The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional football team in the National Football League (the NFL). The Kansas City Chiefs play in the American Football Conference (AFC) West Division with three other teams: the Denver Broncos, the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers. The Kansas City Chiefs have won 2 AFL Championships and 1 AFL-NFL Super Bowl Championship. Arrowhead Stadium, located in Kansas City, Missouri, hosts all Kansas City Chiefs home games.
The Early Years – Dallas Texans
In 1960, the current Kansas City Chiefs franchise joined the ranks of professional football as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL). The team was located in Dallas, Texas and known as the Dallas Texans. In 1962, the Dallas Texans finished first in the AFL West with an 11-3 record. In the AFL Championship Game, the Dallas Texans jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead, but then surrendered 10 points late in the 4th quarter allowing the Houston Oilers to tie the game at 17 in regulation. The teams played a scoreless 1st overtime period before the Dallas Texans Kicker Tommy Brooker kicked a 25-yard field goal in the 2nd overtime period to give the Dallas Texans their first AFL Championship. Following the 1962 AFL Championship season, Owner Lamar Hunt moved the Dallas Texans to Kansas City.
1963 To Present – Kansas City Chiefs
In order to lure the Dallas Texans franchise from Dallas, Kansas City Mayor H. Roe Bartle guaranteed Owner Lamar Hunt that the city of Kansas City and its residents would make commitments to purchase 35,000 season tickets before the team even moved to Kansas City. Hunt settled on that number because that was the average attendance at the Cotton Bowl, the team’s home stadium in Dallas, during the Dallas Texans’ first 3 seasons in the AFL. Bartle recruited 20 local businessmen, later nicknamed the “Gold Coats”, who solicited the public for commitments to purchase season tickets for the AFL football team that would be re-locating to the Kansas City area. Within only 8 weeks, Bartle and the Gold Coats had secured the necessary down payments, and Hunt was ready to move the team to Kansas City. The team name “Chiefs” was selected courtesy of a fan contest and the Kansas City Chiefs made Municipal Stadium their home for the first 9 years of the team’s existence in Kansas City from 1963 through 1971.
The Kansas City Chiefs enjoyed early success in the AFL. In 1966, the Kansas City Chiefs finished 1st in the AFL West and defeated the Buffalo Bills 31-7 in the AFL Championship game to win their first AFL Championship for the city of Kansas City (the franchise’s 2nd AFL Championship overall). As AFL Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs then participated in the first ever AFL-NFL World Championship Game (which would later be called Super Bowl I) against the NFL Champions, the Green Bay Packers. Behind 2 touchdown passes by Quarterback Bart Starr, the Green bay packers outscored the Kansas City Chiefs 21-0 in the 2nd half en route to a 35-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Kansas City Chiefs recorded another winning season in 1967, but did not make the playoffs. In 1968, the Kansas City Chiefs lost only 2 games during the AFL regular season, but that was only good enough for 2nd place in the AFL West and the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Oakland Raiders 41-6 in the Western Division playoff game. 1969 proved to be the best year for the Kansas City Chiefs franchise, even though their 11-3 record was only good enough for another 2nd place finish in the AFL West. This time, the Kansas City Chiefs were able to record a victory in the divisional playoffs, with a 13-6 victory over the New York Jets. In the AFL Championship Game, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders 17-7 to win their 3rd AFL Championship Game. In the 4th and final AFL-NFL World Championship Game, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in an upset victory in Super Bowl IV. The Kansas City Chiefs defense was the difference, as they forced the Minnesota Vikings into 3 interceptions and 2 fumbles. The Kansas City Chiefs became the 2nd AFL team to defeat an NFL team in the AFL-NFL Championship Game – the 1st being the New York Jets over the Baltimore Colts the year before in Super Bowl III.
In 1970, the AFL and NFL merged. The Kansas City Chiefs played their games in the West Division of the AFC. In each of its first 4 seasons in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs recorded winning seasons, even winning the AFC West in 1971 with a 10-3-1 record. However, the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Miami Dolphins 27-24 in a grueling overtime thriller following that successful 1971 campaign. Kansas City Chiefs kicked Jan Stenerud missed a field goal with less than a minute to play in regulation and then again in the 1st overtime period, and the Miami Dolphins eventually won on a 37-yard field Goal by Miami Dolphins Kicker Garo Yepremian halfway into the 2nd overtime period. After that playoff loss, the Kansas City Chiefs suffered many lean years and the team did not return to the playoffs for 14 seasons. From 1974 through 1985, the Kansas City Chiefs recorded only one winning season, a 9-7 record in 1981. In 1986, the Kansas City Chiefs finished in 2nd place in the AFC west with a 10-6 record. But they endured a quick trip in the playoffs with a 35-15 loss to the New York Jets in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Carl Peterson became the Kansas City Chiefs new President and General Manager in 1989, and he immediately hired Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer to try to restore a winning attitude to the Kansas City Chiefs franchise. From 1990 through 1997, the Kansas City Chiefs recorded 8 straight winning seasons and made the playoffs every year but one. The Kansas City Chiefs finally returned to post-season play in 1990 after finishing the season with an 11-5 record and a 2nd place finish in the AFC West. However, the Kansas City Chiefs suffered a heart-breaking loss to the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card round of the playoffs when they surrendered two 4th quarter touchdowns to Dan Marino to lose 17-16. The Kansas City Chiefs finally achieved their first NFL playoff victory the following season when the team defeated the Los Angeles Raiders 10-6. The Kansas City Chiefs would lose the next week, however, 37-14 to the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional round of the playoffs. In 1993, the Kansas City Chiefs acquired legendary Quarterback Joe Montana from the San Francisco 49ers and legendary Running Back Marcus Allen from the Los Angeles Raiders. That year, the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC West with an 11-5 record and made their best NFL playoff run to date. The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 in an overtime thriller in the Wild Card round of the playoffs and then defeated the Houston Oilers 28-20 the following week to advance to their first ever AFC Championship Game. The Kansas City Chiefs successful run finally came to an end with a disappointing 30-13 loss to the Buffalo Bills. And Joe Montana officially retired from NFL football following the end of the 1994 NFL regular season. In 1995 and 1997, the Kansas City Chiefs finished each season with a franchise best 13-3 record and a 1st place finish in the AFC West. Yet both seasons ended in first round playoff losses - a sloppy 10-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in 1995 and a devastating 14-10 loss to the intra-division rival Denver Broncos in 1997. In 2003, the Kansas City Chiefs matched their NFL franchise-best 13-3 record and finished in 1st place finish in the AFC West. In the Divisional Round of the playoffs, however, the Kansas City Chiefs found themselves in an offensive shootout with the Indianapolis Colts. Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning threw for over 300 yards and 3 touchdown passes and Indianapolis Colts Running Back Edgerrin James rushed for over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. Even though Chiefs Running Back Priest Holmes rushed for over 175 yards and 2 touchdowns, it wasn’t enough and the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 38-31. That 2003 playoff appearance was the only playoff appearance for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1998 through 2005.
During the 2006-7 NFL season, new Head Coach Herm Edwards guided the Kansas City Chiefs to a 9-7 record, which was good enough to finish 2nd in the AFC West and qualify for post-season play. The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Indianapolis Colts 23-8 in the wild card round of the playoffs, however, bringing Edwards' first season to an abrupt end. With hopes high for a return trip to the playoffs during the 2007-8 NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs struggled through inconsistent play and injuries and were only able to win 4 games. Head Coach Edwards and the loyal Chiefs fan base were extremely disappointed with the awful season, and team is expected to turn things around for the 2008-9 NFL campaign.