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Looking Back in Time – Chiefs VS. Broncos
Posted By ChiefsWarpath.com On December 16, 2004 @ 10:52 pm In Commentary | Comments Disabled
The Chiefs and Broncos have been doing battle since 1960, and this Sunday’s game will be the 90th meeting between these two original AFL teams. The Chiefs lead the all-time regular season series with a record of 49-39, but the Broncos have won the only meeting in the playoffs. The Chiefs won last year’s game at Arrowhead, but the Broncos have won the last two games, both in Denver.
So take a trip down memory lane with me and relive some of the great battles between these bitter rivals.
2003 Regular Season
Chiefs 24, Broncos 23
October 5, 2003 – Arrowhead Stadium
The undefeated Chiefs and Broncos met early in the 2003 season with the top spot in the AFC West on the line. The Broncos led for the entire game, until punter Micah Knorr kicked to Dante Hall with a little more than eight minutes left in the game.
Hall cut left, then right, then stutter-stepped and actually ran backward toward his own end zone.
Surrounded by Denver tacklers and just a couple of yards from the goal line, Hall cut back left, looped around to the outside and darted 93 yards into the end zone — and the record book, with his fourth touchdown return in the last four games.
The Broncos had several more opportunities, but couldn’t put any points on the board, and left Arrowhead with a 4-1 record.
2002 Regular Season
Broncos 37, Chiefs 34 OT
October 20, 2002 – Arrowhead Stadium
Priest Holmes rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough for Kansas City, and his performance wouldn’t be the best of the day. That honor would go to Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe, who set an NFL record for tight ends with 214 receiving yards, and his two second-half touchdown catches that helped the Broncos rally from a 14-point deficit to beat the Chiefs 37-34 in overtime.
Denver’s Mike Anderson forced overtime with 21 seconds left in regulation, scoring on a 2-yard run after Chiefs kicker Morten Andersen missed a 43-yard try with 4:37 remaining that would have put the Chiefs up by 10. Rod Smith kept the Broncos’ drive going with an 8-yard catch on fourth-and-6 from Kansas City’s 29 right before the two-minute warning.
Denver had the ball first in overtime but went three-and-out. The Chiefs managed only three plays before Keith Burns blocked Dan Stryzinski’s punt and Dwayne Carswell recovered at the Kansas City 32-yard line. Four plays later, Jason Elam hit a 25-yard field goal to give the Broncos the win.
1997 AFC Divisional Playoff Game
Broncos 14, Chiefs 10
January 4, 1998 – Arrowhead Stadium
One last drive to win the game, one last play to propel the Chiefs past the Denver Broncos and into the AFC championship game. Elvis Grbac, improvising because he couldn’t hear his coach on his helmet radio, passed to Lake Dawson on the goal line, and watched with the rest of the 76,965 fans as the ball dropped harmlessly to the ground. The Chiefs had lost to the Broncos, 14-10.
“Guys are in shock. After this game, you’re going to come to a fork in the road,” Chiefs center Tim Grunhard said after the game. “You’re either going to cry and moan about it, or you’re going to go to the other side of the road and be a champion.”
Three plays earlier in the game made the last drive necessary. A questionable call in the end zone that took a touchdown reception away from Tony Gonzalez, a missed field goal, and a botched fake field goal kept the Chiefs from taking control of the game. Kansas City shut down the Broncos offense throughout the game, held them to 272 total yards, and recovered two fumbles. Denver quarterback John Elway led a 49-yard scoring drive to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. Terrell Davis scored from one yard out with 2:38 left in the game to put the Broncos ahead 14-10. Grbac then led the Chiefs down the field for one more chance at the win.
“I just knew we were going to score,” Schottenheimer said. “I do not believe in self-pity. And I have such a distaste for people who do. I think it’s wrong. I really do.”
“Could have, would have, should have, is not the thing you want to say year after year,” Chiefs fullback Kimble Anders said. “But we sure have been saying it a lot.”
1997 Regular Season
Chiefs 24, Broncos 22
November 16, 1997 – Arrowhead Stadium
The Chiefs made a dramatic, classic drive in the waning seconds at Arrowhead Stadium, getting just enough yardage for kicker Pete Stoyanovich to attempt an improbable 54-yarder to win the game.
Stoyanovich’s line-drive effort made it through the uprights as time expired, giving the Chiefs the win, 24-22.
