What are the best moments for each NFL franchise? Yahoo Sports provides our opinion, which you are free to disagree with (and we’re sure you will).
5. Trading for Joe Montana
When you get the chance to trade for a Hall of Fame quarterback, you do it right? Montana was usurped by Steve Young as the San Francisco 49ers quarterback in 1992 and traded to the Chiefs before the 1993 season.
Montana started 25 games over the 1993 and 1994 seasons and didn’t put up the eye-popping statistics he did in San Francisco. That wasn’t totally surprising, after all Montana was 37 in his first season with the Chiefs.
But Kansas City made the AFC championship game in Montana’s first season and lost in the wild card round in Montana’s final season with the team. Just 10 years removed from drafting Blackledge, the Chiefs needed to make a splash in getting a quarterback. And Montana did just that as the Chiefs made the AFC title game for the first time since 1969.
4. Signing Priest Holmes in 2001
The Chiefs signed Holmes before the 2001 season on a bargain-basement deal that was initially structured as a 5-year, $11.7 million deal. As part of that contract, Holmes entered the 2001 season with a base salary of approximately $500,000 and got $1 million if he rushed for over 1,000 yards.
No Chiefs running back had broken the 1,000-yard mark since Christian Okoye in 1991. Holmes had averaged less than 600 yards a season in his four previous years with Baltimore.
With Dick Vermeil making over the Chiefs offense, Holmes set a single-season franchise record with 1,555 yards and eight touchdowns. A year later, Holmes had 1,615 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns.
In 2003, Holmes scored 27 rushing touchdowns and was the darling of fantasy football leagues everywhere, as the Chiefs went 13-3.
Holmes’ career nearly ended in 2004 with a hip injury in the eighth game of the season. Before the injury, Holmes had 892 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns.
He returned in 2005 and played in four games in 2007 but was never the same player. Regardless, in those 3½ seasons, Homles rushed for 5,482 yards and 70 touchdowns.
3. Hiring Andy Reid
In the seven years after Dick Vermeil’s retirement following the 2005 season, the Chiefs churned through three head coaches. The team appeared in the playoffs three times – losing each time – but had an overall record of 38-74 in that span.
Andy Reid, along with general manager John Dorsey, was hired before the 2013 season. The Chiefs went from 2-14 in 2012 to 11-5 in 2013 and made the playoffs.
Kansas City missed the playoffs in 2014 but were back in 2015, winning a playoff game for the first time since Montana and the Chiefs won in the Divisional round in 1993. Yeah, the Chiefs went 22 years between playoff wins.
Thanks to a loss to the Steelers after the 2016 season, the Chiefs still haven’t won a home playoff game since 1993. So things aren’t exactly perfect. But with Reid at the helm and the Chiefs consistent winners under his watch, that streak should be close to being over.
2. Hiring Marty Schottenheimer
Marty Schottenheimer’s tenure will largely be defined by his team’s playoff failures. But that overlooks the fact that his Chiefs teams were regularly some of the best in the league.
Schottenheimer was hired before the 1989 season as the Chiefs were coming off consecutive four-win seasons. After the Chiefs went 8-7-1 in Schottenheimer’s first year Kansas City, they went to the playoffs in six-straight seasons. The streak was only broken by a 9-7 season in 1996.
After a 13-3 season in 1997, the Chiefs dropped to 7-9 in 1998, Schottenheimer’s first sub-.500 season with the team. He resigned after the season and returned to coach the Washington Redskins in 2001.
In Schottenheimer’s 10 years with the Chiefs he had 101 wins. In the 14 years between Schottenheimer and Andy Reid, the Chiefs won 98 games.
1. Winning Super Bowl IV
When a franchise has just one Super Bowl win it is mandatory that the victory is the best moment.
After losing to the Green Bay Packers in the first Super Bowl, the Chiefs returned to the Super Bowl three years later against the Minnesota Vikings as 12-point underdogs.
Kansas City jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the game in New Orleans before a touchdown pass from Len Dawson to Otis Taylor sealed a 23-7 victory in the third quarter and helped lead to Hall of Fame enshrinements for Dawson and Chiefs coach Hank Stram.
It was the second-straight win for the AFL against the NFL and the final Super Bowl matchup that pitted the champions from each league. With all the red tape cleared regarding a merger effort led by Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, the two leagues merged before the 1970 season to form the AFC and NFC under the NFL banner.