Two years ago, a football analysis site Football Outsiders published the NFL’s all-time top dynasty list. Three Kansas City Chiefs teams, led by the 14th team from 1966 to 1971, reached the top 40.
A year later, the site published a list of the best anti-dynastias – that is, the teams with the worst periods of failure. Somewhat surprisingly, the 1974-1979 Chiefs team was the only one on the list – and it was 53rd.
This year, FO-d Brian Knowles has published a list of what he has called the “Dynasties of Heartache.” They are defined as NFL teams that have been very good for a long time but have not been able to bring home the final prize.
As in previous collections, the series began with an explanation of the scoring system, which FO to create these leaderboards. The site has now published a ranking of 44-11. The most recent article in the series ranks 12th in the 1989-1999 Chiefs.
No. 12: 1989-1999 Kansas City Chiefs
Total heartbeat points: 715.6
Playoff points: 186.8
Win-lose points: 252.8
DVOA points: 276.0
Recording: 110-65-1 (.628)
Playoff record: 3: 7 (one AFCCG loss, three division losses, three wildcard losses)
Average DVOA: 14.4%
Head coaches: Marty Schottenheimer, Gunter Cunningham
Key players: QB Joe Montana, OT John Alt, G Dave Szott, G Will Shields, C Tim Grunhard, DE Neil Smith, NT Dan Saleaumua, LB Derrick Thomas, LB Tracy Simien, CB Dale Carter, CB James Hasty, CB Albert Lewis, S Kevin Ross
The third and final of Marty Schottenheimer’s team will not be in the top 10. I think Marty’s right – even here she can’t quite finish.
It is interesting to compare Schottenheimer’s tenure in Cleveland and Kansas City, admitting that his San Diego legacy is at least half that of Turner. In terms of playoff failure, the Chiefs are hardly comparable to Brown’s legacy in The Drive and The Fumble. Cleveland earns 295.2 heartache points from play-off losses alone, while those Chiefs don’t even exceed 200 points. They only reached one AFC Championship game and did not lose it in a way that earned a nickname.
But the Schottenheimer Browns weren’t so good in the regular season, at least relatively – they won less than 60% of their games. Scottenheimer’s Chiefs was a regular season dynamo, with 102 wins in the 1990s after only 49ers and Bills. Their average DVOA is 15.2%? Also third best after 49ers and Cowboys. At least as far as our statistics show, the 1990s team in the AFC were Chiefs, not Bills.
Of course, Buffalo participated in four Super Bowls and has not been on that list yet. The chiefs went to zero. Martyball hits again.
When I think of the 1990s Chiefs, I mean the swarming defense. Neil Smith and Derrick Thomas join forces to terrorize the defenders, putting together 212.5 bags in Kansas City. I think Grunhard, Szott and Shields are paving the way for Christian Okoye or Marcus Allen. This is Martyball’s way: suffocate your opponents, control the ball on the ground, win games.
I am also thinking of the San Francisco 49ers, because the strange pipeline from SFO to MCI was in full swing at that time. Schottenheimer inherited former 49ers defender Steve DeBerg when he took the job, and after a season of messing with former Seaahawks defender Dave Krieg, he started trading against Joe Montana and Steve Bono and chose Elvis Grbac for free, the 49ers all. I think Paul Hackett, the former defender of the 49ers, needed someone to attack, but that took it to the extreme. The Chiefs didn’t get a single start from the quarterback they chose between Doug Hudson in 1987 and Brodie Croyle in 2006, and Schottenheimer was the real start. Don’t knock when it works, note – the Chiefs of the 1990s reached the top ten in the DVOA in six out of 10 seasons, even if they preferred to use it as an alternative to a hasty attack.
It’s all good during the regular season. It’s never been so hot in playoffs. Under DeBerg, the Chiefs defeated Dan Marino with a late blow and painful offensive 17:16 round of the 1990 wild-card round, then destroyed against Bills in 37:14 in 1991. Krieg was in the middle. The Chargers lost the Chiefs 17-0 in the 1992 wild-card round, but never took the Chargers beyond the 34-yard line.
Montana brought more success – Joe Montana is better than Steve DeBerg and Dave Krieg is another of those deep insights you’ve come to expect from Football Outsiders. In 1993, we were arguably missing out on the biggest Super Bowl game of all time, Montana fought his former 49ers in the Super Bowl XXVIII. However, neither team survived until the end of their deal. Montana was knocked out of the AFC Championship game as Thurman Thomas and Bills ran across Kansas City. The following year, Montana lost a wild-card round against Dan Marino and the Dolphins, which proved to be his last game as a professional.
And it was as close as the Chiefs arrived. They took first place in both 1995 and 1997, but lost in the division round on both occasions. 1997 was a particularly painful year and will be the year with the highest score in the race. They were 13: 3 with 29.4% DVOA, the second highest in the league. They had more yards against the Broncos, more first relapses, more ball possession time and a higher single-player DVOA. And yet 14:10 was lost, destroyed by untapped opportunities – the detention that swept the gate of Pete Stoyanovich, Tony Gonzalez, who failed to stay on the border for a potential landing, an attempt by a fake square that did not deceive anyone. Good luck and maybe the Chiefs will come out of it – but then they would probably have lost to the Steelers in the AFC Championship game. This is Martyball for you.
This Chiefs team doesn’t have this heartbreaking play-off loss that would have put them in the top 10 – something painful and painstaking that can play over and over again in your featured games and in your mind when you try to sleep at night. Give these men a Fumble or a Drive and they will be there with the best of the best. But again, Schottenheimer barely comes up.
As Knowles pointed out, this is one of the three teams that were mainly supervised for the most part By Marty Schottenheimer – others are the 2004-2010 San Diego Chargers (16th) and 1983-1989 Cleveland Browns (23rd) – among the top 30.
And yes … there is some overlap. Two years ago, Football Outsiders ranked the Chiefs too the 35th dynasty in 1990-1997. While this may seem contradictory, it is not. If the Kansas City teams in the early ’90s had won the championship, that period would have been higher among the dynasties – and because they didn’t, they are high on the “heartache dynasties.”
Some may be surprised that the Dick Vermail 2001-2005 teams were not on this list. It is worth noting why this is the case. When the loss of the 2003 divisional circle to Indianapolis Colts – Knowles, Game No Punt – Definitely one of the most heartbreaking losses in the franchise, Vermiel led the team for five seasons, winning just one division championship and finishing three times or less 0.500. It is hardly a record of success, including heartbreaking post-season losses.
As the three Schottenheimer teams are now on this list, there is no reason to blame their lack of post-season success directly on the shoulders of the deceased coach. Many who remember this period could also give some of the responsibility to the then Director-General, Carl Peterson.
Nevertheless, Schottenheimer’s coaching record is still among the best of the annals – and his work in Kansas City has restored a culture of victory that has been lost for most of two decades, while providing fans with consistent success. unparalleled team history.
While we can rightly characterize Schottenheimer’s tenure in Kansas City as full of heartache, we should never forget everything else he gave us.
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