The Kansas City Chiefs have not won a playoff game since 1993. When it happened, Bill Clinton has recently become president of the United States and gas prices were hovering around $1 per gallon. The Chiefs were quarterbacked by Joe Montana and beat a franchise that no longer exists.
It has been a long time for Kansas City and the Arrowhead faithful. In fact, only the Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions have experienced longer droughts, at 24 and 23 seasons, respectively. It has been brutal at times for Chiefs fans, who have seen some of the most devastating playoff defeats in NFL history.
In 1994, Montana played his final game in an AFC Wild Card loss to the Miami Dolphins. While the loss was disappointing nobody has major hopes for Kansas City to go far heading into that game. The next year was a massive gut-punch. Steve Bono took over and was led by a tremendous defense under Marty Schottenheimer. Kansas City was 13-3 and the top-seed, hosting the sixth-seeded Indianapolis Colts. On a brutally cold day, kicker Lin Elliott missed three field goals in a 10-7 defeat.
Fast forward two years, and the Chiefs were once again 13-3 and the top seed. This time, they played the hated Denver Broncos and lost 14-10 in a game most remembered for a Tony Gonzalez touchdown ruled out-of-bounds, while the Broncos were loaded up with Vaseline on their jerseys.
From there, the misery only continued. Kansas City didn’t make it back to the playoffs until 2003, when it once again was 13-3 and with a BYE week. This time, the Chiefs played the only playoff game without a punt, somehow losing 38-31 to Peyton Manning and the Colts. In 2006, Kansas City sneaked into the postseason as a sixth-seed, only to be beaten again by Indianapolis.
In 2010, the Chiefs stunned everyone by winning the AFC West before being pounded at home by the Baltimore Ravens in the opening round. In 2013, Kansas City went 11-5 and traveled to Indianapolis. After taking a 38-10 lead in the third quarter, the Chiefs did what they always do. They blew it, giving up the second-largest comeback in playoff history in a 45-44 defeat.
All of this leads us squarely to 2015. The Chiefs have the best roster they have had in years, with a coaching staff that has been in place for the last three seasons. Kansas City is also playing in a conference where they are no dominant teams anymore. The Broncos are going through a regime change and are aging, the New England Patriots lost their top two corners and quarterback for the first four games. The Colts have a great offensive attack but a lousy defense and a mediocre offensive line. The AFC North has a bunch of good teams but nobody great.
Kansas City has to seize the moment. The Chiefs have a chance to win the division and perhaps earn a BYE. If the Chiefs make the postseason – and with this roster they better – they need to at least win one game. Kansas City needs to get the specter of past failures off of its back. It will be a massive sigh of relief for all those involved.
Sometimes, the first time is the hardest. If the Chiefs can get past that massive roadblock, there is no telling what the team could do moving forward.
The time has come to make the push.