1990 Kansas City Chiefs season
OwnerLamar Hunt
General managerCarl Peterson
Head coachMarty Schottenheimer
Home fieldArrowhead Stadium
Results
Record11–5
Division place2nd AFC West
Playoff finishLost Wild Card Playoffs
(at Dolphins) 16–17
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros
5
  • T John Alt (2nd team)
  • LB Derrick Thomas (1st team)
  • CB Albert Lewis (1st team)
  • CB Kevin Ross (2nd team)
  • K Nick Lowery (1st team)

The 1990 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 21st season in the National Football League, the 28th as the Kansas City Chiefs and the 31st overall. The team improved from an 8–7–1 record to an 11–5 record and Wild Card spot in the 1991 playoffs. In Marty Schottenheimer's first playoff appearance with the Chiefs, they lost to the Miami Dolphins 17–16 in the wild-card round. Starting with the home opener, the Chiefs began an NFL-record 19 consecutive seasons with every home game sold out. The streak was finally broken in the final home game of the 2009 Kansas City Chiefs season versus Cleveland.

Season notes

The success of the 1989 season carried into 1990, and the Chiefs put together a successful season to return to the playoffs for only the second time since 1971. The season began on August 4 when Buck Buchanan, a key ingredient of the Chiefs' 1969 Super Bowl championship season was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

On opening day, The Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings 24–21. On September 17, Stephone Paige catches 10 passes for 206 yards, but the Chiefs still lost to the Denver Broncos, 24–23 on Monday Night Football.

On October 14, Barry Word rushes for a team-record 200 yards against the Detroit Lions at Arrowhead. Kansas City won 43–24 to give the Chiefs a 4–2 record. Word would eventually gain 1,021 yards rushing for the season while Paige caught 65 passes for 1,021 yards. Quarterback Steve DeBerg had his best season ever as a Chief as he passed for 3,444 yards and 23 touchdowns.

On November 11, Derrick Thomas who would get 20 quarterback sacks for the year, sacked Seattle Seahawks quarterback Dave Krieg an NFL-record seven sacks. On the game's last play, Derrick nearly had his 8th sack, but Krieg eluded him and threw a game-winning touchdown as the Seahawks won 17–16. Derrick Thomas later said himself that, "The thing I most remember about that game, is the sack I didn't get, that's the one that still haunts me." The great Derrick Thomas' record of seven sacks in one game is now seen as one of NFL's most "unbreakable records".

On December 9, the Chiefs had two big fourth-down calls and scored two touchdowns. Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer let his team make two big plays that ultimately led to Kansas City's 31–20 win over the Denver Broncos, which clinched a playoff spot.

The first big play was a fourth-and-goal at the Denver 1-yard line, and Barry Word carried the ball into the end zone to give the Chiefs a 17–13 lead. The second fourth-down attempt resulted in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Steve DeBerg to Robb Thomas and put the game away in the fourth quarter. DeBerg passed for 254 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Kansas City trailed 13–10 at the half but scored 21 second-half points to take control of the game.

The win improved their record to 9–4 and control of the AFC West Race. However, the next week the Chiefs lost to Houston, putting the Raiders Back into First place. The Chiefs won their next game at San Diego to Clinch an AFC playoff spot. The Chiefs then defeated the Chicago Bears 21-19 to finish 11–5, the team's best record since 1971. The Raiders held onto first winning in the final week. Defense carried the Chiefs to the playoffs thanks to Pro Bowlers Derrick Thomas, Albert Lewis and Kevin Ross.

Next was the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild-Card Playoff Game, a game they would lead 16-3 only to go on to lose, 17–16. Kicker Nick Lowery missed short on a 52-yard FG in the final seconds that would have won the game.

Offseason

Draft

Main article: 1990 NFL draft

1990 Kansas City Chiefs draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 13 Percy Snow  Linebacker Michigan State
2 40 Tim Grunhard *  Center Notre Dame
4 96 Fred Jones  Wide receiver Grambling State
5 124 Derrick Graham  Guard Appalachian State
5 127 Ken Hackemack  Offensive tackle Texas
6 152 Tom Sims  Defensive tackle Pittsburgh
7 180 Dave Szott *  Guard Penn State
9 235 Michael Owens  Running back Syracuse
10 263 Craig Hudson  Tight end Wisconsin
11 291 Ernest Thompson  Running back Georgia Southern
12 318 Tony Jeffery  Wide receiver San Jose State
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[1]

