At the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to take on the Buffalo Bills this weekend, the Chiefs are on the cusp of NFL immortality.
Specifically, the Chiefs are on the precipice of entering the discussion of becoming an all-time great dynasty.
Reasonable fans can argue about what determines a dynasty, but by any measure the Chiefs are knocking on the door.
The easiest approach is defining a dynasty by Super Bowl appearances. Not necessarily wins, but appearances.
Yes, wins are important, but no one would deny the Buffalo Bills were a dynasty in the early 1990s with four straight Super Bowl appearances.
In looking at the historical record, I was surprised by how many teams have gone to back-to-back Super Bowls – and how few were able to get to three or more.
Here is a list of all the teams that went to back-to-back Super Bowls (or more).
Green Bay ‘67, ‘68
Miami ‘ ‘73, ‘74, ‘75
Minnesota ‘74, ‘75
Pittsburgh ‘75, ‘76
Dallas ‘78, ‘79
Pittsburgh ‘79, ‘80
Washington ‘83, ‘84
Denver ‘87, ‘88
San Francisco ‘89, ‘90
Buffalo ‘91, ‘92, ‘93, ‘94
Dallas ‘93, ‘94
Denver ‘98, ‘99
New England ‘04, ‘05
Seattle ‘14, ‘15
New England ‘17, ‘18, ‘19
Kansas City ‘20, ‘21
Clearly there are teams that had runs over a period of time where they were dominant. The Patriots of the 2000s and 2010s won six Super Bowls. The mid-90s and 70s Cowboys, the 80s 49ers, the late 70s and early 80s Raiders, the 70s Steelers, early 70s Dolphins, the 80s Redskins all had amazing and dominant runs.
Still, only three teams have gone to the Super Bowl three or four years in a row. Only one team has gone to four in a row. That’s a significant demarcation line.
The Chiefs have a chance to join that rarified air this season.
It won’t be easy.
While the Titans have the #1 seed and home field advantage, the Buffalo Bills are the team that most fans fear more. Josh Allen is on the cusp of becoming a superstar. His arm, running ability, and fearlessness remind many of Patrick Mahomes.
No one would be surprised to see the Bills, coming off an absolutely dominating first round win, continue on their tear.
The feeling among Kansas City fans is that this week is the real AFC Championship game. Ryan Tannehill doesn’t strike fear into the heart like Allen does. If the Chiefs can get past the Bills, the momentum may carry the Chiefs into their 3rd Super Bowl in as many years.
If that happens, the Chiefs will crossover into a stratosphere occupied by only the greatest dynasties in the history of the NFL.
In just a few days, we will know if they have that opportunity or will have a longer off-season to retool contracts, get younger, get faster, and continue their quest to go down as the best team of the 2020s.