We knew this Chiefs season was going to be special. Not just because it was the centennial of professional football, the fiftieth anniversary of the last Chiefs Super Bowl win or because the previous season ended in an achingly narrow overtime loss to the eventual champs.
There was just something about this season that felt, well, different.
And so when photographer Jeremey Theron Kirby approached us about shooting from the sidelines this season, we were excited.
Kirby was at Arrowhead for all of the biggest moments of the season, from the narrow win over a stout Baltimore Ravens team in the home opener to the huge AFC Championship game win over the Tennessee Titans, which propelled the team to the Super Bowl.
Kirby also ventured down to Miami Gardens, where he was able to capture some amazing shots from the Super Bowl, including an epic look at Patrick Mahomes’ clutch running touchdown. He also witnessed one of the most memorable (if controversial) halftime shows in Super Bowl history (page 18) and the ticker tape falling during the trophy presentation.
It will be erased from history now—as is only fitting—but the Chiefs did not play especially well at home throughout the season, with three of the Chiefs’ four losses coming at Arrowhead in 2019.
The Colts, Texans and Packers all won regular season games here.
But if you were a Chiefs fan who was worried, you were in the minority.
This team was led by a generational talent in Mahomes, but also featured potent offensive weapons in the league’s most fearsome tight end, Travis Kelce, and in speedster Tyreek Hill, who returned from a troubled off-season with intense focus and a chip on his shoulder.
A year after the second-half collapse of the Chiefs defense in the conference championship doomed them to defeat, new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s squad proved formidable. “Spag’s” aggressive, blitz-heavy scheme benefited greatly from the acquisition of explosive defensive end Frank Clark and versatile safety Tyrann Mathieu. In Miami, it was that defense’s impressive performance against one of the league’s toughest running games that kept things close for Mahomes, who led an epic comeback to claim the Lombardi Trophy.