To think about Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs feels like thinking about Tom Brady and New England Patriots’ early days. With two Super Bowl wins in the past four seasons, in 2020 and 2023 respectively, the Chiefs have become the team to beat, or at least try to beat.
If you jump into any of the top NFL odds pages, the chances of finding KC as the favorite team to repeat as Super Bowl champions are as high as the sky being blue. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other squads looking to make 2023 the year in which they bring down the all-mighty Chiefs and take the Lombardi Trophy to their respective towns.
So what teams are looking best? Out of 31 remaining squads, here are the six, three from each conference that hold the best chances to take down the Chiefs as Super Bowl champions this season.
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Jalen Hurts got the deal he deserved this offseason. The Philadelphia Eagles rocked this year’s NFL draft, so what’s next? Winning the Super Bowl of course.
After falling short of beating the Chiefs in last season’s title game, the message floating around Eagles camp was made clear. This is a team that can win the Lombardi Trophy, and not once, but become a dynasty with multiple title wins.
This Eagles team is stacked. GM Howie Roseman rose to the occasion finding ways to fix the gaps that this season’s NFL free-agency market left. Now, all that’s left for the Eagles is to get going once again, but this time with the clear mission of winning the Super Bowl.
Are there other teams the Eagles should be worried about besides the Chiefs? Only one comes to mind, the San Francisco 49ers. The difference between both teams though is that while the Eagles have a QB ready to eat the league up, the Niners are still waiting to see which of their injured options will take the starting gig for them. Or in the worst of cases, Sam Darnold.
Take a look at the record between the Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals since Joe Burrow joined the league and what do you find? Cincinnati has a winning record over Mahomes Co., something no other team can brag about.
The Bengals have beaten KC in the regular and postseason, and now, are ready to dethrone KC and show the AFC there’s a new boss.
Last season’s AFC Championship Game loss against KC left a sting in Cincinnati that could end up only fueling their wanting to overthrow the Chiefs once and for all. Burrow continues to show time he is “That Man” for the Bengals.
Now, after making it to the Super Bowl once already, in a losing effort, the time for another trip to the NFL’s biggest game might be around the corner, hopefully with “Joe Cool” winning it all this time.
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San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance, Brock Purdy, Josh Johnson, my dad, your neighbor’s dog. It seems like everyone took at least a snap as quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers last season. After going through what seemed like an endless carousel of options at QB, the question will always remain if that Niners team from last season would have been able to make it to the Super Bowl and beat the Chiefs.
If you’re asking me, it’s a yes. That 49ers defense was, and continues to be one of the most feared lines in professional football. Pair it up with a fully healthy and working offense and what do you get? The best team in the league on all sides of the game.
Just like San Francisco is Philadelphia’s biggest threat this season in the NFC, the same thing can be said about the Eagles being the Niners’ biggest competition as well. With Purdy looking like the team’s top option at passer, a lot of what it accomplishes will rely on how the second-year man returns from injury.
Give the Niners a healthy and completely recouped version of Purdy, and this is a team who can smoke the Chiefs out of the water. It’s as simple as that.
Will we get a second coming of the “Purdy Effect?” Or will it all just prove to be a one-season wonder kind of deal, with the Niners having to scramble for options once again?
If there was a drinking game for all the times the Buffalo Bills have been close to winning the Super Bowl but haven’t, any drinker would already be looking for a table to smash “Bills Mafia” style. Between the past title game heartbreaks from the early ‘90s and their most recent playoff stumbles, Buffalo’s title window is closing faster and faster.
Josh Allen is one of the best QBs in the league, and can brag about being one of Mahomes’ main competitors when it comes to dominance and talent, so why hasn’t he been able to get over the hurdle and beat the Chiefs and make it to the Super Bowl?
Buffalo has enough weapons on offense to give the Chiefs a true run. Even with its running game needing help, who cares when you have such a strong passing offense, led by Allen? And the defense? Stealthy. Give the secondary a little bit more love and you have a team that screams “Super Bowl contender.”
Again, the title window is closing, so if 2023 isn’t the year in which the Bills topple the Chiefs, when will it be?
Why? Why not? Even with me hating the team, it would be impossible to not put the Dallas Cowboys on this list, especially when you take a look at all remaining teams in the NFC.
The roster they’re working with is elite. They have one of the best defenses in the conference, which led by Micah Parsons has a bigger chance to continue getting better. Even with coach Mike McCarthy still looking like a deer caught in the headlights at times, if all pieces fall together, this could be a championship team.
With that said though, let’s not kid ourselves here. Any success that Dallas may show this season will fall in the hands of Dak Prescott. If the Cowboys get Prescott’s best, without so much hesitation in his decision-making, and more accurate passing, “America’s Team” should be good to go.
But if Prescott falls back to his sloppy ways, just call it a season for Dallas from early on and start looking for a new coach and new passer.
New York Jets
Would it be an honest and true contenders list of mine without adding the New York Jets? Honestly, I would put them above the Bills any day considering how Buffalo has made it a point to make choking in the playoffs an easier task than actually winning.
Last season, word around the league revolved around how the Jets looked like a team deemed for contention if they had a strong QB to lead their offense. Now with Aaron Rodgers leading the pack, the Jets have taken off and are looking like one of the most intriguing teams coming into the 2023 season.
Their defense and secondary are elite. As long as they can find a way to broker a new deal with star DT Quinnen Williams, they should be more than set to make any offense in the league shake in fear. Add to that what Rodgers brings alongside a healthy Breece Hall, Garrett Wilson, and the rest of New York’s offense and you get a team that could give the Chiefs a run.
Week 4’s Sunday Night Football showdown at MetLife should work as the perfect preview of what a potential Jets vs Chiefs postseason matchup could look like. Just don’t act surprised if the Jets end up taking the “W” at home and put the league on notice.