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What Does the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl Run Say About Former Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy?

The Kansas City Chiefs aim to win their third Super Bowl since 2020 without their former offensive officer, Eric Bieniemy.

Eric Bieniemy, assistant head coach and offensive coordinator of the Washington Commanders. (Photo courtesy of Washington Commanders.)

The Kansas City Chiefs (11-6) will once again represent the American Football Conference (AFC) in the Super Bowl after facing a 17-10 AFC championship victory over the Baltimore Ravens. 

It’s the Chiefs’ fourth Super Bowl appearance in the last five seasons, and they have a chance to be the first defending champions since the 2003-04 New England Patriots.

The team’s return was ominous for Kansas City, as their offense loomed in the first year without offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had a difficult year, throwing for 4,183 yards and 27 touchdowns with 14 interceptions and a 92.6 passer rating, according to ESPN.

Kansas City’s wide receivers had the most dropped passes, a few of which decided some of the games’ outcomes. The departure of veteran JuJu Smith-Schuster left the Chiefs without a No. 1 wideout and No. 2 option alongside star tight end Travis Kelce. Players like Marquez Valdez-Scantling and Kadarius Toney were unable to be that premiere receiving threat for Mahomes, while Kelce had his first season with less than 1,000 yards receiving since 2015. Meanwhile, Mahomes had to play on the road for the first time in his postseason career. These negative factors predicted an unpromising future for the team.

However, their defense has been the catalyst to their success. They were No. 2 in the league in yards allowed per game, as well as sacks. Ultimately, their defense carried them through the playoffs. Now, they have the potential to win their third Super Bowl since 2020.

Sydney Bell, a senior honors biology major at Howard University, discussed her initial worries about her team during the regular season.

“I was definitely a little nervous during the preseason and regular season, based on how they were performing compared to previous years,” Bell said. “Even during the playoffs, I was trying really hard not to get my hopes up, but my family and I always joke that they wait until the last minute to start playing their best.”

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The same can’t be said about offensive coordinator Bieniemy, whose first season in Washington was underwhelming. The Commanders averaged just 19.4 points, while second-year quarterback Sam Howell led the league in interceptions, according to ESPN. Washington will likely search for another signal caller, as they have cycled through 12 in the last six seasons.

Bell expressed glee in her team’s success, even after losing Bieniemy and the offense sputtering.

“I honestly didn’t know too much about the coaching staff until the news about Eric came out,” Bell said. “But I think all of this just lends itself to the fact that good athletes know to hold on to what they’ve learned from anyone who has effectively coached them. I also think it speaks to the chemistry between the players and being able to anticipate each other.”

While the offensive production declined without Bieniemy, Kansas City’s resilience and defense kept them afloat throughout the playoffs. It may be a testament to his impact that they needed to overhaul the defensive side of the ball to become triumphant.

Copy edited by Jalyn Lovelady

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