Late Sunday night, filled with joy from another Super Bowl victory, I asked Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark if his organization was now considered a dynasty, with two Super Bowl victories in four years and three appearances.
He didn't bite.
He wouldn't say it. Nor would quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who won his second Super Bowl MVP and second ring in five years.
"I'm not going to say dynasty yet, we're not done," Mahomes said.
They won't say it, so I will: The Chiefs are a dynasty.
After rallying from 10 down at the half -- scoring 17 fourth-quarter points -- to beat the Philadelphia Eagles in a thrilling 38-35 victory, there is no other way to describe this team. Two titles in four years and three Super Bowl appearances in that same time makes them a dynasty.
Not a dynasty in the 1950s Cleveland Browns way, but a dynasty of the modern game, where free agency and a salary cap can eat a team alive.
This isn't one of those teams.
That's because of coach Andy Reid and Mahomes, the best coach-quarterback combination in the game. With Mahomes reinjuring his right ankle Sunday night, it looked like the Chiefs were in trouble. But instead it was Mahomes lighting up the Eagles' vaunted defense -- the top-ranked pass defense in the league -- in the second half. He completed 13 of his 14 passes in the second half with two touchdowns.
But it was the way he did it that impressed. With his mobility limited some, it was the great scheming by Reid that produced the two second-half touchdowns. They got both on return-motion plays that had guys wide open. They were easy throws for Mahomes, made easy by Reid's brilliant offensive mind.
But it's Mahomes who makes this team a dynasty. The Chiefs traded away Tyreek Hill before the season and the offense evolved. Mahomes became more patient, became a better passer. That showed up Sunday night.
In five seasons, Mahomes now has five division titles, two regular-season MVPs, two Super Bowl MVPs and the two rings. On paper, the Eagles were the better team, but Mahomes was the great equalizer.
It's always that way with franchise quarterbacks. That's why the Chiefs end the season as the top-ranked team in my Power Rankings and will be No. 1 going into next season. Sustainable success comes from having "that" guy at quarterback.
The problem is the AFC is loaded with those guys. There is Josh Allen in Buffalo and Joe Burrow in Cincinnati. There is Justin Herbert with the Chargers and Trevor Lawrence on his way in Jacksonville. Those four teams will all be relevant in 2023 because of their quarterback.
But the best plays in Kansas City.
Tom Brady, he's coming for you in a lot of ways -- including possibly taking over as the best to ever do it.
|What's to think they can't keep this going? The defense needs some upgrading, and they could use another receiver, but this is a team built for the long run.||1||14-3-0|
|Jalen Hurts showed on the biggest stage that he is their franchise quarterback. The concern now is they will be losing offensive coordinator Shane Steichen.||2||14-3-0|
|With Joe Burrow and that passing game, they will be in the Super Bowl mix again next year. The offensive line remains a concern.||2||12-4-0|
|They have to get better in a few areas, including pass rush, pass protection and they need another receiver. They can't ask Josh Allen to do it all.||3||13-3-0|
|They head to the offseason with quarterback worries. What's new? Will Brock Purdy come back from his elbow surgery next season? Or will it be Trey Lance?||2||13-4-0|
|After the playoff loss to the 49ers, the pressure will amp up on Dak Prescott and Mike McCarthy in 2023.||--||12-5-0|
|This is a team on the rise with Trevor Lawrence and Doug Pederson. They do have to improve their pass rush, but they will be a deep playoff team next season.||4||9-8-0|
|They have a new offensive coordinator, which will make Justin Herbert happy and make this offense better. They have to throw down the field more.||--||10-7-0|
|The big offseason moves will be bringing back Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. They will sign one -- likely Jones -- and tag the other.||1||9-7-1|
|They will almost certainly put the franchise tag on Lamar Jackson to keep him around. That might not make him a happy player, but it's a must.||1||10-7-0|
|They needed to make a change at defensive coordinator, which they did. New coordinator Brian Flores will bring a much more aggressive approach.||4||13-4-0|
|They are committed to Tua Tagovailoa as quarterback, but now his health is the biggest concern. Getting Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator is a great move.||--||9-8-0|
|They will most likely bring back Geno Smith at quarterback, which they should do. There is a lot of young talent on the roster.||--||9-8-0|
|This young team will challenge for the division title in 2023. They improved in a big way this past season.||1||9-8-0|
|The Aaron Rodgers saga hangs over this team's offseason. Will he be with the Packers or is he getting traded?||1||8-9-0|
|They just missed out on the playoffs last season with rookie Kenny Pickett at quarterback. Now they have to grow the offense around him as they push to be a playoff team.||1||9-8-0|
|The Tom Brady era, however short, is over. Now they have to find his replacement.||3||8-9-0|
|Bill Belichick made a smart decision to bring in Bill O'Brien as offensive coordinator. Mac Jones has to be happy after what happened last season.||--||8-9-0|
|It sounds like Sam Howell will be their quarterback in 2023, although a veteran will be also in the mix.||--||8-8-1|
|This is another team that has issues at quarterback. They don't seem as sold on Ryan Tannehill as they used to be.||--||7-10-0|
|The big offseason talk is whether they can land Aaron Rodgers. If they do, this is a team that can push the Bills for the AFC East title.||--||7-10-0|
|They are searching for a quarterback, but it won't be Derek Carr. They have a team that can win a division title with the right quarterback.||--||7-10-0|
|Deshaun Watson will have a full season with the Browns in 2023, which makes them a better team. But he didn't look great when he played last season.||--||7-10-0|
|Frank Reich is in as the head coach, but he has to find a quarterback or it won't matter who coaches this team.||--||7-10-0|
|Who plays quarterback for the Raiders? It won't be Derek Carr, but maybe it's Aaron Rodgers.||--||6-11-0|
|Are they sold on Desmond Ridder as their quarterback? Should they be?||--||7-10-0|
|The coaching search will end this week, but the biggest issue is Kyler Murray. He is coming off an ACL injury and there are questions about whether he is the franchise guy.||--||4-13-0|
|Shane Steichen will be their new head coach, but if he doesn't find a quarterback, it won't matter how good he is as a coach. That's the biggest issue.||--||4-12-1|
|Sean McVay is back as coach, but the key for next season is keeping Matt Stafford healthy. They still have a lot of top-level talent.||--||5-12-0|
|New coach Sean Payton is one of the best offensive minds in the game. Now the challenge will be fixing Russell Wilson.||--||5-12-0|
|They hired DeMeco Ryans as coach, which will be a good thing for this franchise. This team, because of Ryans and draft assets, is trending in the right direction.||--||3-13-1|
|Despite having the first pick in the draft, they will build around Justin Fields. They have to get him help, and they have the cap room to do it.||--||3-14-0|