What are the best moments for each NFL franchise? Yahoo Sports provides our opinion, which you are free to disagree with (and we’re sure you will).
5. Firing Marv Levy
Yes, the man who led the Buffalo Bills to four-straight championships was once the coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Levy got his first NFL head-coaching gig at 53 when he was hired by the Chiefs in 1978. He was the coach of the team until after the shortened 1982 season, when the Chiefs went 3-6.
Levy, who had success at the college ranks and the CFL before he was hired by the Chiefs, was 31-42 as the Chiefs coach — though he was .500 in his second, third and fourth seasons combined with the team.
The Bills hired Levy in 1986, had six-straight winning seasons starting in 1988 and went to four straight Super Bowls. Meanwhile, the Chiefs made their first playoff appearance since 1971 the year Levy became Buffalo’s coach and didn’t make the playoffs again until 1990.
4. Colts 45, Chiefs 44, Jan. 4, 2014
This entry should really be titled “playing the Colts in the playoffs.” Because there are three playoff losses to the Indianapolis Colts that have broken the hearts of Chiefs fans.
Kicker Lin Elliott missed three field goals in a 10-7 loss to the Colts in the 1995 AFC Divisional round. The Chiefs were 13-3 and were the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
The Chiefs entered the 2003 playoffs at 13-3 and as the No. 2 seed when Peyton Manning and the Colts came to town. Neither team punted and the Chiefs didn’t force a turnover in the 38-31 loss.
The 2013 Wild Card loss to the Colts gets the official entry here because of the recency and the fact that it’s the second-largest playoff comeback in NFL history. The Chiefs — in the first year of head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith — were up 38-10 early in the third quarter before the Colts outscored them 35-6 over the final 28:39 of the game.
3. Drafting Todd Blackledge in 1983
Before trading up to get Patrick Mahomes in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, the Chiefs hadn’t drafted a quarterback in the first round of a draft in 34 years. The last selection? Penn State quarterback Todd Blackledge in 1983.
Kansas City took Blackledge with the seventh pick of that draft, behind John Elway but ahead of Jim Kelly and Dan Marino. Blackledge, who now works for ESPN as a college football announcer, played five seasons with the Chiefs. He completed less than 50 percent of his passes and threw 29 touchdowns and 38 interceptions.
While teams like the Browns and Bears have had more memorable quarterback carousels, the Chiefs’ revolving door at quarterback between Blackledge and current quarterback Alex Smith is pretty impressive. This is a team that started Tyler Palko, Tyler Thigpen and Brady Quinn at quarterback within the last decade.
2. Derrick Thomas’ death in 2000
On Jan. 23, 2000, Derrick Thomas was on his way to the Kansas City airport to go to the NFC championship game in St. Louis when, driving at a high rate of speed, he reportedly started driving his Chevy Suburban erratically and eventually crashed. Thomas, along with one of the people in his car, were not wearing seatbelts. Both were thrown from the vehicle. The passenger died instantly; Thomas survived, but was paralyzed from the chest down.
On Feb. 8, while rehabbing at a Miami hospital, Thomas died after he suffered a pulmonary embolism.
The Hall of Fame linebacker played his entire 11-year career with the Chiefs after he was the No. 4 pick in the 1989 NFL draft. Thomas totaled 126.5 sacks in his NFL career and had just four seasons with fewer than 10 sacks.
1. Jovan Belcher’s murder-suicide
On the morning of Dec. 1, 2012, Jovan Belcher, a Chiefs middle linebacker, murdered his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins. He shot her nine times with his mother present in the house. The couple had allegedly argued the night before after Perkins went to a concert.
Belcher’s mother called the police after Perkins was shot. Belcher got into his car and drove to the Chiefs practice facility, where he was encountered in the parking lot by then-general manager Scott Pioli and other members of the Chiefs’ staff. Belcher had a gun to his head and team employees tried to talk him out of taking his life.
He did so anyway, shooting himself next to his car. Toxicology reports released after Belcher’s death showed his blood-alcohol content was twice the legal limit for driving.
He and Perkins are survived by their daughter Zoey, who was 3 months old at the time.