The Kansas City Chiefs put up an incredible second half comeback to bring home the Super Bowl LVII Trophy in a well earned 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite suffering through an ankle injury, Pattrick Mahomes stepped up when the team needed him most and won the Super Bowl MVP. Along with this, the defense held the Eagles in check and forced some crucial turnovers that arguably won Kansas City the game. Looking forward to next season, the Chiefs will have a huge target on their backs as the team to beat. We will break down if the Chiefs have what it takes to defend their crown in the 2023 season.
One issue that any contending team faces over the offseason is losing players in free agency. With there being so much talent on the Chiefs team, it is difficult to retain all of their players and remain under the cap. Some players that Kansas City could potentially lose if they are unable to negotiate new contracts include Orlando Brown Jr., Mecole Hardman, Jerick McKinnon, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Juan Thornhill, and Andrew Wylie. Brown Jr. played under the franchise tag this season, however, after the Super Bowl, it appeared that he wanted to stay with the Chiefs. While it would be ideal for the Chiefs to bring back most of these players, they are all relatively replaceable.
Where Kansas City Should Look to Improve
As the reigning Super Bowl champions, there are not too many realistic improvements that the Chiefs can make over the offseason. They could make some marginal improvements to the offensive line and certain sectors of the defense, however, after their Super Bowl performance, their main goal should be bringing back last year’s roster.
Currently, the two biggest threats to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC heading into 2023 are the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs narrowly took down the Bengals in the AFC Championship in 2022, and if one or two plays went the other way, there is a strong chance Kansas City would not have even made the Super Bowl. With Cincinnati being such a young and talented team, they are still a concerning rival for Kansas City next season.
While the Chiefs did not have to see the Bills in the postseason, they are still a threat to Kansas City in 2023. They nearly got the best of Kansas City in the 2022 playoffs, and are a very well rounded team.
If the Kansas City Chiefs are able to retain their Super Bowl winning roster from 2022, or even make some small upgrades at certain positions, there is no reason why they should not be back representing the AFC in the Super Bowl in 2023. None of the players on expiring deals should cause a major hole in the roster, and could likely be replaced in free agency or through the draft easily.