It took five decades of hard-fought attempts and a few stretches of being downright miserable but finally the Super Bowl champions reside in Kansas City. Which leaves only one question for the high-flying Chiefs as they embark upon a season unlike any other before it in the National Football League: What do you have in mind for an encore?
The team was not content to sit on their laurels this offseason and instead went about a busy few months locking up their core. While many in and around Arrowhead are dreaming of a young dynasty, the first step toward that comes with a title defense in 2020.
Leading the way is undoubtedly quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has a resume few can compare to even at his young age. Most of his weapons from a year ago have returned, too, and that group will be augmented by first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the backfield — no ordinary rookie after playing a role in perhaps the greatest college football team in a generation. If there is one concern though, it's with the offensive linemen who have opted out and a defense that still needs more depth will likely keep Andy Reid up at night as he watches tape fiddling with his Super Bowl ring.
Teams have typically taken a step back after winning it all but will that be the case for Kansas City given who is back? Athlon Sports asked several experts how the season would play out and what the team record would be when all is said and done.
Kansas City Chiefs Game-by-Game Predictions for 2020
Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer)
The Chiefs were both lucky and extremely good last year on their run to the Lombardi Trophy, but I think if they slip at all in the former category, this group is better overall than it was in 2019. The health of Patrick Mahomes is paramount, of course, and the interior offensive line more of a concern than you'd probably like, but overall, this is the team to beat until somebody does just that in the postseason. The division road will be tougher than it has been recent years, and it wouldn't shock me if they lose focus and a game or two along the way that they shouldn't, but it sure looks like a team capable of earning the top seed en route to a potential repeat.
Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)
The band is basically back together in Kansas City, and an already nearly-impossible-to-defend offense is adding another weapon. Life is good for the Chiefs, and even with some uncertainty along the offensive line, this team has an excellent shot at not only getting back to the Super Bowl but also winning it again. Injuries can become a factor, especially if Patrick Mahomes gets hurt again, but even in an improving AFC West, as long as Andy Reid makes sure his guys don't get complacent, the Chiefs should be one of the top seeds in the conference when they start their pursuit of making more history.
Ben Weinrib (@benweinrib)
No lead was safe when facing Patrick Mahomes last season, and if anything, the Chiefs offense looks even better now. Locking up Chris Jones in July was also key since the Chiefs' rush defense was one of its few weak spots, and there were rumors swirling that they might have to trade their star defensive tackle. The schedule looks tough this season, but even if the team loses every toss-up matchup, they're a lock for the playoffs, and games in January and February are the only ones that really matter. Betting on Andy Reid and Mahomes is one of the easiest gambles you can make all year.