American Football Database
1990 Kansas City Chiefs season
Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer
Home Field Arrowhead Stadium
Record 11–5
Place 2nd AFC West
Playoff Finish Lost AFC Wild Card round (Dolphins)
Previous season Next season
1989 1991

The 1990 Kansas City Chiefs season ended with an 11–5 record and Wild Card spot in the 1991 playoffs. In Marty Schottenheimer's first playoff appearance with the Chiefs, the lost to the Miami Dolphins 16–17 in the Wild Card round. Starting with the home opener, the Chiefs began an NFL-record 18-straight seasons with every home game sold out. The record still stands as of the end of the Chiefs' 2007 season.

The success of the 1989 season carried into 1990, and the Chiefs put together a super season to return to the playoffs for only the second time since 1971. The season began on August 4 when Buck Buchanan, a key ingreident of the Chiefs' 1969 Super Bowl championship season was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

On opening day, The Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings 24–21. On September 17, Stephone Paige catches 10 passes for 206 yards, but the Chiefs still lose to the Denver Broncos, 24–23 on Monday Night Football.

On October 14, Barry Word rushes for a team-record 200 yards against the Detroit Lions at Arrowhead. Kansas City wins 43–24 to give the Chiefs a 4–2 record. Word would eventually gained 1,021 yards rushing for the season while Paige caught 65 passes for 1,021 yards. Quarterback Steve DeBerg had his best season ever as a Chief as he Passed for 3,444 yards and 23 touchdowns.

On November 11, Derrick Thomas who would sack 20 quarterbacks for the year, sacks Seattle Seahawks quarterback Dave Krieg an NFL-record seven sacks. On the game's last play, Derrick nearly had his 8th sack, but Krieg eluded him and threw a game-winning touchdown as the Seahawks won 17–16.

On December 9, two big fourth-down calls, two big touchdowns. Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer let his team make two big plays that ultimately led to Kansas City's 31–20 win over the Denver Broncos and clinched a playoff spot.

The first big play was a fourth-and-goal at the Denver 1-yard line, and Barry Word carried the ball into the end zone to give the Chiefs a 17–13 lead. The second fourth-down attempt resulted in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Steve DeBerg to Robb Thomas and put the game away in the fourth quarter. DeBerg passed for 254 yards and three touchdowns in the game.

Kansas City trailed 13–10 at the half, but scored 21 second-half points to take control of the game.

The win clinches at least a wild-card spot in the playoffs for Kansas City and improved their record to 9–4. The Chiefs won two of their last three games to finish 11–5, the team's best record since 1971. Defense carried the Chiefs to the playoffs thanks to Pro Bowlers Derrick Thomas, Albert Lewis and Kevin Ross.

The Chiefs closed out the season with a 21–10 win over the Chicago Bears. Now it was on to Miami in the AFC Wild-Card Playoff Game.


1990 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


Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 9, 1990 Minnesota Vikings W 24–21
2 September 17, 1990 at Denver Broncos L 24–23
3 September 23, 1990 at Green Bay Packers W 17–3
4 September 30, 1990 Cleveland Browns W 34–0
5 October 7, 1990 at Indianapolis Colts L 23–19
6 October 14, 1990 Detroit Lions W 43–24
7 October 21, 1990 at Seattle Seahawks L 19–7
8 Bye
9 November 4, 1990 Los Angeles Raiders W 9–7
10 November 11, 1990 Seattle Seahawks L 17–16
11 November 18, 1990 San Diego Chargers W 27–10
12 November 25, 1990 at Los Angeles Raiders W 27–24
13 December 2, 1990 at New England Patriots W 37–7
14 December 9, 1990 Denver Broncos W 31–20
15 December 16, 1990 Houston Oilers L 27–10
16 December 23, 1990 at San Diego Chargers W 24–21
17 December 29, 1990 at Chicago Bears W 21–10


AFC West
view · talk · edit W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Los Angeles Raiders 12 4 0 .750 6–2 9–3 337 268 W5
Kansas City Chiefs 11 5 0 .688 5–3 7–5 369 257 W2
Seattle Seahawks 9 7 0 .563 4–4 7–5 306 286 W2
San Diego Chargers 6 10 0 .375 2–6 5–9 315 281 L3
Denver Broncos 5 11 0 .313 3–5 4–8 331 374 W1


In a scene that would be repeated throughout the 1990s the Chiefs had a great regular season but failed miserably in the post-season. In the Wild-card playoff game the Chiefs blew a 16–3 lead as the Dolphins scored 2 touchdowns to take a lead. The Chiefs had one last-chance for a win but Christian Okoye's long run was called back due to a questionable holding call. Nick Lowery who would score 139 points all season and a Pro Bowl berth missed a 52-yard field goal and with it the end of a great Chiefs season.

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Wildcard January 5, 1992 at Miami Dolphins L 17–16


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
1990 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XXV