6 years ago, Chiefs made decision that changed Kansas City forever

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Six years ago, the Kansas City Chiefs made a decision that’s helped lead them to six straight AFC Championship game appearances, and four Super Bowl appearances in five years with the team looking to win a third in that time span.

On January 30, 2018, reports came out that the Chiefs were trading quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Commanders (still the Redskins at the time), and going all in on Patrick Mahomes II, who was selected in the first round and 10th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.

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Smith had one season left on his contract with the Chiefs after being traded to Kansas City in 2013 from San Francisco. The trade became official on March 14, 2018, on the first day of the new league year.

The Chiefs were competitive with Smith leading the offense, reaching the playoffs in four of his five seasons, winning the franchise’s first playoff game in 22 years, and starting Kansas City’s current run of eight-straight AFC West titles in 2016.

But for all of their regular season success, each season ended with a frustrating playoff defeat with much of the blame falling at the feet of the offense.

That all changed under Mahomes.

In his first season as starting quarterback in 2018, he led the Chiefs to its first AFC Championship game appearance in 25 years. He also became the first quarterback in Chiefs history to throw for 300+ yards in eight consecutive games in a single season.

By Week 10 in 2018, Mahomes broke the Chiefs single-season passing touchdown record, surpassing Len Dawson with 31 touchdown throws. The Chiefs lost a heartbreaking overtime game to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, but were on the right track.

In 2019, At 24 years old, Mahomes became the third-youngest player and youngest quarterback in NFL history to be named Super Bowl MVP, earning the honors for his performance in Super Bowl LIV vs. the San Francisco 49ers, a 31-20 triumph.

After receiving the Super Bowl MVP, Mahomes became the fifth player in history to win multiple Super Bowl MVP titles and 11th player ever to receive both the Super Bowl MVP and league MVP in the same season in 2022. The Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles to capture the franchise’s third title in Super Bowl LVII, 38-35.

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This postseason, Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce set the record for most touchdowns for a duo in NFL postseason history with 16, passing Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

Mahomes is 14-3 in the playoffs as a starter, and has never failed to reach at least the AFC Championship as Kansas City’s signal caller. His fourth appearance in the Super Bowl ties him with a host of greats including Joe Montana and Peyton Manning for third in NFL history, only one behind John Elway, but with a bit of work to do to catch Tom Brady’s 10.

Outside of all his career highlights and honors, Mahomes has also invested in Kansas City by joining the Royals ownership group in July 2020 and the Kansas City Current ownership group, alongside his wife Brittany, making him the first active NFL player to have a stake in an NWSL team.

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