For the Kansas City Chiefs, history is on the line when they host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in the AFC title game.
Any time the Super Bowl is on the line, the game is enormous. For the Kansas City Chiefs, this time even more so.
Kansas City is attempting to reach the Super Bowl for the third consecutive year, something only done by three other teams in NFL history. Oddly, all have hailed from the AFC East, with the Miami Dolphins (1971-73), Buffalo Bills (1990-93) and New England Patriots (2016-18) turning the trick.
Miami and New England each won in two of their trips, while the Bills famously lost all four.
For Kansas City, this is already about building on one of the greatest runs the sport has ever seen. The Chiefs have won six straight division titles. The only other teams to do so are the Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s, and the Patriots with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who actually had two separate such runs.
Of those teams, only the Chiefs, Patriots and Steelers won championships during their reigns. Los Angeles and Minnesota both reached the Super Bowl, but ultimate fell short.
In addition, Kansas City is also hosting its fourth consecutive AFC Championship Game. No other team in the conference has ever hosted even three straight, and no franchise in league history has ever done it four times until now.
The Chiefs stand two wins away from becoming one of the greatest teams in NFL history. Should they go on to win the Super Bowl, they would join the following teams as the only groups to ever win two Super Bowls over a three-year period.
- 1966-67 Green Bay Packers
- 1972-73 Miami Dolphins
- 1974-75 Pittsburgh Steelers
- 1978-79 Pittsburgh Steelers
- 1988-89 San Francisco 49ers
- 1992-93 Dallas Cowboys
- 1997-98 Denver Broncos
- 2001-04 New England Patriots
- 2016-18 New England Patriots
A quick count shows Kansas City would become only the 10th team to ever achieve such success, putting it in the all-time pantheon of NFL greatness.
To get there, the Chiefs need to beat the Bengals on Sunday, who nobody predicted would be here at the start of the season. Yet behind a powerful group of weapons and the emergence of second-year quarterback Joe Burrow, Cincinnati is trying to shock the world. And, lest we forget, the Bengals beat the Chiefs in Week 17, 34-31.
For Kansas City, this has already been a phenomenal run. By winning Sunday, though, — and two weeks after it — the Chiefs become immortalized.