Before they were the Chiefs, they were the Texans. Prominent Dallas businessman Lamar Hunt established the organization in 1960, as a part of AFL expansion. However, Hunt decided in 1963 to move the team to a different market. After careful consideration, Hunt chose Kansas City as the landing spot for his franchise, all the while switching the teams name to the Chiefs. During the 1960s, the Chiefs were one of the most dominant organizations in the AFL, winning three AFL titles before the merger in 1970.
The organization won their first super bowl in the 1969-1970, with a 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, in Super Bowl IV. During this time period, the format stood that the winner of the AFL, the Chiefs, would play the winner of the NFL for a shot at the title. Following the game, the two leagues merged into what is now the National Football League. The Chiefs joined the AFC West and have been a member of that conference ever since.
Now let's fast forward to the present.
Andy Reid - John Dorsey Era
Andy Reid joined the Chiefs in 2012, following a 14-year tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid created a winning culture in Philadelphia but could not quite get over the hump in terms of bringing a Super Bowl to the Philly faithful. Reid lost three consecutive NFC Championship games before leading the Eagles to the Superbowl in 2004. Ultimately, Reid and the Eagles fell short to the New England Patriots 24-21.
General manager John Dorsey also joined the Chiefs in 2012, after serving as the head scout for the Green Bay Packers. During his tenure with the Packers, Dorsey earned a Super Bowl ring with the team and also was credited with drafting the likes of Aaron Rogers, Greg Jennings and Clay Mathews.
Reid and Dorsey went to work with in Kansas City, finding success in the draft together by selecting many key contributors to last year's Super Bowl LIV winning team, including superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, speedy receiver Tyreek Hill, and game-breaking tight end Travis Kelce, arguably Kansas City's three best players.
However, management was not a fan of Dorsey’s communication style as well as his handling of the salary cap, and he was ultimately fired in 2017 following the controversial release of Jeremy Maclin via voice mail.
Brett Veach took over the GM responsibilities in 2017. Veach followed Reid from the Eagles to the Chiefs and worked his way up through the organization from co-director of player personnel all the way up to the GM role he holds today.
Building a Culture of a Dominance
The Chiefs began the 2018 season with first-year starter (drafted in 2017) Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech as their quarterback. With high expectations coming into the year, the organization backed it up by finishing the regular season with a record of 12–4. The Chiefs clinched the AFC West for the third year in a row and secured the AFC's top seed heading into the playoffs.
After a first-round bye, the Chiefs hosted the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the playoffs. The Chiefs left Arrowhead Stadium victorious with a commanding 31-17 win over the Colts. Kansas City's bid for its first Super Bowl berth in 49 years ended in a crushing 37-31 overtime loss to the Patriots the next week in the AFC championship.
Mahomes rewrote team records in the 2018 season by capping off the year with 5,097 passing yards and 50 touchdowns. He became only the 11th quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards and the 3rd to throw for 50 touchdowns in NFL history. Mahomes record--breaking stats secured himself the MVP, becoming the first Chiefs player to ever receive such an award.
The Chiefs expectations for the 2019 season were Super Bowl or bust. They finished the 2019 regular season with a 12–4 record, winning the AFC West division title again, and earning the AFC's second seed heading into the playoffs, behind the Baltimore Ravens.
The Chiefs defeated the Houston Texans 51–31 in the AFC Divisional Game after falling behind 24–0 at the start of the second quarter. The former MVP showed the world why he was considered the best quarterback in all of football, throwing for five touchdowns down the stretch in a legendary come from behind win.
The Chiefs hosted their second AFC Championship game in consecutive years, this time against the surprising sixth-seeded Tennessee Titans. The Chiefs beat the Titans handily, 35–24, and advanced to Super Bowl LIV. This marked their first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years, since Super Bowl IV.
On February 2, 2020 in Miami, the Chiefs squared off against the NFC's top seed, the San Francisco 49ers. After following behind 20-10 in the second half, a common theme for the Chiefs during their playoff run, Mahomes led the Chiefs back once again the team. The team scored 21 unanswered points to win their first Super Bowl in 50 years. Mahomes went on to win the Super Bowl MVP award.
Keeping their stars in red, gold, and white
The heart and soul of their defense during their Super Bowl run, Defensive Lineman Chris Jones signed a four-year contract extension worth a total of $85 million dollars.
Deservingly so, Patrick Mahomes signed the largest contract in NFL history this off-season. Mahomes inked a new 10-year contract, worth up to $503 million dollars, making him a Chief for the next decade to come.
Kansas City did not stop there, agreeing toto terms with pro-bowl Tight End Travis Kelce on a four-year deal worth upwards $57.25 million.
