Ranking the Kansas City Chiefs' Most Entertaining Potential Super Bowl Opponents
I’m probably dooming the entire team to asymptomatic COVID diagnoses a day before the playoffs by writing this dumb article, but another Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl feels pretty inevitable. The only question is who they’ll face.
I’m not really interested in projecting their Super Bowl 55 opponent by any sort of quantifiable football metrics. That doesn’t interest me as much as storylines and aesthetics. What’s going to be the most fun and look the coolest? That’s all that really matters.
I’m still going to limit the potential matchups to actual, bonafide contenders. Like, the Chicago Bears would be full of storylines (Mitchell Trubisky being drafted over Mahomes, Nick Foles and Matt Nagy having ties to Andy Reid and the Chiefs) and the uniform matchup would be very good. But the Bears are just as assuredly not going to the Super Bowl as the Chiefs are going to the Super Bowl, so this is all the time I’m going to waste on the Bears.
The Chiefs are in full #RunItBack mode. They're calling their shot, so we might as well start thinking about what Super Bowl 55 might look like right now, in Week 2.
6.) San Francisco 49ers
“The Rematch” is generally a popular story to tell in sports. It’s also easy to market. But in the case of the 49ers, I really don’t want to see them against the Chiefs again. We saw the closest Jimmy Garoppolo could possibly get to beating the Chiefs in a Super Bowl, a repeat would be boring. Plus the uniform matchup, while a pair of all-time classics, is too same-y to be aesthetically fun.
5.) New Orleans Saints
Saints vs. Chiefs has been a projected Super Bowl matchup pretty often the last three seasons. If this was 2017, they might rank higher on this list. But in 2020, Drew Brees is obviously at the very end of his career and his offense isn’t anywhere near the exciting juggernaut people envision when they fantasy-book them to play the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Brees getting one last shot to win another title and potentially retire on top is a tried-and-true story, but it'd not enough to make up for a Super Bowl filled with one of the two QBs completing four-yard passes on 3rd and 8 all game.
4.) Philadelphia Eagles
The only reason the Eagles are this high is the Reid connection. Seeing Andy take on his old team in the Super Bowl would be phenomenal television. Doug Pederson has crafted an offense in Philly that could easily be described as Andy Reid Lite, so the potential for back-and-forth trick plays is very high. The Eagles have fallen off quite a bit since their championship, though, and can never seem to get out of their own way. Carson Wentz has been pretty good when he’s healthy, but “pretty good” is far from where he was before he got hurt in 2017. Still, Andy having a chance to conquer his old team and one of his proteges on the biggest stage would be incredibly good.
3.) Seattle Seahawks
This would just be fun. There aren’t any particularly good storylines to sink into here. There’s Wilson vs. Mahomes and Frank Clark against his old team, but that’s about it. The Seahawks’ uniforms are awful and would clash horribly with the Chiefs. But the game itself would be crazy-good. Having already seen Wilson vs. Mahomes once does take a little bit away from it, but knowing the kind of bonkers spectacle the two of them could put on gives this matchup all the pregame hype it’d need.
2.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa falls into some of the same traps as Brees and New Orleans. Brady isn’t the quarterback he was only two seasons ago when the Patriots beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead to win the AFC, but if Mahomes and the Chiefs never get any playoff revenge on Brady, that will hover over them forever. The Chiefs could win 10 straight Super Bowls and Mahomes could win the MVP in all of them, and you’d still hear “but he never beat Brady in the playoffs.” It’s dumb and it objectively means nothing, but a Brady vs. Mahomes Super Bowl is also something I want to see very badly.
1.) Green Bay Packers
Perfect. The uniforms, the quarterbacks, the history. I want this Super Bowl so, so much. A Green Bay vs. KC championship is almost for sure the only way we’re going to get Mahomes vs. peak Rodgers at this point. When Rodgers is at the top of his game, he’s still the only QB in the league who could go shot-for-shot, throw-for-throw, ad lib-for-ad lib with Mahomes. Even Wilson can’t quite do what Rodgers can at his absolute best. In pure QB wizardry, it's Mahomes and Rodgers. That's it.
Just imagine, the Packers in their green-on-yellow home uniforms against the Chiefs in their white-on-red road set. Rodgers and Mahomes trading blows in the form of no-look passes, impossible bombs, and any other freelance schoolyard shenanigans they could pull. It’d be (*chef's kiss*) glorious.
It’d be the most entertaining fireworks show in the history of the NFL. It’d be the game’s pinnacle. The series finale of football. Just shut it all down once the clocks hit zero. The Super Bowl-era NFL ends where it began.
An Improbable, Impossible, Inconceivable Bonus: Washington Football Team
This one only counts if Alex Smith somehow takes over as the starter. Could you imagine that story? Alex returns to quarterback the Football Team to an impossible Super Bowl run that ends with them meeting the Chiefs? KC would almost certainly be the heel in that game. Alex carrying Washington through the playoffs would be the only thing to turn that franchise babyface, if only for a season.
It’ll obviously never happen, that’s why it’s not actually on the list. Also, this is the one and only Super Bowl where I’d almost be rooting against the Chiefs. In the impossible reality that Alex Smith not only becomes Washington’s starting QB again, but singlehandedly lifts that rotten organization all the way to an NFC title, the ending is him finishing the job, right? There’d be no other way to satisfyingly cap that story.