Preseason Betting Favorite Chiefs Reach Second-Straight Super Bowl
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images Pictured: Isiah Pacheco of the Kansas City Chiefs
This was supposed to year the Kansas City Chiefs were dethroned, right?
That’s what everyone said as Kansas City looked far from the world beaters everyone expected heading into the season. Patrick Mahomes’ weapons repeatedly let him down and led the league in dropped passes. They relied on their defense, which was uncharted territory for an offense that had been one of the best in NFL history for years.
The Chiefs lost five of eight games heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, and were playing some of their worst football while their main competitors were playing their best. Yet here we are again with K.C. heading into it’s fourth Super Bowl in five seasons after beating the Ravens, 17-10.
The Chiefs offense looked more in sync once the postseason got under way and as a result, they looked like the team that was favored to win the Super Bowl (+650) and the AFC (+300) entering the season instead of the team that entered the playoffs at +900 to win the championship, which was significantly longer than the Ravens +325.
Kansas City was the stronger team off the jump, racing out to a 17-7 lead that probably should have been more. Still, a late field goal by Harrison Butker portended a Chiefs win as they were 37-3 since 2018 when up by at least 10 at halftime. Travis Kelce made history in a terrific first half, catching all nine passes thrown his way for 91 yards and a touchdown. He eventually finished with 11 catches for 116 yards, becoming the all-time leader in postseason receptions in the process.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs defense was phenomenal in the second half. Lamar Jackson and Baltimore's offense came out like gangbusters after halftime in it's wild card win over the Texans. However, they were swallowed up by a Kansas City defense that repeatedly came up clutch.
First, they punched the ball free from Zay Jones as leaped toward the goal line early in the fourth quarter. Instead of cutting the score to 17-14, the Chiefs took over at they're own 20. Then, after the Ravens looked primed to score midway through the final frame, Deon Bush picked Jackson off in the end zone to all but lock the game up.
Kansas City now faces either the 49ers or Lions in the Super Bowl. The lookahead line at FanDuel before Sunday’s kickoffs listed the 49ers as 3-point favorites over the Chiefs while Kansas City would be -3.5 favorites over the Lions.