By: Hansel Chu, Assistant Sports Editor
The 2022 NFL season has been very interesting and entertaining so far. From thriller-ending games to record-breaking years from the superstars, this season was filled with many highlights. Many teams that were projected to have bad records outperformed expectations and are currently battling for their spots in the postseason. One team that has slipped under the radar is the Kansas City Chiefs due to their dominance in the past few years. However, the Chiefs will remind everyone how good of a team they are by winning the 2022 Super Bowl in Los Angeles.
The Kansas City Chiefs had a rough start to the season after making it to the Super Bowl for the last two years. In the first seven games of the season, the Chiefs had a record of 3-4, by far their worst starting record in recent memory. A large part of their rough start was due to their defense, where Kansas City ranked dead last in pass defense and in the pass rush. This meant that opposing quarterbacks were having their way with the Chief’s defense and they could throw the football wherever they wanted to against Kansas City.
Another big reason for the Chief’s early struggles was the performance of their star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. According to USA Today Sports, in the Mahomes-era, Kansas City never lost a game in September, and Mahomes accumulated 3,304 passing yards, 32 touchdowns and no interceptions as a starter. In this season, however, Mahomes had 940 passing yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions in the month of September, which is underwhelming compared to his previous years. Furthermore, in the first seven games this season, Mahomes led the league in interceptions with nine. A large part of Mahomes’s poor performances was Kansas City’s ill-judgment in thinking that they could outscore everyone while Mahomes led them to victory. However, blowout losses to the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans proved to the Chiefs that changes had to be made.
After a rough first seven games, Kansas City turned things around with their improved defense and Mahomes being more patient with the football. Since their early struggles, the Chief’s defense has allowed the least amount of points since Week 6 according to FanNation, and jumped up to fourth in total takeaways according to ESPN. The addition of Melvin Ingram and the return of Chris Jones helped Kansas City improve on the pass rush. Mahomes has also become more patient with the football, as instead of always trying to make the home-run play, Mahomes is taking what the defense is giving him and is making the easy play. Kansas City is also utilizing more of the run game to keep the defense guessing and also using speedster wide receiver Tyreek Hill in more short routes to put more pressure on opposing defenses to try and catch Hill’s world-class speed.
Last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went on a four-game winning streak to close out the regular season following their bye week, and they used that momentum to dominate the playoffs and win the Super Bowl earlier this year. If history is to repeat itself, the Kansas City Chiefs are in a great position to carry their winning streak into the postseason and remind everyone how dominant they have been by winning the 2022 Super Bowl in Los Angeles.