The 2003Kansas City Chiefs season resulted in a 13–3 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 notorious 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. QuarterbackTrent Green threw for 4,000 yards and kick returner Dante Hall returned four kicks for touchdowns. However, as successful as the Chiefs’ offense was, the Chiefs’ weak defense failed to stop the Colts in the playoffs.
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 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 vs. Detroit (December 14) 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-game improvement in the win column 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 ‘81–82 as the club produced a franchise-best 484 points. The team also led the NFL with a +19 turnover differential.
Nine Chiefs players received Pro Bowl recognition, the third-highest total in team history, while the club’s six offensive Pro Bowlers marked the most in club annals.
This offensive shootout became the first puntless game in NFL playoff history. Colts quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns (to Reggie Wayne, Brandon Stokley and Tom Lopienski), 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 in 2003, 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.
IND – Stokley 29 pass from Manning (Vanderjagt kick)
KC – FG Andersen 22
IND – James 11 run (Vanderjagt kick)
KC – Hall 9 pass from Green (Andersen kick)
IND – Lopienski 2 pass from Manning (Vanderjagt kick)
IND – FG Vanderjagt 45
KC – Holmes 1 run (Andersen kick)
IND – Wayne 19 pass from Manning (Vanderjagt kick)