Was this Chiefs’ worst Super Bowl title team? Where 2023 squad ranks in franchise history



LAS VEGAS – When you’ve had three Super Bowl-winning teams in five seasons, picking your favorite edition is akin to choosing between your children. Still, in the context of football anyway, hard to argue that nothing feels like the first time.

Just ask Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who captured his third ring since the start of the 2019 season by emerging victorious in Super Bowl 58 on Sunday night in Sin City.

“I mean, this is a tough profession, which we all know – competitive. I mean, the parity in this league is ridiculous,” he said, after his team vanquished the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime, when asked which title meant the most to him.

“I mean, I appreciate the first one because it took me a thousand years to get into a Super Bowl – at least being able to hold that Lombardi Trophy.”

But is that 2019 squad, one of four overall that’s brought NFL glory to Kansas City, the best in the history of the Chiefs? Let’s rank them – from totally awesome to the best:

4. 2023 Chiefs, won Super Bowl 58

Though it finished with a sterling silver flourish, it was almost undoubtedly the least-imposing K.C. squad since QB Patrick Mahomes – now a three-time Super Bowl MVP – became the starter in 2018. The Chiefs were 9-6 after a Christmas Day loss and in jeopardy of abdicating their perennial AFC West throne and missing the playoffs. But they turned it on from there, winning their final six games – including two playoff contests on the road and a Super Bowl in front of a decidedly pro-49ers crowd. Pretty cool way to pull off the league’s first successful title defense in 19 years. It may not have been the most explosive or telegenic team, but it was a team – buoyed by excellent defense and special teams that more than picked up the slack.

3. 2022 Chiefs, won Super Bowl 57

Crown No. 2 for the Mahomes, Reid and Travis Kelce Chiefs also came with little margin for error. After cruising to a 14-3 regular-season mark, K.C. won its three playoff encounters by 13 points – total. A late holding penalty on Philadelphia Eagles CB James Bradberry enabled Harrison Butker to complete a 38-35 Super Bowl win with a 27-yard field goal in the final seconds. But credit this group for adapting on the fly after trading field-flipping WR Tyreek Hill before the season. Mahomes also gutted it out in postseason, playing the final 2½ games with a high ankle sprain he re-aggravated in the Super Bowl.

2. 2019 Chiefs, won Super Bowl 54

Reid’s favorites for obvious reasons – cementing his coaching legend after two decades without championship affirmation – they returned the Lombardi to Kansas City, ending an absence of half a century. The offense wasn’t as lethal as the version from 2018, when Mahomes had his breakout league MVP season. But this better-balanced squad overcame double-digit deficits in all three playoff wins, including a 31-20 Super Bowl triumph over San Francisco, Mahomes the game’s MVP despite a pair of INTs. His 44-yard, fourth-quarter completion to Hill on third-and-15 is one of Super Sunday’s signature moments.

1. 1969 Chiefs, won Super Bowl 4

Sorry, Andy. Sorry, Pat. Sorry, Trav. But you’re gonna have to get that unprecedented Super Bowl three-peat in impressive fashion to supplant the chief team in Chiefs history. It gets overshadowed by the ’68 Jets but had the better collection of talent while giving the AFL its second Super Bowl win before the 1970 merger. A defense that boasted six of the squad’s eight Hall of Fame players deserves more acclaim after allowing the fewest points, rushing yards, passing yards and total yards in the AFL while posting a league-high 47 takeaways. And they even added flair Kelce would appreciate, coach Hank Stram gleefully calling “65 Toss Power Trap” while mic’d up in the Super Bowl, a play that resulted in a 5-yard TD en route to a 23-7 romp over the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings.


Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on X, formerly Twitter @ByNateDavis.

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