but here goes. I’m going to start with defensive lineman Mike Pennel. ‘MVPennel’ as he is known in Chiefs Kingdom came to the team after the Chiefs had a miserable few weeks defending against the run. As soon as he came in, there was a noticeable improvement against the run. Some would could this a coincidence, however, the tape certainly doesn’t. Pennel was a big contributor to the Chiefs upturn in run defense, and he has almost certainly earned himself a pay day next month.
One of the most underrated players in the entire NFL will always be Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz. As the rest of the line struggled at times, Schwartz was a picture of consistency in the regular season and postseason. In 140 pass blocking snaps Schwartz didn’t allow a single sack, not even against the 49ers.
5. What are the primary goals that the Chiefs need to accomplish over the next few months to best prepare themselves for a Super Bowl defense?
Players will come and go in the coming months but there can only be one goal this offseason: Maintaining their hunger.
The 2019 Chiefs went into the season feeling themselves. After being so close the year before, 2019 always felt like the year for the team. Motivation after being so close was easy. Now that their primary goal of winning the big one has been achieved, targets need to be reset. Can the team maintain their hunger from the year before. Motivation will play a huge part in deciding who stays, who goes and who comes in to town. Talent will only get you so far. Motivation will bring them back to glory.
6. If you could add one offensive and one defensive player from any point in Jets history to the current iteration of the Chiefs, who would you choose?
This was incredibly easy to answer. The Chiefs interior line was a mess from start to finish and should be a top priority going this offseason. For that reason I am bringing in Nick Mangold. Not only was he a terrific player but he was also a tremendous leader. Peak Mangold in front of Mahomes would be music to our ears. Sign me up for some of that.
As of right now the Chiefs have just two corners on their books going into next season, so I am also bringing in Derrelle Revis. Now I am not talking about the watered down version that the Chiefs had back in 2017. I am talking about ‘The Island’. There’s something about players that are good and know it that appeals to me, so me give me 24. The Chiefs already force teams to pass more than they would like. A secondary of Mathieu, Thornhill, Ward and Revis would be nigh on impossible to pass on enough in order to keep up with Mahomes and company. Has anyone got a time machine?
Thanks for having me Jets fans, that was fun!