Broncos–Chiefs rivalry

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Denver Broncos wordmark.svg
Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs wordmark.svg
Kansas City Chiefs
First meetingOctober 30, 1960
Texans 17, Broncos 14[a]
Latest meetingDecember 15, 2019
Chiefs 23, Broncos 3
Next meetingOctober 25, 2020
Meetings total120 (including the playoffs)
All-time seriesChiefs lead 65–55 (including the playoffs)
Postseason resultsBroncos lead 1–0
  • January 4, 1998: Broncos 14, Chiefs 10
Largest victoryBroncos: 38–3 (2012);
Chiefs: 59–7 (1963)
Smallest victory1 point (occurred 6 times, four by the Broncos — most recently 1992, two by the Chiefs — most recently 2003)
Longest win streakBroncos: 8 (1976–79);
Chiefs: 11 (1964–69)
Current win streakChiefs: 9 wins (2015–present)
Playoff and Championship success
AFL Championships (3) (1960–69)

Super Bowl Championships (5)

AFL Western Division Championships (2)

AFC West Divisional Championships (25) (1970–present)

AFC Wild Card Berths (15) (1970–present)

Super Bowl Appearances (11)

The Broncos–Chiefs rivalry is a rivalry between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs in the National Football League's AFC West division. Since the American Football League was established in 1960, the Broncos and the Chiefs have shared the same division, first being the AFL Western Conference, and since the AFL–NFL merger, the AFC West. For years, the rivalry has featured two of the best home-field advantages in the league.

The Dallas Texans/Chiefs dominated the Broncos in the 1960s, the decade of the AFL, winning 19 of 20 games. The Broncos have responded since then, winning the series of every subsequent decade until the 2010s where the Chiefs narrowly won 11–9. The Chiefs/Texans lead the series 63–55, but since the Texans moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs, they lead 57–55. Dallas swept all six meetings in the rivalry's first three years.

Notable moments[edit]


  • September 17, 1990: In a game played at Mile High Stadium on Monday Night Football, the Broncos were trailing 23–21 with 1:44 left in the fourth quarter, after Chiefs' quarterback Steve DeBerg launched an 83-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Stephone Paige to give the Chiefs their first lead of the game. Broncos' quarterback John Elway engineered a comeback, which culminated with kicker David Treadwell hitting a 22-yard field goal as time expired.[1] The game is also remembered for Broncos' safety Steve Atwater applying a punishing hit to Chiefs' running back Christian Okoye.[2]
  • October 4, 1992: The Chiefs were victimized by 8 of John Elway's 46 fourth quarter comebacks/game-winning drives, the most he had against one NFL team.[3] Perhaps the most memorable comeback occurred on October 4, 1992, at Mile High Stadium. The Broncos trailed 19–6 late in the fourth quarter, and had not scored a touchdown in the previous 12 quarters. After the 2-minute warning, Elway threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mark Jackson to narrow the gap to 19–13 with 1:55 left. After the Chiefs subsequently went three-and-out, the Broncos returned a punt to the Chiefs' 27-yard line. Three plays later, Elway threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Vance Johnson with 38 seconds left for a thrilling 20–19 comeback win.[2][4]
  • December 27, 1992: Less than three months after John Elway stunned the Chiefs with the aforementioned comeback win, the Chiefs exacted revenge on the Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium in the 1992 regular season finale, with a playoff berth on the line. The Chiefs routed the Broncos 42–20, with the Chiefs' defense scoring three touchdowns off Broncos' turnovers, and denying the Broncos a playoff berth in the process.[2]
  • October 17, 1994: John Elway and Joe Montana, two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, squared off in one of the greatest games in Monday Night Football history. Montana played the last two years of his 16-year NFL career with the Chiefs (1993–94), after playing the majority of his career with the San Francisco 49ers (1979–1992). The two teams matched each other score for score through the first three quarters, until Chiefs' kicker Lin Elliott nailed a 19-yard field goal to give the Chiefs a 24–21 lead with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. After Broncos' tight end Shannon Sharpe and Chiefs' running back Marcus Allen traded fumbles over the next two possessions, Elway led the Broncos on a 6-play, 39-yard drive, and scored a 4-yard touchdown on a quarterback draw to give the Broncos a 28–24 lead with 1:29 remaining. However, the Chiefs would one-up the Broncos, with Montana connecting on a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Willie Davis with only eight seconds remaining to give the Chiefs a thrilling 31–28 win. It not only gave Chiefs' head coach Marty Schottenheimer his first victory in Denver in eight tries, but the Chiefs also snapped an 11-game losing streak at Mile High Stadium.[2][5][6]
  • December 4, 1994: In a game at Arrowhead Stadium, Broncos' defensive end Shane Dronett blocked a potential game-winning 37-yard field goal by Chiefs' placekicker Lin Elliott at the end of regulation, sending the game to overtime. Broncos' quarterback Hugh Millen, substituting for an injured John Elway, committed a fumble in Broncos' territory after being sacked by Chiefs' defensive end Darren Mickell; however, the Chiefs immediately returned the favor when running back Marcus Allen lost a fumble that was recovered by safety Dennis Smith at the Broncos' 27-yard line. Placekicker Jason Elam later kicked a 34-yard field goal with 2:48 remaining in overtime, for a Broncos' 20–17 victory.[7]


