Officially, the Kansas City Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday in Las Vegas.
But with the reigning champions hoping to become just the ninth NFL club to win back-to-back Lombardi Trophies, the inevitable “dynasty” talk has raised the specter of Super Bowls past: the Tom Brady-era New England Patriots. So not only are the Chiefs facing the 49ers, a 12-5 powerhouse coming off two tough playoff wins, but they’re also comparing themselves to the legendary six-time NFL champions, whether they like it or not.
“The Patriots set the standard for dominance in the NFL and I felt that when I lost to them (in the playoffs in 2016 and 2019),” Kelce told visiting media Thursday in Henderson, Nevada.
Kelce is so fascinated by those New England teams that the Chiefs tight end has started listening to his NFL rival turned podcast host, former Patriots star Julian Edelman.
“One of the most fun things I’ve been able to dive into this year is ‘Name Games’ with Edelman and how he brings in these former Patriots to talk about what he calls war stories and funny stories between him and the guys. a throughout his years as a Patriot,” Kelce said, giving the retired wide receiver a plug. ‘I tell you what, man, I dive into that stuff and get every nugget of gold I can. And it’s obviously entertaining to know that Julian is telling the stories.
Mahomes agrees with Travis Kelce that a team needs three Super Bowl wins to be a dynasty
Travis Kelce thinks Chiefs will earn ‘dynasty’ talk by beating 49ers on Sunday
Julian Edelman (left) and Tom Brady (right) celebrate after beating Atlanta in Super Bowl LIII.
For many Kansas City players, New England is inextricably linked to the Super Bowl as an institution.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ first Super Bowl memory was the Patriots’ undefeated loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
“I thought they were one of the best teams of all time in any sport, and I still think they’re one of the best teams of all time in any sport, so I tuned into that game and was very surprised, like everyone else. , that the Giants were able to come out and get the win,” Mahomes said of the most infamous loss of Brady’s illustrious career.
So for Mahomes, the 2007 Patriots are still among the greatest teams in sports history, and the fact that they actually lost only serves as a reminder that nothing is guaranteed in the Super Bowl.
“That inspired me to be the player I am,” he said. “No matter what it takes, you can win any game you play.”
It’s that attitude that helped Mahomes win two Super Bowls in four years, with a chance to make it three of five on Sunday.
And the way Kelce sees it, three titles is a perfect threshold for teams to adopt the “dynasty” label.
“‘Dynasty,’ there’s been a lot of talk on this team and being our third in five years, number three is a great number in terms of dynasties,” Kelce said.
“Hopefully we can get this and you guys can talk about dynasties.”
Mahomes agreed: “Yeah, I think the big ones, for sure.”
San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh is carried off the field after winning Super Bowl XXIII
Steelers cornerback Ron Johnson raises a finger after beating the Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII
As dynasties go, there are Brady and Bill Belichick’s Patriots, who won six titles between 2001 and 2018, then the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s and the San Francisco 49ers of the 1980s, who won four Super Bowls in less than a decade. Other notable dynasties include the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s, who bagged three Lombardi Trophies in four years, and of course Aaron Spelling’s soap opera Dynasty, which enjoyed a nine-year run before being canceled in 1989.
But for most players born in the late ’90s and early 2000s, it’s the Patriots who seem to define the term.
When asked to name an NFL dynasty, center Creed Humphrey, cornerback Trent McDuffie and defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah immediately responded with: “Patriots.”
“When I was a kid, it was the Patriots,” Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton, 23, told DailyMail.com. “I think the Patriots, for sure.”
To be fair, Bolton added that his “mom is a Steelers fan, so she would make sure I said them.”
The only player who didn’t suggest New England was cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, who quickly said “Chiefs” when asked to name an NFL dynasty.
But to be clear, Sneed wasn’t saying the Chiefs are currently a dynasty after winning two titles in four seasons. Instead, the 27-year-old says Kansas City still needs to “win another one,” after which the threshold for a dynasty jumps to “four, then five, six, whatever.”
Cowboys stars Emmit Smith (left) and Michael Irvin (right) celebrate victory in Super Bowl XXVII.
Dynasty debates aside, the Chiefs also have a chance to become just the ninth team to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
“I think it puts the team on a different level,” Mahomes said of the possibility of repeating. “We understand how difficult it is to do that in this league, with all that parity.
“We haven’t gotten it done once,” he continued, referring to Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl LIV victory over the Chiefs three years earlier. “Let’s learn from that and find a way to get it done this time.”
The good news, as Mahomes points out, is that the Chiefs “know this isn’t the end of our run here,” but that doesn’t mean time is on their side.
As Mahomes learned from Brady and the Patriots in February 2008, “anyone can beat anyone on any given Sunday.”