1972 Kansas City Chiefs season
OwnerLamar Hunt
General managerJack Steadman
Head coachHank Stram
Home fieldArrowhead Stadium
Results
Record8–6
Division place2nd AFC West
Playoff finishDid not qualify
Pro BowlersWR Otis Taylor
LB Willie Lanier
LB Bobby Bell
CB Emmitt Thomas
P Jerrel Wilson

The 1972 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's third season in the National Football League, tenth as the Kansas City Chiefs, and thirteenth overall. The Chiefs moved into the new Arrowhead Stadium and ended with an 8–6 record, runner-up in the AFC West, but missed the playoffs.[1]

The last original member of the franchise (1960 Dallas Texans) departed on July 12 when safety Johnny Robinson announced his retirement at training camp.[2] Starting quarterback Len Dawson ended speculation about his retirement and signed a two-year contract. Franchise owner Lamar Hunt became the first AFL figure to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 29;[3] Dawson was inducted in 1987 and Robinson in 2019.

After two different construction strikes and a myriad of other delays, Arrowhead Stadium was officially dedicated on August 12,[4] when the Chiefs registered a 24–14 preseason victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. On a very warm Saturday night with an attendance of 78,190, running back Ed Podolak scored the first touchdown in the facility.[5][6] Regular season ticket prices for this first season at Arrowhead were eight dollars for box seats and $7 for reserved seating.[3]

In the opener on September 17, the Chiefs lost 20–10 to Miami (the first win of their perfect season) in the first regular season game at the new Arrowhead Stadium, in front of a crowd of 79,829.[3][7] A standing-room-only crowd of 82,094 was in attendance for a 27–14 victory over division rival Oakland on November 5,[8] the largest “in-house” attendance total for an NFL contest in Arrowhead's history.[3] After a 5–3 start, a three-game losing streak effectively eliminated the club from playoff contention.[9] An 8–6 record was only good enough for a second-place finish in the AFC West, 2½ games behind Oakland.[1] Linebacker Willie Lanier became the first Chiefs player to receive the prestigious NFL Man of the Year Award in the offseason.[3]

In week six, the Chiefs dropped a shocking 21–20 decision at home to the lowly Philadelphia Eagles, who entered the game 0–5 and won only once more (also a one-point victory, over the Houston Oilers, who finished 1–13). It was the only time the Chiefs and Eagles met until 1992,[10] and Kansas City did not visit Philadelphia until 1998.[11]

Offseason

NFL draft

Main article: 1972 NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position School/club team

Roster

1972 Kansas City Chiefs roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad


Rookies in italics

Preseason

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
HOF July 29 vs. New York Giants W 23–17 1–0 Fawcett Stadium (Canton) 19,307 Recap
1 August 5 vs. Chicago Bears W 24–10 2–0 Notre Dame Stadium (Notre Dame, IN) 32,391 Recap
2 August 12 St. Louis Cardinals W 24–14 3–0 Arrowhead Stadium 78,190 Recap
3 August 21 Baltimore Colts L 17–23 3–1 Arrowhead Stadium 76,882 Recap
4 August 27 Los Angeles Rams W 19–13 4–1 Arrowhead Stadium 77,064 Recap
5 September 2 Dallas Cowboys W 20–10 5–1 Arrowhead Stadium 79,592 Recap
6 September 9 at Green Bay Packers L 0–20 5–2 Milwaukee County Stadium 47,281 Recap

