Since the dawn of time — alright, 1960 — the Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos rivalry has grown year after year. They meet for the 107th time Sunday night, adding to their history one of their most important regular season games. The game will play a huge factor in the playoff standings at year’s end, but where does it stand in the 51year story of Chiefs vs Broncos?
The first game ever between these two teams happened on October 30th, 1960, back when both teams were apart of the fledgling AFL. It was the first year of existence for the league, and for either team. The Chiefs weren’t even the Chiefs yet. They were known as the Texans and called Dallas their home. The rivalry’s first score came when rookie full back, Jack Spikes, scored for the Texans, and then kicked the extra point (not many full back/kickers in the league anymore). Neither quarterback, Dallas’ Cotton Davidson or Denver’s Frank Tripucka threw more than 200 yards, and both had two interceptions. The game ended with the Texans winning, 17-14.
It was the beginning of early rivalry dominance for the Texans/Chiefs. They built an eight game winning streak over the Broncos during the next few years. It took four years before the Broncos got their first win over the then Kansas City Chiefs, who moved out of Dallas in 1963.
Back then, the Chiefs were the a pretty good AFL team, they won the AFL Championship in ’62, and went to the first ever Super Bowl in the 1966-67 season.
Can you imagine what it was like back then? I mean as a fan of the NFL/AFL? Here was a league just starting to come together; more teams were joining, Joe Namath signs a big salaried contract as a rookie, the Super Bowl starting. I doubt most fans in the 60’s would have predicted the empire that the NFL has become.
The Chiefs won 25 of the first 27 games against the Broncos. But over the course of the next nineteen years, Denver won 26 of the 37 matchups, including a 8-game, 4-year streak of beating the Chiefs. This put the series record at 36-28 in favor of the Chiefs. It’s been a fairly even series after that point, neither team can seem to gain a huge advantage on the other.
Of all their games against each other, only one was in the playoffs. In January 1998, the top seeded Chiefs welcomed the Wild Card Broncos into a freezing Arrowhead Stadium. It was a game built up during a decade where both teams were consistently good; Elway was near the end of his masterful career, and the Chiefs had their own special brand of football, Marty-ball. But Marty-ball was stopped during this game, barely 75 yards were gained on the ground. Denver running back Terrell Davis ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns, the only points the Broncos would get. It all came down to one play, one 4th & 2…
The Broncos would go on to win the Super Bowl that year, and the year after. If your keeping count, that’s two Super Bowls for Denver, one for Kansas City. But if you include AFL Championships, then they’re tied at two.
The 2000’s so far have been really even, in fact, it’s tied as of last year. Generally, they’ve split the series each year, occasionally getting small streaks that are repaid later. Since Peyton Manning joined the Broncos, there hasn’t been a Kansas City win. The series currently sits in the Chiefs’ favor, 56-50.
The series continues Sunday night. The best offense vs the best defense. It marks another high point to a great rivalry that has seen both sides take control. Some of the best players and coaches in NFL History have come through these organizations; it’s the Hank Strams, the Mike Shanahans, the Elways, the Len Dawsons, the Terrell Davis’ and the Tony Gonzalez’s that make this series as great as it is. It will be a battle raging on for years to come, but Sunday night’s game is as vital and dramatic as it’s been in a long time.
Tags: Kansas City Chiefs