12/25/1971 – Chiefs Dolphins – playoff game
The 1971 Kansas City Chiefs were coming off a rather disappointing 1970 season. After winning their first Super Bowl in 1969, they began the 1970 season losing three of their first six games. The Chiefs offense fell off a cliff, finishing 15th in points scored and 22nd in yards produced. They finished the season a disappointing 7-5-2, and were on the outside looking in for the 1970 NFL Playoffs.
This seemingly lit a fire for the team, as they began 1971 winning five of their first six games en route to a 10-3-1 finish. The offense improved dramatically, finishing top-10 in both points and yards, and the defense maintained it’s hall of fame productivity finishing fifth and seventh respectively.
The Chiefs started hot, scoring the games first 10 points and leading 10-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Dolphins responded in kind with 10 points in the second and the teams traded touchdowns in both the third and fourth quarters, the Dolphins scoring a last minute touchdown to send the game into overtime.
The Chiefs had an opportunity to close out the game in the first overtime, but franchise legend Jan Stenerud’s 48-yard field goal attempt was blocked. The Dolphins would miss their own attempt in the first overtime, but would seal the deal with a 37-yarder in the second overtime.
At the time, the 82 minute and 40 second game was the longest in NFL history. It was highlighted by spectacular performances, but none greater than Ed Podolak’s do-it-all performance. Podolak ran, received, and returned for 345 all-purpose yards in what remains one of the most impressive individual performances in franchise history.