Blast From The Past – Divisional Round

December 2nd 1990: Kansas City Chiefs 37 – New England Patriots 7

As long as the Chiefs keep playing games this season, I’ll keep writing these…

In 1990, the Chiefs were having a decent season. A win away at the LA Raiders had given them a 7 and 4 record, in advance of another road trip, this time to Foxboro to play the Patriots. New England were not having a great season, KC were favourites to get the job done, and they did everything that was expected of them.

Things went well very early on, as quarterback Steve de Berg hooked up with Stephone Paige for an 86 yard touchdown to open the scoring. Wide receiver Paige spent the whole of his 10-year career with the Chiefs, racking up 50 touchdowns. With over 1,000 receiving yards, this was probably his most successful year as a Chief. He set a couple of notable records: he had a mammoth 309 receiving yards in a single game which was an NFL record at the time (beaten since by Calvin Johnson), and he also strung today 83 consecutive games with at least one reception, which was a franchise record until it was surpassed by Tony Gonzalez.

With the Chiefs enjoying the majority of possession, kicker Nick Lowery then hit 3 field goals to improve the score. Late in the half Steve de Berg struck again, with another touchdown pass, this time to Robb Thomas, to make the half time score 23 – 0.

Unlike Paige who was a one-team player, Steve de Berg was a journeyman quarterback who played for five different NFL teams over twenty years, often as a back up. His 1990-1991 spell as a starting quarterback for the Chiefs was the high spot of his career: winning 21 regular season games and losing only 10, and making the playoffs both years. At the end of his career he re-emerged from retirement to make a single start for the Atlanta Falcons at the age of 44, making him still the oldest quarterback starter in the NFL.

In the second half the Chiefs emphasised the ground game as they were comfortably ahead. Christian Okoye grabbed a pair of trademark 1 yard rushing TDs, either side of the Patriots only score of the game, a consolation touchdown for tight end Marc Cook. The Chiefs continued on from this win to finish up with an 11-5 record, but lost narrowly to the Dan Marino led Miami Dolphins.

Elsewhere in the NFL at the time:

The LA Raiders bounced back from their defeat at the hands of the Chiefs, to win against the Denver Broncos in another divisional match-up. Bo Jackson starred with 2 touchdowns and over 100 yards rushing as the Raiders won 23-20

Elsewhere in the world:

Following Margaret Thatcher’s resignation, John Major becomes Prime Minister. Also, British and French engineers working on the Channel Tunnel meet in the middle, creating the first direct land link from Britain to Europe since the end of the Ice Age.

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