“All I can tell you is that every young man in that locker room is going to battle you every step of the way,” Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer said of the win. “It doesn’t have to be pretty. They don’t give style points in our business.”
Statistically, the Broncos killed the Chiefs – 329 yards of total offense to 202, 26 first downs to 15, and 37:25 minutes of possession to 22:35.
1994 Regular Season
Chiefs 31, Broncos 28
October 17, 1994 – Mile High Stadium
A six-yard pass and a tightrope run into the end zone ended the Chiefs 11-year drought in Mile High Stadium. Joe Montana led a methodical, 75-yard drive in the game’s final 82 seconds to bring Kansas City back from a four-point deficit and defeat the Broncos, 31-28.
The final drive took nine plays, all of which were Montana passes except one run of ten yards by Marcus Allen. For the game, Montana hit 34 of 54 pass attempts for 393 yards and three touchdowns. The Chiefs improved their record to 4-2 with the win and thrust themselves back into the playoff hunt.
“The fact that it was in Denver…I won’t lie to you and say it didn’t cross my mind, because it certainly did,” Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer said of his personal seven-game losing streak in Mile High Stadium. “But the victory was the important thing from our perspective.”
1990 Regular Season
Chiefs 31, Broncos 20
December 9, 1990 – Arrowhead Stadium
Two big fourth-down calls, two big touchdowns. Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer let his team make two big plays that ultimately led to Kansas City’s 31-20 win over the Denver Broncos and clinched a playoff spot.
“If you want to set high goals and expectations, you’d better give your team an opportunity to do it, and not make decisions that might compromise that opportunity,” Schottenheimer said of his two decisions to go for it on fourth down.
The first play was a fourth-and-goal at the Denver one-yard line, and Barry Word carried the ball into the end zone to give the Chiefs a 17-13 lead. The second fourth-down attempt resulted in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Steve DeBerg to Rob Thomas and put the game away in the fourth quarter.
The win clinched at least a wild card spot in the playoffs for Kansas City and improved their record to 9-4. The Chiefs won two of their final three games to finish at 11-5, the team’s best record since 1971.
1984 Regular Season
Chiefs 16, Broncos 13
December 2, 1984 – Arrowhead Stadium
What a way to end a losing streak. It wasn’t a big play, a defensive stop, or even a turnover. Kansas City defeated the Broncos because of an upright on the goal post. Denver’s Rich Karlis clanked a potential game-tying kick off the right upright in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter, allowing the Chiefs to escape with a 16-13 win. The four-game losing streak was history.
Where Karlis failed, Nick Lowery succeeded. Trailing 13-7 going into the fourth quarter, Kansas City’s kicking specialist booted three field goals, the last with less than two to go in the game.
The win improved the Chiefs record to 6-8, and they closed out the year with impressive wins over Seattle and San Diego to finish fourth in the division.
1963 Regular Season
Chiefs 59, Broncos 7
September 7, 1963 – Denver, CO
Before their first game in Kansas City uniforms, head coach Hank Stram delivered a short pep talk to his team. “There’s no mystery to this game,” he said. “Just hit and win. You’re the Yankees of the AFL.”
And that’s what they did. In their debut as a Kansas City team, the Chiefs scored first, fast, and often as they routed the Broncos in Denver, 59-7, amassing a point total that is still the most ever by a Chiefs team in a regular-season game. Fullback Curtis McClinton scored the game’s first touchdown, and later threw a touchdown pass 99 yards for a score, Len Dawson threw four touchdown passes, and Tommy Brooker added eight extra points and a field goal. It was, in short, a massacre.
The Chiefs racked up 458 yards passing and 120 yards rushing. The defense was just as dominating, intercepting five Bronco passes and linebacker Sherrill Headrick ran one back for a score. The defending AFL champs showed they had what it takes to defend their title, at least in this one game.
Other Memorable Moments In This Series
October 18, 1981- Joe Delaney breaks free for an 82 yard run, the second longest in franchise history.
October 7, 1973- Ed Podolak set a franchise record with twelve receptions in a single game.
December 17, 1967- Noland Smith set a franchise record with a 106 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
November 1, 1964- Len Dawson threw for 435 yards and a franchise record six touchdown passes.
Other Series Notes
Longest Chiefs winning streak – 11 games (1964-69)
Longest Broncos winning streak – 8 games (1976-79)
Chiefs season sweeps – 15 (last in 2000)
Broncos season sweeps – 10 (last in 2002
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