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
1 September 17 Miami Dolphins L 10–20 0–1 Arrowhead Stadium 79,829 Recap
2 September 25 at New Orleans Saints W 20–17 1–1 Tulane Stadium 70,793 Recap
3 October 1 at Denver Broncos W 45–24 2–1 Mile High Stadium 51,656 Recap
4 October 8 at Cleveland Browns W 31–7 3–1 Cleveland Stadium 83,819 Recap
5 October 15 Cincinnati Bengals L 16–23 3–2 Arrowhead Stadium 79,068 Recap
6 October 22 Philadelphia Eagles L 20–21 3–3 Arrowhead Stadium 78,389 Recap
7 October 29 at San Diego Chargers W 26–14 4–3 San Diego Stadium 54,533 Recap
8 November 5 Oakland Raiders W 27–14 5–3 Arrowhead Stadium 82,094 Recap
9 November 12 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 7–16 5–4 Three Rivers Stadium 50,350 Recap
10 November 19 San Diego Chargers L 17–27 5–5 Arrowhead Stadium 79,011 Recap
11 November 26 at Oakland Raiders L 3–26 5–6 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 54,801 Recap
12 December 3 Denver Broncos W 24–21 6–6 Arrowhead Stadium 66,725 Recap
13 December 10 Baltimore Colts W 24–10 7–6 Arrowhead Stadium 44,175 Recap
14 December 17 at Atlanta Falcons W 17–14 8–6 Atlanta Stadium 58,850 Recap
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Standings

AFC West
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Oakland Raiders 10 3 1 .750 3–2–1 7–3–1 365 248 W6
Kansas City Chiefs 8 6 0 .571 4–2 6–5 287 254 W3
Denver Broncos 5 9 0 .357 2–4 4–6 325 350 W2
San Diego Chargers 4 9 1 .321 2–3–1 4–6–1 264 344 L3

Game summaries

Week 1: vs. Miami Dolphins

Week 1: Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Dolphins 7 10 3020
Chiefs 0 0 3710

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Game information

Week 2: at New Orleans Saints

Week 2: Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Chiefs 0 10 01020
Saints 0 10 7017

at Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana

Game information

Week 3: at Denver Broncos

Week 3: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Chiefs 3 7 142145
Broncos 7 3 7724

at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colorado

  • Date: October 1
  • Game time: 2:00 p.m. MDT
  • Game weather: 62 °F (16.7 °C), relative humidity 24%, wind 7 mph
  • Game attendance: 51,656
  • Referee: Fred Silva
  • TV announcers (NBC): Bill Enis and Willie Davis
  • Box score
Game information

Week 4: at Cleveland Browns

Week 4: Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Chiefs 7 14 7331
Browns 0 7 007

at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Date: October 8
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 50 °F (10.0 °C), relative humidity 74%, wind 14 mph
  • Game attendance: 83,819
  • Referee: Jack Reader
  • TV announcers (NBC): Charlie Jones and Al De Rogatis
  • Box score
Game information

Week 5: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Week 5: Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bengals 3 0 71323
Chiefs 0 3 10316

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: October 15
  • Game time: 3:00 p.m. CDT
  • Game weather: 47 °F (8.3 °C), relative humidity 56%, wind 11 mph
  • Game attendance: 79,068
  • Referee: Fred Swearingen
  • TV announcers (NBC): Charlie Jones and Al De Rogatis
  • Box score
Game information

Week 6: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Week 6: Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Eagles 14 7 0021
Chiefs 0 6 7720

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: October 22
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. CDT
  • Game weather: 55 °F (12.8 °C), relative humidity 92%, wind 13 mph
  • Game attendance: 78,389
  • Referee: Bob Frederic
  • TV announcers (CBS): Don Criqui, Irv Cross and Jim Thacker
  • Box score
Game information

Week 7: at San Diego Chargers

Week 7: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Chiefs 0 3 101326
Chargers 0 7 0714

at San Diego Stadium, San Diego, California

  • Date: October 29
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. PST
  • Game weather: 62 °F (16.7 °C), relative humidity 75%, wind 8 mph
  • Game attendance: 54,533
  • Referee: Norm Schachter
  • TV announcers (NBC): Charlie Jones and George Ratterman
  • Box score
Game information

Week 8: vs. Oakland Raiders

Week 8: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Raiders 0 0 7714
Chiefs 0 17 3727

