From AFL to AFC: A look back on Chiefs, Bills playoff history


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs match up in the post season for the fourth time in league history and third time in the conference championship.

With the matchup happening in 1967, 1994 and now 2021, these two franchises battle it out for a berth in the Super Bowl every 27 years.

1967 – AFL Championship – War Memorial Stadium

Hank Stram, coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, raises his arm in jubilant victory as he is carried off the field on the shoulders of is players after the Chiefs whipped the Buffalo Bills 31-7, for the AFL championship, in Buffalo, N.Y., Jan. 1, 1967. (AP Photo/Bill Achatz)

In June of 1966, the AFL and NFL had agreed to merge, which required a championship game between each leagues respective champion. This would later be coined the “Super Bowl” by Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt.

At the conclusion of the 1966 season, the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs took the field at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo for a chance to play against the NFL’s champion Green Bay Packers.

The game took place on Jan. 1, 1967. Western Division winner Kansas City posted an 11-2-1 record and Eastern Division winner Buffalo’s record was 9-4-2.

The two had met in week five of their regular season where the Bills won 29-14.

Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson passed for two touchdowns to Fred Arbanas and Otis Taylor.

Bills quarterback Jack Kemp threw one touchdown for the bills only score of the game. He also threw 2 interceptions that helped set up scores for the Chiefs.

Final score: Kansas City 31 – Buffalo 7

The Chiefs went on to face Bart Starr and the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I and lost 35-10.

1992 – AFC Divisional Round – Rich Stadium

No. 1 seed Buffalo had come of their second consecutive 13-3 season and hosted the No. 4 seed Chiefs after they defeated No. 5 Los Angeles Raiders in the wild card round.

The two teams played in the regular season where Kansas City came out on top 33-6.

The divisional round did not fair well for Chiefs quarterbacks. Starting quarterback Steve DeBerg was injured in the second quarter forcing backup Mark Vlasic to enter the game.

Vlasic did throw one touchdown, but added four interceptions. Bills quarterback Jim Kelly threw three touchdowns to equal out his three interceptions.

Final score: Kansas City 14 – Buffalo 37

The Bills went on to Super Bowl XXVI where they lost to Washington.

1994 – AFC Championship – Rich Stadium

The Bills were on the brink of their fourth consecutive Super Bowl appearance. They lost in 1991, 1992 and 1993.

A slow start for the Chiefs, quarterback Joe Montana threw an interception right before the halftime whistle and trailed 20-6.

The injury bug would attack the Chiefs once again, Montana suffered a concussion on their first drive in the second half and would be replaced by backup Dave Kreig.

Kreig finished the game with 16 completed passes for 198 yards and one interception. Running back Marcus Allen rushed for the Chiefs’ only touchdown of the game.

Bills quarterback Jim Kelly threw for 160 yards, but running back Thurman Thomas’ 33 rushes for 186 yards and three touchdowns proved to be the biggest difference maker.

Final score: Kansas City 13 – Buffalo 30

The Bills would lose their 1993 Super Bowl rematch against the Dallas Cowboys 30-13.

Montana retired from the NFL in 1995.

2021 – AFC Championship – Arrowhead Stadium

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, left, greets Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen after the NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Chiefs defeated the Bills 26-17. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

For the first time in their playoff history, the Bills and Chiefs will meet in Kansas City.

Both teams bring in young Pro-Bowl quarterbacks, Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, who were not born the last time their franchises met in the playoffs.

The Bills remain one of seven teams to never have won a Super Bowl. The Chiefs are attempting to complete their Run It Back tour.

The AFC Championship will kick off at 5:40 CST on Sunday, Jan. 24.



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