Chiefs Are Just the 5th Team To Make Super Bowl With Losing ATS Record

Chiefs Are Just the 5th Team To Make Super Bowl With Losing ATS Record article feature image
Credit:

Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid

If the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl 55, they would become just the second team to do it after finishing the regular season with a losing record against the spread (ATS), joining the 2012 Baltimore Ravens as the only other team to pull that feat off.

While it’s never great to be in the company of Joe Flacco, Patrick Mahomes is no Flacco, so it’s hard to view this fact as anything more than the answer to a future trivia question. But it still begs the question: What happened?

The Chiefs’ Losing ATS Record

The Chiefs finished 14-2 for the most regular-season wins in franchise history and the most ever for Andy Reid. But after a Bill Belichick-ian against-the-spread run to start the season, something weird happened about halfway through: They stopped covering.

From Week 9 on, the Chiefs went 1-7 ATS despite going 7-1 outright, winning games by margins of two, four, three, six, six, three and three points before taking Week 17 off. The Chiefs finished the regular season 7-9 ATS for their first losing ATS record in eight seasons under Reid, who led them to a 65-44-3 (59.6%) ATS record from 2013-19.

The Chiefs failed to cover as 8-point favorites against the Browns in the Divisional Round, making it nine straight games without a cover. They finally broke that streak in the AFC Championship Game against the Bills, with a 38-24 victory as 3-point favorites.

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There’s a saying that “good teams win, great teams cover.”

So, does that losing ATS record mean the Chiefs aren’t great? No, but in a nutshell, they struggled in many areas of situational football this season. It hasn’t cost them games (yet), but it has created enough of a swing in the final score to cost them covers.

Those areas of situational football they’ve struggled in include their red-zone defense, short situations and more that I covered in depth heading into their first game of this postseason.

ATS Records of Super Bowl Teams

Below are the ATS records of the past 20 Super Bowl winners, per our Action Labs database.

Season
Team
ATS Record
2019
Chiefs
10-5-1
2018
Patriots
9-7
2017
Eagles
10-6
2016
Patriots
13-3
2015
Browns
8-8
2014
Patriots
9-7
2013
Seahawks
11-5
2012
Ravens
6-9-1
2011
Giants
8-7-1
2010
Packers
9-7
2009
Saints
8-8
2008
Steelers
9-7
2007
Giants
10-6
2006
Colts
8-8
2005
Steelers
9-7
2004
Patriots
11-3-2
2003
Patriots
13-2-1
2002
Buccaneers
10-6
2001
Patriots
11-5
2000
Ravens
10-5-1

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