1986 Kansas City Chiefs season
OwnerLamar Hunt
General managerJim Schaaf
Head coachJohn Mackovic
Home fieldArrowhead Stadium
Division place2nd AFC West
Playoff finishLost Wild Card Playoffs (at Jets) 15–35
Pro BowlersDT Bill Maas
S Lloyd Burruss
S Deron Cherry

The 1986 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 17th season in the National Football League and the 27th overall. It ended with a 10–6 record, the most wins for the franchise since 1971. The Chiefs clinched a wild card playoff berth, but lost to the New York Jets 35–15.

Former linebacker Willie Lanier was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 2. On the field, the pieces started coming together for head coach John Mackovic. His offense displayed plenty of scoring punch, while the club's defense and special teams became increasingly effective.[1] With the team sitting at 3–3, Bill Kenney replaced Todd Blackledge for the second half of the season in a game against San Diego,[1] guiding the club to a 42–41 victory. That win was the first of four consecutive triumphs with Kenney at the helm, the club's longest winning streak since 1980. Poised with a 7–3 record after 10 games, three straight losses in November put the Chiefs playoff chances in jeopardy. Two December wins gave Kansas City a 9–6 mark, putting the Chiefs on the verge of their first postseason berth in 15 years.[1]

The defining moment of the season came in the regular season finale at Pittsburgh on December 21.[1] Despite being outgained in total yardage by a 515–171 margin, the Chiefs were able to notch a 24–19 victory as all of the team's points came via special teams on a blocked punt return, a field goal, a kickoff return and a blocked field goal return.[1] With a 10–6 record the Chiefs earned an AFC Wild Card berth, winning a tiebreaker with Seattle. Kenney was injured in the fourth quarter of the Steelers contest, meaning Blackledge drew the starting assignment for the club's first playoff contest since 1971, a 35–15 loss at New York.

Mackovic was fired after the season.

NFL Draft

Main article: 1986 NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position School
1 7 Brian Jozwiak Guard West Virginia
2 35 Dino Hackett Linebacker Appalachian State
3 63 Leonard Griffin Defensive end Grambling State
4 87 Tom Baugh Center Southern Illinois
90 Chas Fox Wide receiver Furman
6 141 Kent Hagood Running back South Carolina
8 196 Lewis Colbert Punter Auburn
9 229 Gary Baldinger Defensive end Wake Forest
10 257 Ike Readon Nose tackle Hampton
11 285 Aaron Pearson Linebacker Mississippi State



1986 Kansas City Chiefs staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – CT Hewgley


1986 Kansas City Chiefs roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
1 August 9 Cincinnati Bengals W 20–0 1–0 Arrowhead Stadium 30,067 Recap
2 August 16 at St. Louis Cardinals W 27–26 2–0 Busch Stadium 30,305 Recap
3 August 23 Buffalo Bills L 6–13 2–1 Arrowhead Stadium 39,911 Recap
4 August 30 at New Orleans Saints L 10–13 2–2 Louisiana Superdome 47,945 Recap

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
1 September 7 Cincinnati Bengals W 24–14 1–0 Arrowhead Stadium 43,430 Recap
2 September 14 at Seattle Seahawks L 17–23 1–1 Kingdome 61,068 Recap
3 September 21 Houston Oilers W 27–13 2–1 Arrowhead Stadium 43,699 Recap
4 September 28 at Buffalo Bills W 20–17 3–1 Rich Stadium 67,555 Recap
5 October 5 Los Angeles Raiders L 17–24 3–2 Arrowhead Stadium 74,430 Recap
6 October 12 at Cleveland Browns L 7–20 3–3 Cleveland Stadium 71,278 Recap
7 October 19 San Diego Chargers W 42–41 4–3 Arrowhead Stadium 55,767 Recap
8 October 26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 27–20 5–3 Arrowhead Stadium 36,230 Recap
9 November 2 at San Diego Chargers W 24–23 6–3 Jack Murphy Stadium 48,518 Recap
10 November 9 Seattle Seahawks W 27–7 7–3 Arrowhead Stadium 53,268 Recap
11 November 16 at Denver Broncos L 17–38 7–4 Mile High Stadium 75,745 Recap
12 November 23 at St. Louis Cardinals L 14–23 7–5 Busch Stadium 29,680 Recap
13 November 30 Buffalo Bills L 14–17 7–6 Arrowhead Stadium 31,492 Recap
14 December 7 Denver Broncos W 37–10 8–6 Arrowhead Stadium 47,019 Recap
15 December 14 at Los Angeles Raiders W 20–17 9–6 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 60,952 Recap
16 December 21 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 24–19 10–6 Three Rivers Stadium 47,150 Recap

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.


AFC West
Denver Broncos(2) 11 5 0 .688 5–3 8–4 378 327 L1
Kansas City Chiefs(5) 10 6 0 .625 5–3 9–5 358 326 W3
Seattle Seahawks 10 6 0 .625 5–3 7–5 366 293 W5
Los Angeles Raiders 8 8 0 .500 4–4 7–5 323 346 L4
San Diego Chargers 4 12 0 .250 1–7 4–8 335 396 L2


Main article: 1986–87 NFL playoffs


Round Date Opponent (seed) Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
Wild Card December 28 at New York Jets (4) L 15–35 0–1 Giants Stadium 69,307 Recap

Game summaries

AFC Wild Card Playoffs: at (4) New York Jets

1 2 34Total
Chiefs 6 0 0915
Jets 7 14 7735

at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Quarterback Pat Ryan led the Jets to the victory with 3 touchdown passes. The Chiefs scored first on a 67-yard drive capped by running back Jeff Smith. On their ensuing possession, the Jets faced fourth down and 6 on the Kansas City 33-yard line. Rather than attempt a long field goal, Ryan faked a handoff and rushed for a 24 yard gain. Two plays later, running back Freeman McNeil scored on a 4-yard rushing touchdown. In the second period, Ryan completed two touchdown pass: a 1-yarder to McNeil and an 11-yarder to wide receiver Al Toon. On the first play of the second half, Jets linebacker Kevin McArthur returned an interception 21 yards for a touchdown. Ryan later clinched the victory in the fourth period with a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Billy Griggs. The Chiefs' only scores in the second half was a blocked punt recovery in the end zone, and an intentional safety by the Jets.

McNeil finished the game with 135 rushing yards, 3 receptions for 16 yards, and 2 touchdowns.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Kansas City Chiefs History 1980's". Archived from the original on August 6, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2007.