American Football Database
1989 Kansas City Chiefs season
Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer
Home Field Arrowhead Stadium
Record 8–7–1
Place 2nd AFC West
Playoff Finish did not qualify
Previous season Next season
1988 1990

The 1989 Kansas City Chiefs season ended with a 8–7–1 record and second-place finish in the AFC West. The season was the first with head coach Marty Schottenheimer and general manager Carl Peterson.

The Chiefs had changed coaches before, but never had the organization gone through the complete overhaul it did between the 1988 and 1989 seasons. On December 19, 1988, Lamar Hunt hired Carl Peterson as the team's new president/general manager. Peterson wasted no time in making changes-on January 5 he fired head coach Frank Gansz two weeks after taking over. On January 24 he hired Marty Schottenheimer, who had left his job with the Browns, as the club's seventh head coach. Schottenheimer also cleaned house and with Peterson's help made several roster changes.

The Chiefs started the season at Denver on September 10 but the Chiefs lost in the opener 34–20. The very next Sunday the Chiefs downs the Los Angeles Raiders 24–19, Schottenheimer's first win as Chiefs' head coach.

The Chiefs would start thr season 1–4. But then they started to win. On October 22, Christian Okoye carries the ball 33 times for 170 yards as the Chiefs defeat the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadium, 36–28. During the Chiefs unexpected success, rookie linebacker Derrick Thomas made 10 sacks while Stephone Paige led the receivers with 44 receptions.

On November 26, Kansas City cruises past the Houston Oilers, 34–0 to start a 3-game winning streak to pulled within a chance to make the playoffs. Steve DeBerg passed for 2,529 yards in his second season with the team.

On December 17, using a bruising running game and a smothering defense, the San Diego Chargers marched into Arrowhead Stadium and crushed the Chiefs' playoffs dreams. They bulldozen their way to 219 yards rushing, 176 by Marion Butts, and won 20–13. The loss eliminated the Chiefs from any chance of making the playoffs.

Christian Okoye constantly found his path blocked, holes jammed. Chiefs' quarterback Steve DeBerg was ineffective because of the chilling 18-degree weather and completed just 14 of 33 passes.

The Chiefs had one final opportunity to tie the game, driving from their own 36 yard line to the San Diego 19. Deberg's next pass into the end zone was intercepted, ending the Chiefs' chances and the game.

The next week though, the Chiefs bounce back and defeat the Miami Dolphins for the second time in the season, 27–24 and had their first winning record in the Schottenheimer-Peterson era. Christian Okoye led the NFL in rushing with 1,480 yards. Okoye were named to the Pro Bowl along with defensive stars Derrick Thomas, Albert Lewis and Kevin Ross. This season proved to be a prelude of good things in the future.


1989 Kansas City Chiefs staff

Front Office

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



Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 10, 1989 at Denver Broncos L 34–20
2 September 17, 1989 Los Angeles Raiders W 24–19
3 September 24, 1989 at San Diego Chargers L 21–6
4 October 1, 1989 Cincinnati Bengals L 21–6
5 October 8, 1989 at Seattle Seahawks W 20–16
6 October 15, 1989 at Los Angeles Raiders L 20–14
7 October 22, 1989 Dallas Cowboys W 36–28
8 October 29, 1989 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 23–17
9 November 5, 1989 Seattle Seahawks W 20–10
10 November 12, 1989 Denver Broncos L 16–13
11 November 19, 1989 at Cleveland Browns T 10–10
12 November 26, 1989 Houston Oilers W 34–0
13 December 3, 1989 Miami Dolphins W 26–21
14 December 10, 1989 at Green Bay Packers W 21–3
15 December 17, 1989 San Diego Chargers L 20–13
16 December 24, 1989 at Miami Dolphins W 27–24


AFC West
Denver Broncos 11 5 0 .688 362 226
Kansas City Chiefs 8 7 1 .531 318 286
Los Angeles Raiders 8 8 0 .500 315 297
Seattle Seahawks 7 9 0 .438 241 327
San Diego Chargers 6 10 0 .375 266 290


AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Buffalo Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
Indianapolis Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit LA Rams
Miami Houston LA Raiders Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego Phoenix Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1989 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XXIV