October 28 1984: Kansas City Chiefs 24 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20
By the mid 1980’s, the Chiefs were desperate for success. Their last visit to the post-season playoffs was over a decade ago, and the team was trying to find a path to success under new coach John Mackovic (nowadays, the coach of the Italian national team!)
The team was a so-so 4 and 4 when they welcomed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Arrowhead, but still hopeful of victory as the Buccs were also having an average sort of season. After a quiet start, the game was finally sparked into life by a drive led by Chiefs QB Bill Kenney, and finished by a short range rush by running back Ken Lacy. The Buccs soon equalised, with a touchdown pass thrown by Steve deBerg, who would later leave Tampa Bay to come and play for the Chiefs, to leave the scores level at 7-7 at the half.
Early in the third quarter, Lacy scored again, this time from a short pass from Bill Kenney. Ken Lacy was seen as an exciting prospect at this point. He had opted to play in the USFL rather than the NFL when he left college, joining the Michigan Panthers and scoring 6 times as a rookie in 1983. After transferring to the Chiefs, he scored in three consecutive weeks – against the Chargers, the Jets, and then this double against Tampa Bay. However these would be the last touchdowns he scored as a professional – he struggled to hold down a place in the team over the next few years, before finally being cut after the 1987 season.
Tampa Bay pressed for another equalising score, but the Chiefs defence, helped by a Kevin Ross interception and a Mike Bell sack, restricted them to a pair of field goals. Heading into a the final quarter with a nervy 14-13 lead, Bill Kenney helped the fans relax a little by finding wide receiver Henry Marshall with a 27 yard touchdown pass. A Nick Lowery field goal shortly after gave KC a two-score cushion. The defence did its job once more, with defensive end Art Still helping out with a sack – his second of the game – the Buccs managed a late touchdown but without enough time to threaten to score again.
Art Still was a star defensive end who was taken by the Chiefs second overall in the 1987 draft. With four Pro Bowl appearances and a total of 42 sacks (including 14.5 in this year) in his ten year career with KC, he certainly repaid the faith shown in him with such a high draft pick. Still was selected in 1998 to join the Kansas City Chiefs hall of fame.
With this 24-20 victory, the Chiefs had a winning record overall – but they couldn’t press on from this win, stumbling along to an 8 and 8 record which meant that a crack at the post season would have to wait for another year.
Elsewhere in the NFL at the time:
Joe Montana made three touchdown passes, as the San Francisco 49ers cruised to a 33-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
Much closer in Oakland, where the Raiders led 12-0 early and then 19-2 late, only for an even later Gary Kubiak touchdown pass to level the game for the Broncos – Denver then went on to win a thriller 22-19 in overtime
Elsewhere in the world:
Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by members of her bodyguard – but the news was not all bad, as John Lowe memorably scored the first ever televised nine-dart finish.