  • November 16, 1997: The Broncos were trailing the Chiefs 21–19 at Arrowhead Stadium, and were backed up at their own 27-yard line with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Quarterback John Elway led the Broncos down the field, with Jason Elam kicking a 34-yard field goal with only a minute left to give the Broncos a 22–21 lead. However, Chiefs' quarterback Rich Gannon drove the Chiefs to the Broncos' 37-yard line, and kicker Pete Stoyanovich hit a 54-yard field goal as time expired to give the Chiefs a 24–22 win.[2][8]
  • January 4, 1998: A very hard fought, yet controversial game. Less than two months after the aforementioned last-second win by the Chiefs, the Broncos returned to Kansas City for the divisional round of the 1997–98 NFL playoffs, and redeemed themselves by upending the No. 1 seed Chiefs 14–10, en route to their first Super Bowl win that season. It has been a win shrouded in controversy as the referees wrongfully called Tony Gonzalez out of bounds on one of his touchdowns and Broncos lineman and Terrell Davis coating themselves with Vaseline in the first half.[2]
  • October 5, 2003: Chiefs' return specialist Dante Hall returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, after it seemed that the Broncos' special teams had him corralled for a loss deep in Chiefs' territory. This gave the Chiefs a 24–23 win over the Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium.[2][9]
  • November 14, 2010: The Broncos stormed out to a 35–0 lead against the visiting Chiefs before the second half, leading to a 49–29 victory. Chiefs' head coach Todd Haley was distraught after the game and snubbed a postgame handshake with Broncos' head coach Josh McDaniels, thinking that the Broncos were running up the score on the Chiefs.[10]
  • September 17, 2015: The Broncos trailed 24–17 at Arrowhead Stadium with 2:27 left, when quarterback Peyton Manning engineered a 10-play, 80-yard drive, culminating in a game-tying 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders with 36 seconds left. The game appeared to be headed to overtime, until Broncos' linebacker Brandon Marshall forced Chiefs' running back Jamaal Charles to fumble on the next play from scrimmage. Cornerback Bradley Roby then returned the fumble 21 yards for a touchdown to give the Broncos a stunning 31–24 comeback win.[11][12]
  • November 15, 2015: Two months after the aforementioned Broncos' comeback win, the Chiefs exacted revenge on the Broncos in a dominating 29–13 win at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The visiting Chiefs ended a seven-game losing steak to the Broncos, and their defense gave Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning his first (and only) 0.0 passer rating of his career. Entering the game, Manning needed only three yards to become the NFL's all-time leader in regular season passing yardage, however he threw for just 35 yards and four interceptions before being benched in the third quarter in favor of backup quarterback Brock Osweiler.[13]
  • November 27, 2016: The Chiefs were trailing 24–16 with three minutes left in regulation, when quarterback Alex Smith engineered a 13-play, 75-yard drive, culminating in a 3-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyreek Hill, coupled with a game-tying two-point conversion with only 12 seconds remaining, sending the game to overtime. Hill previously returned a free kick 86 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and also scored on a 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. After each team exchanged field goals in overtime — a 44-yarder by Broncos' placekicker Brandon McManus followed by a 37-yarder by Chiefs' placekicker Cairo Santos, the Broncos were trying to win the game with a highly criticized 62-yard field goal attempt by McManus, but the kick was both short and wide-left, giving the Chiefs possession at the Broncos' 48-yard line with 1:08 remaining. Four plays later, and with five seconds remaining, Santos kicked the game-winning 34-yard field goal for the Chiefs, which initially caromed off the left upright.[14]
  • October 1, 2018: On Monday Night Football in Denver, the Chiefs trailed 23–13 in the fourth quarter before Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce for a 2-yard score. The defense then held the Broncos to a three-and-out, giving the ball back to Mahomes, who led the team down the field, even avoiding a sack by Von Miller to throw the ball left-handed to Tyreek Hill for a first down. Kareem Hunt then scored the game-winning touchdown on a 4-yard rush with 1:39 remaining, giving Kansas City its fourth consecutive victory at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

Season-by-season results[edit]

Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs Season-by-Season Results

Connections between the teams[edit]


