Photos: The record-shattering Chiefs offense kept rolling in 2022

Chiefs 4 Jeremey Theron Kirby

It’s been a decade since the Kansas City Chiefs had a losing season. In that time, fans have become accustomed to offensive fireworks—especially since the arrival of quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Still, the 2023 season came as a surprise to most. 

Photography by Jeremey Theron Kirby

During the offseason, the Chiefs traded away speedster Tyreek Hill, one of the game’s most dangerous wide receivers. There was no splashy replacement, just JuJu Smith-Schuster, a one-time Pro Bowler who hadn’t gone over a thousand yards in the previous three years. Rather than pursue a big-name running back, the team stood pat with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and, when he went on injured reserve, handed the job to seventh-round rookie Isiah Pacheco. 

Photography by Jeremey Theron Kirby

Rather than regressing without Hill, the Chiefs instead won fourteen games, matching their total from the 2020 Super Bowl season. 

Photography by Jeremey Theron Kirby

This issue goes to print in mid-January and will arrive right around the AFC Championship game. No matter what happens, it’s been a memorable season—but it will be all the more memorable if the Chiefs are able to return to the Super Bowl and avenge the pandemic-era loss to Tom Brady and his Buccaneers.

‘Party’ Boy
Photography by Jeremey Theron Kirby

Mahomes and all-world tight end Travis Kelce (#87) were mostly responsible for the fireworks. Kelce not only fought for his right to party but also pulled an Al Bundy, scoring four touchdowns in a single game.

Definitely Defensible
Photography by Jeremey Theron Kirby

The offense wasn’t alone in losing a high-profile player, with safety Tyrann Mathieu departing for New Orleans. In his place, players like third-year linebacker Willie Gay (#50) stood up. Gay returned from a four-game suspension for an off-the-field incident to make a number of back-cracking tackles and two big turnovers.

Mahomes Magic
Photography by Jeremey Theron Kirby

Kansas City was the only team to pass for more than five thousand yards this season, actually doubling up the passing game production of the league’s worst passing offense, the Chicago Bears. The Chiefs’ forty-one passing touchdowns were six more than the feisty Cincinnati Bengals had in second place. And they weren’t slouches on the ground, either, putting up eighteen tuddies by foot, top ten in the league.

To Be Frank
Photography by Jeremey Theron Kirby

The Chiefs’ defense played stout when it mattered, with defensive end Frank Clark (#55) putting up a strong season next to Chris Jones.

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