1986 Kansas City Chiefs season

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-to-171-yard 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. Bill Kenney was injured in the fourth quarter of the Steelers contest, meaning Todd Blackledge would draw the starting assignment for the club’s first playoff contest since 1971, a 35–15 loss at New York.

Mackovic was fired by Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt after the season.

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

NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team



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/Taxi squad {{{practice_squad}}}

Rookies in italics

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 7, 1986 Cincinnati Bengals W 24–14
2 September 14, 1986 at Seattle Seahawks L 23–17
3 September 21, 1986 Houston Oilers W 27–13
4 September 28, 1986 at Buffalo Bills W 20–17
5 October 5, 1986 Los Angeles Raiders L 24–17
6 October 12, 1986 at Cleveland Browns L 20–7
7 October 19, 1986 San Diego Chargers W 42–41
8 October 26, 1986 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 27–20
9 November 2, 1986 at San Diego Chargers W 24–23
10 November 9, 1986 Seattle Seahawks W 27–7
11 November 16, 1986 at Denver Broncos L 38–17
12 November 23, 1986 at St. Louis Cardinals L 23–14
13 November 30, 1986 Buffalo Bills L 17–14
14 December 7, 1986 Denver Broncos W 37–10
15 December 14, 1986 at Los Angeles Raiders W 20–17
16 December 21, 1986 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 24–19


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


AFC Wild Card Playoffs

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.

  • Scoring
    • KC – Smith 1 run (kick failed)
    • NYJ – McNeil 4 run (Leahy kick)
    • NYJ – McNeil 1 pass from Ryan (Leahy kick)
    • NYJ – Toon 11 pass from Ryan (Leahy kick)
    • NYJ – McArthur 21 interception return (Leahy kick)
    • KC – Lewis recovered blocked punt in end zone (Lowery kick)
    • NYJ – Griggs 6 pass from Ryan (Leahy kick)
    • KC – Safety, Jennings ran out of end zone


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

External links

List of Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterbacks

The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs are a member of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League (NFL). Originally named the Dallas Texans, the club was founded by Lamar Hunt in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League. In 1963, the team moved to Kansas City, Missouri and were renamed the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs have had 37 different quarterbacks start at least one game in their franchise's history, 21 of which have started at least 10 games. Cotton Davidson was the team's first starting quarterback; he played all 14 games for the Texans in their inaugural 1960 season. Davidson played with the franchise from 1960 to 1962, and was traded in 1963 to the Oakland Raiders. Len Dawson signed with on July 2, 1962 and played for the franchise for 14 seasons. With Dawson as the team's starter, the Texans/Chiefs won three American Football League championships and appeared in two Super Bowl championship games. Dawson was named Most Valuable Player after the Chiefs' victory in Super Bowl IV and retired in 1975 with several franchise records. Three quarterbacks currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame have started at least one game for Kansas City: Dawson, Joe Montana, and Warren Moon. In the 2008 season, the Chiefs started three quarterbacks: Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard, and Tyler Thigpen. After Croyle and Huard were sidelined by injuries, Thigpen played in eleven games, winning one and losing ten. In 2009 and 2010, Matt Cassel started 15 of 16 games each season, while Croyle started the other 2 games.

Playoff appearances (20)
Division championships (10)
League championships (3)
Retired numbers
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
Seasons (59)

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