The season resulted in a 13–3 winning record, beginning with a nine-game winning streak—the franchise's best start in their 40-year history. The Chiefs won the AFC West and clinched the second seed in the playoffs. Kansas City lost in an offensive shootout at home in the AFC Divisional Playoffs to the Indianapolis Colts 38–31, a game noted for involving no punts from either team's kicking squad.
The season is best remembered for the Chiefs' record-breaking offense. On December 28, running back Priest Holmes broke Marshall Faulk's single-season rushing touchdown record by scoring his 27th rushing touchdown against the Chicago Bears. Quarterback Trent Green threw for 4,000 yards and kick returner Dante Hall returned four kicks for touchdowns. However, the weak Chiefs defense would prove to be too big of weakness, as they failed to stop the Colts in the 2003-04 playoffs. The Chiefs offensive line from the season has frequently been considered one of the best offensive lines in NFL history. Two members of the offensive line have been inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Will Shields and Willie Roaf, as well as the tight end from the team, Tony Gonzalez.
|2003 Kansas City Chiefs season|
|Head coach||Dick Vermeil|
|Home field||Arrowhead Stadium|
|Division place||1st AFC West|
|Playoff finish||Lost Divisional Playoffs (Colts) 38–31|
|Pro Bowlers||QB Trent Green|
RB Priest Holmes
FB Tony Richardson
TE Tony Gonzalez
T Willie Roaf
G Will Shields
S Jerome Woods
KR Dante Hall
ST Gary Stills
The Chiefs originally had the 16th pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. Vermeil was intent on selecting a defensive player, but felt that there were no defensive players available with their pick, and traded the pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the 27th pick, as well as the Steelers third and sixth round picks. With the 27th overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected running back Larry Johnson from Penn State.
|1||27||27||Larry Johnson||Running back||Penn State|
|2||15||47||Kawika Mitchell||Linebacker||South Florida|
|3||28||92||Julian Battle||Defensive back||Tennessee|
|4||16||113||Brett Williams||Offensive tackle||Florida State|
|5||18||153||Jordan Black||Offensive tackle||Notre Dame|
|6||16||189||Jimmy Wilkerson||Defensive end||Oklahoma|
|7||16||230||Montique Sharpe||Defensive tackle||Wake Forest|
|7||38||252||Willie Pile||Linebacker||Virginia Tech|
|2003 Kansas City Chiefs final roster|
After beginning the 2003 season 9–0, the Chiefs finished the regular season with a record of 13–3. The Chiefs' offense topped the NFL in almost all statistical categories and Kansas City became favorites to win Super Bowl XXXVIII.
The Chiefs clinched their first AFC West title since 1997 with a 45–17 win against the Detroit Lions, as QB Trent Green became the first player in team history to register a "perfect" 158.3 passer rating in a game.
Kansas City concluded its 13–3 regular season with a 31–3 victory vs. Chicago (December 28), marking a perfect 8–0 record at home and the club's 13th consecutive regular season victory at Arrowhead Stadium. In that win, Priest Holmes set a trio of TD records. He finished the season with 27 rushing scores, establishing NFL single-season records for both rushing TDs and total TDs. Holmes (61) also bypassed WR Otis Taylor (60) for the most career TDs scored by a player in Chiefs history.
The Chiefs five win improvement from the previous season tied as the best mark in franchise history. Kansas City became the first AFC team to lead the NFL in scoring in consecutive seasons since San Diego in 1981–1982 as the club produced a franchise-best 484 points. The team also led the NFL with a +19 turnover differential.
|Week||Opponent||Result||Game site||TV Time||Attendance|
|1||San Diego Chargers||W 27–14||Arrowhead Stadium||CBS 12:00CT|
|2||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 41–20||Arrowhead Stadium||CBS 12:00CT|
|3||at Houston Texans||W 42–14||Reliant Stadium||CBS 12:00CT|
|4||at Baltimore Ravens||W 17–10||Ravens Stadium||CBS 3:15CT|
|5||Denver Broncos||W 24–23||Arrowhead Stadium||CBS 12:00CT|
|6||at Green Bay Packers||W 40–34 (OT)||Lambeau Field||CBS 12:00CT|
|7||at Oakland Raiders||W 17–10||Network Associates Coliseum||ABC 8:00CT|
|8||Buffalo Bills||W 38–5||Arrowhead Stadium||ESPN 7:30CT|
|Week 9 — Bye|
|10||Cleveland Browns||W 41–20||Arrowhead Stadium||CBS 12:00CT|
|11||at Cincinnati Bengals||L 24–19||Paul Brown Stadium||CBS 12:00CT|
|12||Oakland Raiders||W 27–24||Arrowhead Stadium||CBS 3:15CT|
|13||at San Diego Chargers||W 28–24||Qualcomm Stadium||CBS 3:15CT|
|14||at Denver Broncos||L 45–27||Invesco Field at Mile High||CBS 3:15CT|
|15||Detroit Lions||W 45–17||Arrowhead Stadium||FOX 12:00CT|
|16||at Minnesota Vikings||L 45–20||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||CBS 3:15CT|
|17||Chicago Bears||W 31–3||Arrowhead Stadium||FOX 12:00CT|
|Indianapolis Colts||L 38–31||Arrowhead Stadium||CBS 12:05CT|
This offensive shootout became the second game without a punt in NFL playoff history, and first since the Buffalo Bills played the San Francisco 49ers in 1992. Colts quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns, while Edgerrin James ran for a career postseason high 125 yards and two scores. On the Kansas City side, Dante Hall caught a touchdown and returned a kickoff for another; and Priest Holmes, who set the regular-season rushing touchdown record, rushed for 176 yards, caught 5 passes for 32 yards, and scored twice. Kansas City quarterback Trent Green threw for 212 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 18 yards in his first career postseason game. The Chiefs defense failed to stop the Colts offense. Kansas City's defensive coordinator Greg Robinson was asked to resign the following week.
|(2) Kansas City Chiefs||13||3||0||.813||5–1||10–2||484||332||W1|
|(6) Denver Broncos||10||6||0||.625||5–1||9–3||381||301||L1|
|San Diego Chargers||4||12||0||.250||1–5||2–10||313||441||W1|
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)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold