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Chiefs’ 3rd title in 5 years is reminder of Cardinals’ ‘what ifs’

The Kansas City Chiefs are the NFL’s most recent dynasty. They have been to the playoffs for nine straight years and 10 of 11 seasons. They have made the AFC Championship Game in six straight seasons, been to four Super Bowls in five years and won three of them.

In that time, the Arizona Cardinals have had just four winning seasons and three postseason appearances.

But the Chiefs’ success is related to the Cardinals. There are three notable “what ifs” where the Chiefs and Cardinals cross paths and the Chiefs took advantage.

The Chiefs stole Andy Reid from the Cardinals

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs hired Reid in 2013 after he was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles. They stole him from the Cardinals.

Last year before the Super Bowl, we detailed a story that came out a decade after it occurred. Reid was waiting in the airport to fly to Arizona where he was expected to take their head coaching job after Ken Whisenhunt was fired.

The Chiefs went to the airport and made sure he never got on the plane, hired him and the rest is history.

The Cardinals passed on Chris Jones in 2016 draft

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Chirs Jones and Robert Nkemdiche were both incredibly talented defensive tackles in the 2016 draft. Both came with character questions.

The Cardinals passed on Jones and selected Nkemdiche 29th overall. The Chiefs selected Jones with the 37th pick.

Jones has only been one of the best interior defenders in this generation. He has 75.5 career sacks and 35 in the last three seasons.

Nkemdiche played in only 38 NFL games, 27 for the Cardinals. He had 4.5 career sacks and flamed out quickly, looking every bit the bust many felt he would be.

Chiefs traded up for Mahomes in 2017, jumping Cardinals

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals had the 13th pick in the 2017 draft and believed they were either going to be able to draft either Mahomes or Deshaun Watson.

After nine picks, Mahomes and Watson were on the board.

Rather than moving up to get one of the quarterbacks (they did not want to give up their 2018 first-round pick), they stood pat. The Chiefs made the move from the 27th pick to the 10th pick and drafted Mahomes.

Had the Cardinals played their cards right, they could have been the Chiefs. They could have had Reid, Jones and Mahomes.

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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire