Kansas City’s Andy Reid and Patrick MahomesDoug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
There’s no official criteria to qualify as a dynasty in professional sports, but NFL dynasties are pretty unmistakable.
The Pittsburgh Steelers won four Super Bowls in a six-year span in the 1970s, the San Francisco 49ers won four titles in a nine-year span in the 1980s, the Dallas Cowboys took home three Vince Lombardi Trophies in a four-year span in the 1990s and the New England Patriots won a ridiculous six Super Bowls in an 18-year stretch earlier this century.
Now, with that Bill Belichick dynasty pretty much toast following a fourth consecutive campaign with no playoff success, we’re awaiting the league’s next dynasty. So naturally, we oughta ponder the chances that either Super Bowl LVII participant reaches that level in the years to come.
What do the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles have to do to become as timelessly dominant as the 1970s Steelers, 1980s 49ers, 1990s Cowboys or 2000s-10s Patriots?
The Chiefs Are Close
Kansas City is closer than any other current team. This is the third Super Bowl appearance in a four-year span for a franchise that generally has the same core led by superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes and venerable head coach Andy Reid.
But Kansas City is actually the underdog next Sunday, per DraftKings, and another Super Bowl loss would leave Mahomes with just one ring six years into his career. He’s still just 27 years old and should have at least a solid decade still in him, but it ain’t easy to be a perennial contender in the salary-cap era, and a second Super Bowl loss in three years would be a big blow to K.C.’s chances of becoming a full-blown dynasty.
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Based on the general criteria that is essentially shared by the dynasties alluded to above, the Chiefs still need at least two more Super Bowl wins in the next few years. And while Super Bowl losses don’t help with that, making appearances in the game via conference titles shouldn’t hurt.
In fact, conference championship victories in non-championship seasons should at least be worth something extra. Kansas City’s five consecutive AFC title-game appearances are pretty sweet and show that the team is quite frequently within range of dominant.
All in all, a win next Sunday would put Kansas City on the brink. The team would really just need one more championship soon to be considered in the same realm as those earlier dynasties. And it would really become hard to imagine that not happening.
But a loss against the Eagles could cause some to wonder if the team is missing something. It would mark three years without a Lombardi Trophy in K.C., and it might not be considered a coincidence that those three years would cover the exact period since the Chiefs gave Mahomes a massive, salary cap-hogging contract.
But in summary, here’s what the Chiefs need in order to achieve dynasty status in the days and years to come:
- Win on Sunday and win another Super Bowl in the next three or so years
- Lose on Sunday but win at least two Super Bowls in the next three or so years
- Do so with a relatively similar core that includes Mahomes and Reid (otherwise, a lack of continuity defeats the notion of a dynasty)
The Eagles Are Essentially Still on the Starting Block
That last Kansas City requirement explains why the Eagles are a lot further from dynasty status than the Chiefs. Because while the Eagles also have a recent championship to brag about, that came five years ago, and only about a handful of players from that roster remain members of the Eagles.
They’ve also since made changes at head coach and both coordinator positions, although general manager Howie Roseman was a key architect for both rosters.
Still, mainly because head coach Doug Pederson and quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles are long gone from Philly, it would be hard to one day look back on this era and conclude that the Eagles were a dynasty based on wins in 2017, 2022 and another upcoming year.
All of the dynasties above won multiple championships with the same head coach/starting quarterback duo, so Philadelphia is essentially starting from scratch in this spot.
Here’s what the Eagles would need in order to achieve dynasty status in the days and years to come:
- Win on Sunday and win two more Super Bowls in the next half-decade or so
- Do so with a relatively similar core that includes Jalen Hurts and Nick Sirianni (otherwise, a lack of continuity defeats the notion of a dynasty)
That 2017 title might arguably factor in as somewhat of a tiebreaker because it remains on resumes belonging to Roseman, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Isaac Seumalo, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett and Jake Elliott, but it’s also a half-decade removed from this year, so if Philadelphia loses next weekend, it’ll be even harder to consider that.
Philadelphia’s Nick Sirianni and Jalen HurtsGregory Shamus/Getty Images
Then again, a loss in Super Bowl LVII would probably crush Philadelphia’s dynasty chances anyway because there would be too much work to be done as Hurts approaches non-rookie-contract territory. Plus, Kansas City would have a huge advantage in the jockeying for dynasty status, and you can’t have simultaneous dynasties in the same league, right?
The good news for Philadelphians is that, with Mahomes dealing with an ankle injury, the Eagles are favored to win next Sunday’s Super Bowl.
The bad news is they’re projected by Spotrac to be strapped for salary-cap space entering the 2023 offseason, with Kelce, Seumalo, Miles Sanders, Graham, T.J. Edwards, James Bradberry, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Kyzir White, Fletcher Cox, Robert Quinn and Javon Hargrave all scheduled to become unrestricted free agents next month.
Oh, and the MVP-caliber Hurts will be entering the final year of his rookie contract in the fall.
In other words, it’s far too early to even think about the D-word in Philly. Right now, the focus needs to be on winning a second relatively isolated championship in a six-year span.