SPORTS/ HEALTH/ & FITNESS

Can the Kansas City Chiefs do it back to back?

The Chiefs have a lot going for them, most notably the fact they have won 25 of their past 27 games, including last year’s Super Bowl. Oddsmakers have the Chiefs favored to win by at least a field goal Sunday, despite the game being played at the Bucs’ home, Raymond James Stadium.

History, though, suggests the Chiefs will lose. The barrier of becoming a repeat champion has been difficult for previous winners to break for myriad reasons — lack of focus and taking every team’s best shot among them — as coaches such as Pete Carroll and players such as Shannon Sharpe will attest. But if the Chiefs under quarterback Patrick Mahomes truly want to establish a dynasty, back-to-back titles is a good place to start.

“What makes it such a challenge is it’s hard to win one Super Bowl,” said Bucs quarterback Tom Brady with a chuckle despite owning six rings himself. Brady’s New England Patriots were the last team to win back-to back titles in 2003 and 2004.

But even making a repeat appearance in a Super Bowl is unusual. The Chiefs are the fourth team in the past 20 years to participate in at least two straight championship games.

That’s some history the Chiefs are fighting.

“It’s just historically an enormous challenge for teams to come back, and there’s a lot of obvious reasons why,” said Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who should know based on his team’s own history. The Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII over the Denver Broncos and were deprived of a second straight title when the Patriots intercepted a pass at the goal line in the final seconds following the 2014 season.

“You think, ‘[We] won one year; why wouldn’t you win the next year, too?’ It’s almost easier to get there and win it than it is to come back and do it the second time around. It’s because of the shift that takes place once you win, and all that goes on through those months of the offseason and the buildup and then the anticipation going through the start of the year, all of the stories and the storylines and the scenarios and all of that, and the mentality of the players and what they’ve just accomplished.

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