Undrafted free agents

1990 Undrafted Free Agents of note
Player Position College
Bryan Barker Punter Santa Clara

Personnel

Staff

1990 Kansas City Chiefs staff

Front office

  • Founder – Lamar Hunt
  • Chairman of the Board – Jack Steadman
  • President/general manager/Chief Executive Officer – Carl Peterson
  • Assistant general manager – Dennis Thum
  • Director of player personnel – Whitey Dovell

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches
  • Defensive coordinator/Linebackers – Bill Cowher
  • Defensive line – Tom Pratt
  • Defensive backs – Tony Dungy
  • Special assistant/quality control – Darvin Wallis

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

Roster

1990 Kansas City Chiefs roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad

47 active, 8 inactive, 2 practice squad


Rookies in italics

Preseason

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
1 August 11 vs Los Angeles Rams L 3–19 0–1 West Germany Olympiastadion (West Berlin) 55,429 Recap
2 August 18 New York Jets L 0–20 0–2 Arrowhead Stadium 40,448 Recap
3 August 24 at Detroit Lions L 21–35 0–3 Pontiac Silverdome 50,293 Recap
4 August 31 Green Bay Packers W 27–14 1–3 Arrowhead Stadium 42,806 Recap

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
1 September 9 Minnesota Vikings W 24–21 1–0 Arrowhead Stadium 68,363 Recap
2 September 17 at Denver Broncos L 23–24 1–1 Mile High Stadium 75,277 Recap
3 September 23 at Green Bay Packers W 17–3 2–1 Lambeau Field 58,817 Recap
4 September 30 Cleveland Browns W 34–0 3–1 Arrowhead Stadium 75,462 Recap
5 October 7 at Indianapolis Colts L 19–23 3–2 Hoosier Dome 54,950 Recap
6 October 14 Detroit Lions W 43–24 4–2 Arrowhead Stadium 74,312 Recap
7 October 21 at Seattle Seahawks L 7–19 4–3 Kingdome 60,358 Recap
8 Bye
9 November 4 Los Angeles Raiders W 9–7 5–3 Arrowhead Stadium 70,951 Recap
10 November 11 Seattle Seahawks L 16–17 5–4 Arrowhead Stadium 71,285 Recap
11 November 18 San Diego Chargers W 27–10 6–4 Arrowhead Stadium 63,717 Recap
12 November 25 at Los Angeles Raiders W 27–24 7–4 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 65,710 Recap
13 December 2 at New England Patriots W 37–7 8–4 Foxboro Stadium 26,280 Recap
14 December 9 Denver Broncos W 31–20 9–4 Arrowhead Stadium 74,347 Recap
15 December 16 Houston Oilers L 10–27 9–5 Arrowhead Stadium 61,756 Recap
16 December 23 at San Diego Chargers W 24–21 10–5 Jack Murphy Stadium 45,135 Recap
17 December 29 at Chicago Bears W 21–10 11–5 Soldier Field 60,262 Recap

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Game summaries

Week 1: vs. Minnesota Vikings

Week 1: Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Vikings 7 7 7021
Chiefs 14 3 0724

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Game information

Week 2: at Denver Broncos

Week 2: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Chiefs 3 6 01423
Broncos 7 7 7324

at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colorado

Game information

Week 3: at Green Bay Packers

Week 3: Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Chiefs 0 7 01017
Packers 0 3 003

at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Game information

Week 4: vs. Cleveland Browns

Week 4: Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Browns 0 0 000
Chiefs 7 17 10034

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Game information

Week 5: at Indianapolis Colts

Week 5: Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Chiefs 10 6 3019
Colts 0 10 01323

at Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis, Indiana

Game information

Week 6: vs. Detroit Lions

Week 6: Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Lions 14 0 01024
Chiefs 3 14 121443

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Game information

Week 7: at Seattle Seahawks

Week 7: Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Chiefs 0 7 007
Seahawks 0 3 31319

at Kingdome, Seattle, Washington

  • Date: October 21
  • Game time: 3:00 p.m. CDT/1:00 p.m. PDT
  • Game weather: None (indoor stadium)
  • Game attendance: 60,358
  • Referee: Howard Roe
  • TV announcers (NBC): Jim Donovan and Joe Namath
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 9: vs. Los Angeles Raiders

Week 9: Los Angeles Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Raiders 0 0 077
Chiefs 6 0 039

