NFL: 25 Most Disappointing 1 Seeds In NFL Playoff History

Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas (C) (Photo by DAVE KAUP/AFP via Getty Images) /

25 Most Disappointing 1 Seeds In NFL Playoff History: 18. 1997 Kansas City Chiefs

Ah, the Kansas City Chiefs again. Prior to their 2019-20 Super Bowl win, there was a lot of disappointment for Chiefs fans after amazing seasons. 1997-98 was no different. This year’s Chiefs team went into the season with a quarterback controversy. Rich Gannon and Elvis Grbac were both incredibly talented QBs. Grbac started in 10 games and went 8-2. Gannon started in six games and went 5-1. It was a no-lose situation for the regular season. Once the playoffs started, that was a different story.

We’ll get to the playoffs in a moment. There was a ton of talent on this team, helping them put everything together. It was the last year for running back Marcus Allen. It was the first year for tight end Tony Gonzalez. Andre Rison made the Pro Bowl with 1,092 yards. This offense was really talented. (They also had Joe Horn, but the Chiefs never really knew had to use him.)

They just got a bad draw in the playoffs. After winning 13 games in 1997, their reward is the Wild Card team. That happened to be the 12-win and division-rival Denver Broncos. John Elway was getting to the end of his career, and the Broncos had a revamped team with Terrell Davis running the show. The Broncos had the second most wins in the AFC, but since the Chiefs won the division, they had to beat the top seeds. The Patriots won the East with 10 wins, and the Steelers won the Central with 11 wins.

In the playoffs, it was a defensive battle. Elway only threw for 170 yards, and the Chiefs gave the ball to Grbac. He did a little better, but he was only able to produce one touchdown drive. He did help the Chiefs take a 10-7 lead in the third quarter, but the Broncos were a team of destiny. Davis scored his second touchdown to start the fourth quarter, and the Chiefs couldn’t recover. They brought it down to the Denver 20 yard line with just a few seconds left. On fourth down, Lake Dawson could not come down with a catch, and that was the season for the Chiefs.