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What the Patriots can learn from the Super Bowl LVIII champion Chiefs

Kansas City won their third Super Bowl in five years on Sunday.

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs are the NFL’s new dynasty as they became the first team since the 2003 and 2004 New England Patriots to win back-to-back Super Bowls Sunday night.

As the Patriots enter an all important offseason in which they’ll hope to lay the groundwork to get back to their dynastic ways, it may be wise to look at the Chiefs model. Here’s what they might find.

It comes down to the quarterback

The San Francisco 49ers entered Sunday’s Super Bowl with a roster full of talent. The 49ers led the NFL this season with nine Pro Bowlers and six players named to the AP All-Pro team. They also had the Offensive Player of the Year in Christian McCaffrey.

But it didn’t matter. Why? Because the other team had Patrick Mahomes, the best quarterback in football.

Brock Purdy had a strong season for the 49ers, but the difference at the quarterback position was apparent Sunday night as the 23-year old could not out-duel Mahomes. And as Mahomes showed throughout the playoffs, the team with the better quarterback typically prevails.

That’s something the Patriots should keep in mind this offseason as they’ll evaluate their entire quarterback room. Holding the No. 3 overall pick is a rare occurrence to try and find an elite talent at the position, which would likely come down UNC’s Drake Maye or LSU’s Jayden Daniels. While neither will likely be Mahomes — who has already established himself as one of the best the game has ever seen — finding a game changer at the position is the best way to consistently compete in today’s NFL.

Plus, Mahomes showed that if you’re lucky enough to find such a player you should also pay them. He holds the Lombardi while also holding the highest cap hit in the league at $37 million.

Defense matters too...

The quarterback is the biggest difference maker, but Steve Spagnuolo and his unit made sure to remind the world that defense still has a place in today’s game.

Throughout the playoffs, Kansas City surrendered just under 16.0 points per game as they slowed down some of the league’s top offenses in Baltimore and San Francisco. On Sunday night, that featured key plays from defensive lineman Chris Jones, who likely saved multiple touchdowns with interior pressure, and cornerback Trent McDuffie, who had a case for game MVP.

While rebuilding the offense will be key for the Patriots this offseason, adding to an already strong defense shouldn’t be ignored. Like Kansas City, New England has young and talented players along the line and at cornerback in Christian Barmore and Christian Gonzalez. Now it’s time to continue to build around them, especially as they’ll be tasked with eventually slowing down the aforementioned quarterback if they hope to get back to the big game.

...as does special teams

Kicker Harrison Butker capped off a season in which he missed just two field goals with a 4-for-4 performance in the Super Bowl, including a record 57-yard make and 29-yarder to send the game to overtime.

Punter Tommy Townsend averaged over 50 yards on five punts and recorded two inside the 20. One of the key plays of the game came off a Townsend punt as well, as a loose ball bounced off a foot of a Niner which the Chiefs recovered. They then scored their first touchdown the very next play to take their first lead of the night.

When the end-of-game podium was rolled out for the champs, both Butker and Townsend were featured on stage.

For as much focus as offense and defense rightfully deserve, the third unit of the game cannot be ignored. And after several down seasons in the kicking game, a remodel could be coming in that area for the Patriots this season under new coordinator Jeremy Springer.

While punter Bryce Baringer should be back in the fold after a strong rookie season, time will tell the future of kicker Chad Ryland, who ranked last in the league last season making just 64 percent of his field goals. The unit around both specialists will also see change, as the future of Matthew Slater and other pure specialists are up in the air.