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: November 5
  • Game time: 3:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: 53 °F (11.7 °C), relative humidity 60%, wind 12 mph
  • Game attendance: 82,094
  • Referee: Pat Haggerty
  • TV announcers (NBC): Curt Gowdy and Al De Rogatis
  • Box score
Game information

Week 9: at Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 9: Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Chiefs 0 7 007
Steelers 0 0 31316

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Date: November 12
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 41 °F (5.0 °C), relative humidity 75%, wind 9 mph
  • Game attendance: 50,350
  • Referee: Jim Tunney
  • TV announcers (NBC): Jim Simpson and Kyle Rote
  • Box score
Game information

Week 10: vs. San Diego Chargers

Week 10: San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Chargers 7 17 3027
Chiefs 7 0 3717

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: November 19
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: 32 °F (0.0 °C), relative humidity 81%, wind 11 mph, wind chill 23
  • Game attendance: 79,011
  • Referee: Jack Reader
  • TV announcers (NBC): Jim Simpson and Kyle Rote
  • Box score
Game information

Week 11: at Oakland Raiders

Week 11: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Chiefs 0 3 003
Raiders 10 13 0326

at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California

  • Date: November 26
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. PST
  • Game weather: 50 °F (10.0 °C), relative humidity 88%, wind 8 mph
  • Game attendance: 54,801
  • Referee: Ben Dreith
  • TV announcers (NBC): Curt Gowdy and Al De Rogatis
  • Box score
Game information

Week 12: vs. Denver Broncos

Week 12: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Broncos 7 7 0721
Chiefs 0 10 14024

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: December 3
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: 30 °F (−1.1 °C), relative humidity 68%, wind 19 mph, wind chill 18
  • Game attendance: 66,725
  • Referee: John McDonough
  • TV announcers (NBC): Ross Porter and Willie Davis
  • Box score
Game information

Week 13: vs. Baltimore Colts

Week 13: Baltimore Colts at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Colts 0 10 0010
Chiefs 3 7 7724

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: December 10
  • Game time: 3:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: 8 °F (−13.3 °C), relative humidity 56%, wind 11 mph, wind chill -8
  • Game attendance: 44,175
  • Referee: Fred Wyant
  • TV announcers (NBC): Bill Enis and Paul Maguire
  • Box score
Game information

Week 14: at Atlanta Falcons

Week 14: Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Chiefs 0 3 7717
Falcons 0 7 0714

at Atlanta Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Date: December 17
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 27 °F (−2.8 °C), relative humidity 35%, wind 15 mph, wind chill 15
  • Game attendance: 58,850
  • Referee: Norm Schachter
  • TV announcers (NBC): Curt Gowdy and Al De Rogatis
  • Box score
Game information

References

  1. ^ a b "Chiefs wrap it up on winning note". Lawrence Daily Journal World. (Kansas). Associated Press. December 18, 1972. p. 28.
  2. ^ "Chiefs begin trying to fill Robinson void". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). Associated Press. July 13, 1972. p. 21.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Kansas City Chiefs History 1970s". Archived from the original on August 23, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
  4. ^ "Kinney slated for long look against Cards". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). Associated Press. August 12, 1972. p. 12.
  5. ^ "Chiefs blitz Cards". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. August 13, 1972. p. 2C.
  6. ^ Woodling, Chuck (August 14, 1972). "KC's Disneyland finally arrives, but don't look at lights". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). p. 18.
  7. ^ Woodling, Chuck (September 18, 1972). "Miami topples sluggish Chiefs". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). p. 24.
  8. ^ "Dawson's TD passes carry Chiefs, 27-14". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). Associated Press. November 6, 1972. p. 21.
  9. ^ "KC licks wounds after Raider loss". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). Associated Press. November 27, 1972. p. 17.
  10. ^ Urena, Ivan; Pro Football Schedules: A Complete Historical Guide from 1933 to the Present, p. 18 ISBN 0786473517
  11. ^ Urena; Pro Football Schedules, p. 17