The Chiefs are not going anywhere anytime soon. By locking down their stars, not only is the AFC West theirs to lose for the immediate future, but the Kansas City and Baltimore should be expected to battle for AFC supremacy for years to come.
Kansas City Chiefs Betting Profile
It had been exactly 50 years since the Kansas City Chiefs won their first and only Super Bowl, a title in 1970 over the Minnesota Vikings. That is until last season, when the team broke through and head coach Andy Reid finally got his first championship ring. The Chiefs rallied in the 4th quarter to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 to take home the crown.
The team was a model of consistency all year as they finished the regular season 12-4. All 4 of their losses were by 7 points or less, so quite simply, it was not a team you could blow out. Their high powered offense kept them in every game, no matter what. The best example of that came in the playoffs, where they trailed in all 3 of their games by double digits. In fact, they opened their playoff run by allowing the Houston Texans to take a 21-0 lead after the first quarter. They outscored Deshaun Watson and company 51-10 the rest of the way.
The Tennessee Titans held a 10 point 2nd quarter lead before the Chiefs rallied. In the Super Bowl, the 49ers led by 10 in the 4th quarter before a late barrage put the Chiefs on the podium.
As is often the case when a team wins a title, the Chiefs spent the offseason taking care of their own rather than going on a free agent shopping spree. The two most notable offseason moves came in the form of handing out buckets and buckets of cash to two of their most important players. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who already has a league MVP and a Super Bowl MVP under his belt just 3 seasons into his career, signed a landmark deal to stay in KC for a long time. His contract extension goes for 10 years and could be worth as much as 503 million dollars. Also, after originally putting the franchise tag on star defensive tackle Chris Jones, the two sides came to an agreement on a 4 year extension that can be worth up to 85 million dollars. Jones was a monster in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, which certainly helped make this an easier signing for the organization.
The biggest new addition for the Chiefs in 2020 will be their first round draft pick, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of LSU. He was a multi-talented star for the Tigers and is likely to be immediately inserted as the starter this year. Last year’s starter, Damien Williams, has opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. Right tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff has also opted out of the season to work as a doctor in his hometown of Montreal, Canada.
The rest of the Chiefs draft class was mostly focused on defense, highlighted by 2nd round linebacker Wille Gay Jr. out of Mississippi State.
Because of the gaudy numbers Mahomes has put up in his short career, his betting lines are of course very high. DraftKings has the over/under line for Mahomes yardage at 4500.5, -110 on either side. He threw for over 5000 yards in 2018, but just 4031 last year. However, he missed two games last year, so he likely would’ve crossed the 4500 yard mark if he had played 16 games. The Chiefs offensive receiving options remain intact with Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins all still on the roster. Also, key defensive injuries for divisional opponents could help Mahomes this year. Derwin James of the Chargers and Von Miller of the Broncos are both going to miss the season. If Mahomes plays 16 games, the over 4500.5 is the play. Mahomes is also the league favorite to win MVP at +400. With a number that low it might be best to avoid that one.
Hill is coming off his first campaign where he failed to reach 1000 yards. He missed 4 games, which held his total to 860 yards. He went for almost 1500 yards in 2018, so the explosive talent is certainly there. However, his over/under total of 1150.5 seems like a lot to ask with so many weapons on the team. Young receivers like Hardman and the re-signed DeMarcus Robinson will need catches, as will Watkins and Kelce. Edwards-Helaire will be a focal point too.
Speaking of Kelce, his expectations are sky high as well. He’s coming off a season with 1,229 yards, which led all tight ends. His DraftKings over/under is set at 1125.5, not too much less than Hill’s. That’s a lot to expect for a tight end, but Kelce and Mahomes have been a very consistent pairing. In the 29 games they’ve started together, Kelce has averaged 82.6 receiving yards per contest. If they play 16 games together, that would put Kelce over 1300 yards. But again, that’s a big 'if' and there are a lot of talented players who need the ball.
The Chiefs win total line this year is 11.5 and the over is coming in at -125. That’s an incredibly high number, especially this season when many think the lack of an offseason training camp and no fans in the stands could be equalizers. Truly, the Chiefs have one of the best home field advantages in the NFL, but maybe not this year. The under at +105 might be the play.
Believe it or not, betting the Chiefs to win the AFC West, even at -500, might be the safer play. It’s hard to imagine the Broncos, with young QB Drew Lock, the Chargers, who are transitioning with Tyrod Taylor, or the Raiders, in the middle of a relocation, unseating Kansas City. The Chiefs are the Super Bowl favorite at +600 and while the number might be more attractive with other teams, they certainly will have a great shot to get back to the big game. The NFC is expected to be much stronger than the AFC, so if the Chiefs can navigate the Ravens and hold off any surprises from the Patriots, Colts or Titans, they may well be the AFC representative again.
2020 Prediction: 11-5, first place in the AFC West