Why the Odds Are Stacked Against a Three-Peat for the Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are the ninth team to win back-to-back Super Bowls, but previous bids for a three-peat have been derailed in various ways.

Confetti was still fluttering toward the turf at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday night when some members of the Kansas City Chiefs already were talking about a three-peat.

KC’s 25-22 overtime victory against the San Francisco 49ers made the Chiefs the first team since the 2003-04 New England Patriots to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

Only seven other teams have accomplished the feat of winning back-to-back Super Bowls, and no team has won three in a row.

Kansas City Chiefs Have Chance To Win 3 Straight Super Bowls

The Chiefs think they have a chance to make history, and the Las Vegas sportsbooks agree, installing them with the second-shortest odds at +750. The 49ers are the favorites to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in New Orleans next February, coming in with odds of +500.

And even though it’s never been done before, it’s easy to see why everyone expects Kansas City to be right back in the mix next year with a Hall of Fame coach in Andy Reid, a future Hall of Famer at tight end in Travis Kelce, a young, talented defense headed by one the best defensive coordinators in Steve Spagnuolo — the first coordinator in NFL history to win four titles — and a generational talent at quarterback in Patrick Mahomes.

But surely each of the past back-to-back Super Bowl winners thought they were poised to pull off a three-peat as well.

Let’s look at the previous eight to see how far they went and get an appreciation of how difficult the task will be for Kansas City in 2024.

2003-04 New England Patriots

The 2005 Patriots struggled out of the gate at 4-4, with three of the four losses coming against teams that would go on to make the playoffs, including the team that would eliminate them.

New England won four of its final five and six of eight to win the AFC East at 10-6, one game ahead of the Miami Dolphins.

Seeded fourth, the Patriots crushed the Jaguars 28-3 in the Wild Card round, but their return trip to Denver went almost the same as their Week 6 game, with New England falling behind early and unable to rally. Denver won 27-13 before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.

1997-98 Denver Broncos

Denver quarterback John Elway called it a career after winning his second title by beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-19, and the team wasn’t close to the same without him.

The Broncos started 0-4 in 1999 and finished 6-10. They wouldn’t win another playoff game until 2005, when they beat the Patriots in the Divisional Round to stop New England’s bid for a three-peat.

1992-93 Dallas Cowboys

After crushing the Buffalo Bills 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII and 30-13 in Super Bowl XXVIII, the Cowboys fell a game short of reaching the big game for a third consecutive year.

Under the direction of Barry Switzer after Jimmy Johnson retired, Dallas started 8-1 in 1994. But the Cowboys’ 10th game was a 21-14 loss at San Francisco that ended up being the difference between home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and going to Candlestick Park for the NFC Championship Game.

MORE: Are the Kansas City Chiefs a Dynasty?

The Cowboys went 12-4 and were the No. 2 seed, while the 49ers were 13-3. In the championship game, San Francisco jumped out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and cruised from there, winning 38-28.

Dallas bounced back in 1996 and won it all again, giving the franchise three titles in a four-year span, something only the Patriots (2001, 2003, 2004) have accomplished.

1988-89 San Francisco 49ers

The only team on the list to win back-to-back Super Bowls with different head coaches, the 49ers looked well on their way to a three-peat in George Seifert’s second year at the helm after Bill Walsh retired.

The 1990 49ers started 10-0 and finished 14-2 to earn the NFC’s No. 1 seed. One of their wins was a 7-3 decision against the New York Giants, and when the teams met in the NFC Championship Game, it was another defensive struggle.

The game featured seven field goals and only one touchdown, with the Giants prevailing 15-13 on a Matt Bahr 42-yard field goal as time expired.

The 49ers would fall a game short of the Super Bowl in two of the next three seasons before winning it again in 1994.

1978-79 Steelers

Pittsburgh made two runs at a three-peat in a five-year span, but this second attempt never got close. After winning Super Bowls XIII and XIV, the Steelers failed to make the playoffs in 1980, finishing 9-7 and in third place in the AFC Central division.

The season started promising enough at 4-1, but Pittsburgh went 2-3 down the stretch to miss the postseason for the first time since 1971.

1974-75 Steelers

After winning the first two Super Bowls in franchise history, the 1976 season ended the way it started for the Steelers — with a loss in Oakland.

Pittsburgh dropped 31-28 decision in the season opener on the way to a 1-4 start. However, after that, the Steelers won 10 in a row to earn a repeat trip to Oakland to face the Raiders in the AFC Championship Game.

Yet, Oakland built a 10-point halftime lead and shut out Pittsburgh in the second half on the way to a 16-1 season and the franchise’s first Super Bowl title.

1972-73 Dolphins

After completing what remains the only perfect season in 1972, the Dolphins came back with another strong season in 1973, losing just two games.

They were among the class of the league again in 1974, but at 11-3, they finished as the No. 2 seed behind the Raiders (12-2), which meant they had to open the playoffs on the road at Oakland.

MORE: List of Most Super Bowl Wins by Team

Known as the Sea of Hands Game because the game-winning touchdown came in the final seconds when Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler flung a pass into the end zone as he was being tackled from behind. Clarence Davis caught the ball and appeared to bobble it in the middle of three Miami defenders but still emerged with it for the touchdown.

The Raiders lost the following week to the eventual champion Steelers, while the Dolphins would miss the playoffs in each of the next three seasons.

1966-67 Packers

After winning the first two Super Bowls, Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi retired, and the Packers slipped into irrelevance. They wouldn’t win another playoff game for 15 years.

In the season after the wins in Super Bowl I and II, Green Bay went 6-7-1 under Phil Bengtson.

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