The Chiefs have not played in a playoff game since they were defeated by Denver on January 5, 1998. The Chiefs have not won a playoff game since they upset Houston on the road January 16, 1994.
That season, the Chiefs won a Wild Card game against the Steelers, upset Houston and advanced to the AFC Championship game in Buffalo. But that was as close to the Super Bowl as the Chiefs would get during their run in the ‘90s.
The Chiefs earned the top seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs in both the 1995 and ‘97 seasons. Both seasons ended in heart-break at home in Arrowhead Stadium.
The ‘95 season ended with a 10-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts and the ‘97 season ended with a 14-10 loss to the Denver Broncos. The loss to Denver was especially painful as the Chiefs watched the Broncos roll on to the Super Bowl and defeat Green Bay to claim the Lombardi trophy.
Fast forward to today. Today's Chiefs team is far different than the ‘95 and ‘97 defense-powered teams. The Chiefs of today are built on a high-power offense that is capable of scoring every time they have the ball. The Chiefs roster has been overhauled as only a hand full of players from the ‘95 and ‘97 playoff teams are still with the club.
CHIEFS KEYS TO VICTORY
Pressure on Peyton:
There's no fooling Peyton Manning, the 2003 NFL's Co-MVP. Manning is as good at reading defenses as anybody in the league. And he's got the arm, the accuracy and offensive weapons to burn you. The Chiefs cannot let Manning stand back and pick them apart. The Chiefs must pressure Manning, hit him, knock him down, sack him, rattle him, cause a fumble or interception.
The 12th Man:
"I would personally like to challenge our fans - our 12th man - to push the decibel level at Arrowhead into the 120s on Sunday." "We have a decided advantage at Arrowhead Stadium and our fans have been an integral part of that success. I expect them to prepare their vocal chords for three hours of playoff football on Sunday." - Chiefs President and GM Carl Peterson
The Arrowhead crowd is well-known for making Arrowhead Stadium one of the loudest stadiums in the league. The decibel level at Arrowhead has previously reached 116. But look for the 12th man to top that level on Sunday.
Turn over margin:
The team that wins the turn over battle will likely win the game. Trent Green is making his first playoff start for KC. And there is no substitute for playoff experience.
While Green may lack first-hand playoff experience, he does have a Super Bowl ring with the Rams. And Green has engineered the Chiefs to a 13-3 record and has won big games against playoff teams this year - winning at home against Denver, on the road at Baltimore and a come-from-behind victory at Green Bay. Look for Green to play well.
Priest = Points:
In week 16 Priest Holmes broke the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns in a season. The Chiefs will look to Priest to carry the load and lead them to victory.