Kansas City Chiefs History

Kansas City Chiefs - Team History

Kansas City Chiefs, professional football team and one of five teams in the Western Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) of the National Football League (NFL). Originally formed as the Dallas Texans, the Chiefs now play at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, and wear uniforms of red, gold, and white. The team was named after Kansas City mayor H. Roe “Chief” Bartle.

During the 1960s the Chiefs franchise were the only club to capture three American Football League (AFL) championships. Coached by Hank Stram, the team had one of the AFL’s most feared defenses. Quarterback Len Dawson, a five-time passing champion and future Hall of Fame member, led the offense. During the early and mid-1990s head coach Marty Schottenheimer directed the Chiefs to six consecutive playoff appearances. His many stars included running back Marcus Allen, kicker Nick Lowery, and quarterback Joe Montana.

The Dallas Texans became a charter member of the AFL in 1960, and Hank Stram, an assistant at the University of Miami, was hired as the team’s first head coach. Two years later Stram produced a powerful offense with quarterback Len Dawson, veteran running back Abner Hayes, and rookie running back Curtis McClinton. The three stars led the Texans to the AFL title in 1962. Dawson was named the player of the year, McClinton rookie of the year, and Stram coach of the year.

Despite the team’s success in the AFL, the club suffered economically because of poor fan support, and in 1963 the franchise moved to Kansas City and was renamed the Chiefs. Kansas City won its second AFL title in 1966 behind wide receiver Otis Taylor; running back Mike Garrett, who was named the league’s top rookie; and kicker Mike Mercer, who made four field goals in the AFL Championship Game. In winning the AFL crown, the Chiefs earned the right to play the NFL-champion Green Bay Packers in the first Super Bowl. Kansas City lost the game 35-10.

Stram guided his team to a league-record third AFL title in the 1969 season. The club’s standouts included tackle Buck Buchanan and linebackers Bobby Bell and Willie Lanier, all future Hall of Fame members. The offense starred Dawson, tight end Fred Arbanas, kicker Jan Stenerud, and offensive linemen Ed Budde and Jim Tyrer. The Chiefs upset the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in the Super Bowl.

Kansas City joined the NFL in 1970 when the NFL and AFL completed their merger. In 1971 Stram led the Chiefs to the AFC Western Division title in their second year in the league. That year, in a double-overtime divisional playoff game on Christmas Day, the Miami Dolphins defeated Kansas City in the longest game in NFL history. It lasted 82 minutes 40 seconds.

The Chiefs suffered a 14-season playoff drought from 1972 to 1985, finishing as high as second place only twice. In 1986 Kansas City returned to the playoffs with a strong defense that included safety Deron Cherry, who topped the AFC in interceptions in 1985 and 1986.

In 1990 second-year head coach Marty Schottenheimer guided the Chiefs to the first of six consecutive trips to the playoffs. The club brought together veteran superstars Marcus Allen and Joe Montana in 1993. That year Kansas City won its first division crown since 1971. Throughout the mid- and late 1990s, the Chiefs remained one of the AFC’s tougher teams.

1967 Super Bowl I Lost to Green Bay Packers, 35-10

1970 Super Bowl IV Defeated Minnesota Vikings, 23-7

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