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: November 4
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: Cloudy, 37 °F (3 °C)
  • Game attendance: 70,951
  • Referee: Jim Tunney
  • TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg and Bill Walsh
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 10: vs. Seattle Seahawks

Week 10: Seattle Seahawks at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Seahawks 0 3 7717
Chiefs 0 6 10016

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: November 11
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: Clear, 63 °F (17 °C)
  • Game attendance: 71,285
  • Referee: Tom White
  • TV announcers (NBC): Jim Donovan and Paul Maguire
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 11: vs. San Diego Chargers

Week 11: San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Chargers 3 0 7010
Chiefs 10 7 3727

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: November 18
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: Cloudy, 54 °F (12 °C)
  • Game attendance: 63,717
  • Referee: Dick Hantak
  • TV announcers (NBC): Charlie Jones and Todd Christensen
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 12: at Los Angeles Raiders

Week 12: Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Raiders – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Chiefs 0 10 10727
Raiders 0 10 7724

at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

  • Date: November 25
  • Game time: 3:00 p.m. CST/1:00 p.m. PST
  • Game weather: Hazy, 78 °F (26 °C)
  • Game attendance: 65,170
  • Referee: Jerry Markbreit
  • TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg and Bill Walsh
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 13: at New England Patriots

Week 13: Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Chiefs 13 10 7737
Patriots 0 0 707

at Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Date: November 25
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST/12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: Cloudy, 55 °F (13 °C)
  • Game attendance: 26,280
  • Referee: Bob McElwee
  • TV announcers (NBC): Joel Meyers and Ahmad Rashad
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 14: vs. Denver Broncos

Week 14: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Broncos 0 13 0720
Chiefs 7 3 71431

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: December 9
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: Clear, 66 °F (19 °C)
  • Game attendance: 74,347
  • Referee: Gordon McCarter
  • TV announcers (NBC): Charlie Jones and Bill Walsh
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 15: vs. Houston Oilers

Week 15: Houston Oilers at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Oilers 7 3 71027
Chiefs 0 7 3010

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Game information

Week 16: at San Diego Chargers

Week 16: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Chiefs 7 14 0324
Chargers 7 0 7721

at Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, California

  • Date: December 23
  • Game time: 3:00 p.m. CST/1:00 p.m. PST
  • Game weather: Clear, Cold, 53 °F (12 °C)
  • Game attendance: 45,135
  • Referee: Jerry Seeman
  • TV announcers (NBC): Charlie Jones and Todd Christensen
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 17: at Chicago Bears

Week 17: Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Chiefs 6 6 6321
Bears 3 7 0010

at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois

Game information

Standings

AFC West
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(2) Los Angeles Raiders 12 4 0 .750 6–2 9–3 337 268 W5
(5) Kansas City Chiefs 11 5 0 .688 5–3 7–5 369 257 W2
Seattle Seahawks 9 7 0 .563 4–4 7–5 306 286 W2
San Diego Chargers 6 10 0 .375 2–6 5–9 315 281 L3
Denver Broncos 5 11 0 .313 3–5 4–8 331 374 W1

Postseason

Main article: 1990–91 NFL playoffs

In a scene that would be repeated throughout the 1990s the Chiefs had a great regular season but failed miserably in the post-season. In the Wild Card playoff game, the Chiefs blew a 16–3 lead as the Dolphins scored two touchdowns to take a lead. The Chiefs had one last chance for a win, but Christian Okoye's long run was called back due to a questionable holding call. Kicker Nick Lowery, who had 139 points all season and a Pro Bowl berth missed a 52-yard field goal coming up two feet short, ending the Chiefs season.

Schedule

Round Date Opponent (seed) Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
Wild Card January 5, 1991 at Miami Dolphins (4) L 16–17 0–1 Joe Robbie Stadium 67,276 Recap

Game summaries

AFC Wild Card Playoffs: at (4) Miami Dolphins

AFC Wild Card Playoffs: Kansas City Chiefs (5) at Miami Dolphins (4) – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Chiefs 3 7 6016
Dolphins 0 3 01417

at Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida

  • Date: January 5
  • Game time: 4:00 p.m. EST/3:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: Partly Cloudy, 81 °F (27 °C)
  • Game attendance: 67,276
  • Referee: Pat Haggerty
  • TV announcers (ABC): Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf and Bob Griese
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

With 2:28 left in the game, the Dolphins capped an 85-yard drive with quarterback Dan Marino's winning 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mark Clayton.

References

  1. ^ "1990 Kansas City Chiefs draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 5, 2014.