Name Broncos' tenure Chiefs' tenure
Jack Del Rio Defensive coordinator, 2012–2014[c] Linebacker, 1987–1988
Chan Gailey Tight ends/Special teams coach, 1985–1986
Wide receivers/Tight ends coach, 1987
Quarterbacks coach, 1988
Offensive coordinator/Wide receivers coach, 1989–1990
Offensive coordinator, 2008
Alex Gibbs Offensive line coach, 1984–1987
Assistant head coach/Offensive line coach, 1995–2003
Offensive line consultant, 2013
Offensive line coach, 1993–1994
David Gibbs Defensive backs coach, 2001–2004 Defensive backs coach, 1995–1996
Thomas McGaughey Assistant special teams coach, 2005–2006 Assistant special teams coach, 2002
Curtis Modkins Running backs coach, 2018–present Running backs coach, 2008
Brock Olivo Special teams coach, 2017 Assistant special teams coach, 2014–2016
Fred Pagac Linebackers coach, 2015–2017 Linebackers coach, 2004–2005
Mike Priefer Special teams coordinator, 2009–2010 Special teams coordinator, 2006–2008
Greg Robinson Defensive coordinator, 1995–2000 Defensive coordinator, 2001–2003
Derius Swinton II Assistant special teams coach, 2013–2014 Special teams quality control coach, 2012


Name Position(s) Broncos' tenure Chiefs' tenure
Glenn Cadrez Linebacker 1995–2000 2001–02
Dale Carter Cornerback 1999–2000 1992–98
Jamaal Charles Running back 2017 2008–16
Ray Crockett Cornerback 1994–2000 2001–02
Lional Dalton Defensive tackle 2002 2004–06
Ryan Harris Offensive tackle 2007–10, 2015 2014
Peyton Hillis Running back 2008–09 2012
Russ Hochstein Center/Guard 2009–11 2012
Darius Holland Defensive tackle 2003–04 1998
Vonnie Holliday Defensive end 2009 2003–04
Darrius Johnson Cornerback 1996–99 2003
Eddie Kennison Wide receiver 2001 2001–07
Ty Law Cornerback 2009 2006–07
Chester McGlockton Defensive tackle 2001–02 1998–2000
Joe Mays Linebacker 2010–12 2014
Kyle Orton Quarterback 2009–11 2011 (six games)
Brady Quinn Quarterback 2010–11 2012
Todd Sauerbrun Punter 2005–06 2000
Neil Smith Defensive end 1997–99 1988–96
Keith Traylor Nose tackle 1991–92, 1997–2000 1993–96
Kevin Vickerson Defensive tackle 2010–13 2014
Vance Walker Defensive end 2015–16 2014
Lenny Walls Cornerback 2002–05 2006
Casey Wiegmann Center 2008–09 2001–07, 2010–11


  1. ^ The Kansas City Chiefs were known as the Dallas Texans from 1960–62, and played their home games at the Cotton Bowl.
  2. ^ Does not include the two American Football League playoff berths that the Chiefs earned in 1968 and 1969.
  3. ^ Jack Del Rio served as interim head coach for four games in the 2013 season while John Fox recovered from heart surgery.


  1. ^ Associated Press (September 18, 1990). "4th-Down Pass Helps Denver Win : Pro football: Elway's 49-yard completion sets up a last-second field goal that turns back Kansas City, 24-23". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "The Ol' Rivalry: Best Broncos/Chiefs Games of All-Time". Predominately Orange. December 4, 2007. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  3. ^ "John Elway's Career 4th quarter comebacks and game-winning drives – Pro Football Reference".
  4. ^ Krier, Chris (May 13, 2011). "Broncos Classic: 1992 Kansas City @ Denver". Predominately Orange. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  5. ^ Diegman, Mike (December 4, 2002). "MNF's Greatest Games: Kansas City-Denver 1994". ESPN. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  6. ^ "Flashback: Montana outduels Elway". Pro Football Hall of Fame. August 12, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  7. ^ "Broncos Defeat Chiefs in OT; Elway Injured : AFC: Millen steps in to lead Denver to winning field goal in 20-17 victory. Bono plays in place of Montana". Los Angeles Times. February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  8. ^ "N.F.L. WEEK 12; Chiefs Win on Big Boot". New York Times. November 17, 1997. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  9. ^ "Dante does it again". ESPN. October 5, 2003. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  10. ^ Klis, Mike (November 14, 2010). "Chiefs coach Haley blows off postgame handshake with McDaniels". The Denver Post. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  11. ^ Renck, Troy (September 17, 2015). "Peyton Manning, Broncos steal win from Chiefs late in Kansas City". The Denver Post. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  12. ^ Legwold, Jeff (September 17, 2015). "Peyton Manning quiets critics in Broncos' win over Chiefs". Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  13. ^ Paylor, Terez (November 15, 2015). "Chiefs finally topple Manning and Broncos in 29-13 victory". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  14. ^ Jhabvala, Nicki (November 27, 2016). "Broncos blow lead late in regulation, lose to Chiefs in overtime". The Denver Post. Retrieved November 27, 2016.

External links[edit]