Chiefs Super Bowl History
Host Logan Bourandas gives you a look back at the Super Bowl droughts for both the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.
The Kansas City Chiefs face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 54. Kansas City is finally back in the big game after a 50-year drought. The Chiefs’ last appearance in the Super Bowl came in its fourth edition in 1970. The Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings.
However, the Chiefs’ postseason history has been littered with disappointments before and since their only Super Bowl victory. The first ever ‘Super Bowl’ was officially referred to as the first AFL-NFL Championship Game at the time it was played, but has since become known as the Super Bowl in the years since the AFL and NFL merger in 1970.
The Chiefs had a stroke of bad luck in the first Super Bowl, meeting the Vince Lombardi-coached Green Bay Packers, who were in the midst of a dynasty of five total NFL Championships, including Super Bowls 1 and 2. Green Bay rode a dominant second half in which they outscored Kansas City 21-0 to ultimately win 35-10. The Packers ran the ball very effectively in the game, creating opportunities for quarterback Bart Starr, who threw for 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a stellar performance that won him the MVP award for the game. Kansas City signal-caller Len Dawson struggled to carry the team to victory without the help of a rushing attack, facing the pass rush all afternoon long. The Chiefs left Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum that day unsuccessful, but were forever cemented as participants in a historic moment in football history.
Next up is Kansas City’s only Super Bowl victory and previous appearance, Super Bowl 4. This time around, the Chiefs faced the Minnesota Vikings and their dominant defensive unit, known as the “Purple People Eaters.” Dawson had a game to remember, completing 12 of his 17 pass attempts for 142 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Instead of being dominated at the point of attack like they were in their Super Bowl loss, the Chiefs dictated the game against one of the most revered defensive units in NFL history. Kansas City ran the ball a whopping 42 times for 151 yards. Though Dawson was named MVP of Super Bowl 4, players on the Chiefs’ defense deserved strong consideration as well. Safety Johnny Robinson intercepted a pass from Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp and recovered a fumble, two of the five costly turnovers Minnesota committed during the game.
In the years since their victory in Super Bowl 4, the Chiefs have suffered many a disappointment in the playoffs. Kansas City is 12-19 in postseason games. The Chiefs made various appearances in the Wild Card and Divisional rounds, failing to win a game in many of those postseasons. Kansas City made the AFC Championship game after the 1993 season, but Quarterback Joe Montana and Running Back Marcus Allen fell to the Buffalo Bills 30-13, who were powered by a 186 yard, three touchdown rushing clinic put on by Thurman Thomas.
The Chiefs, of course, fell short of the Super Bowl last season, losing to the New England Patriots in overtime of the AFC Championship Game. In Super Bowl 54, Kansas City will put its elite passing attack against a San Francisco 49ers team who control the clock through defense and rushing are hoping to win their second Super Bowl championship in Miami.
Jeremy Ganes is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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