1971 Kansas City Chiefs

1971 Kansas City Chiefs

Postby vikingsfan1963 » Thu Jul 15, 2021 10:57 pm

Looking for some opinions about this team. I understand many think this might've been their best team in their 66-71 run. Obviously, it was the beginning of the end for that era as evidenced by the next few seasons. Chiefs vs. Cowboys in the Super Bowl would've been interesting with the former Dallas team going against the team that survived the battle for that city.
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Re: 1971 Kansas City Chiefs

Postby Brian wolf » Thu Jul 15, 2021 11:28 pm

I will sound harsh but Steneruds' missed FGs in the NFL's Longest Game, is one reason why I wouldnt have put him in the HOF despite a great career, though others feel he is very deserving.

The Chiefs had their chance to go to the SB and many fans are still hoping to find-get a videotaped copy of that great divisional playoff game against Miami.
For me, it was Bob Griese's greatest game, though he was perfect in the deciding first half of SB VII.
Had the Chiefs made the FGs, I think they would have beaten the Colts in a tough AFC Championship game but not beaten Dallas, who was on a mission with Staubach. It would have been a better SB than what Miami produced in my opinion and would have allowed Robinson, Culp, Wilson, Taylor and Tyrer the sooner HOF recognition they deserved, especially if they could have overcome Dallas.
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Re: 1971 Kansas City Chiefs

Postby 7DnBrnc53 » Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:19 am

What I would like to know is, what happened in 1972? Weren't the Chiefs one of the favorites for the SB that year? Why did they fall back?
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Re: 1971 Kansas City Chiefs

Postby Bryan » Fri Jul 16, 2021 8:36 am

FWIW, Csonka said something to the effect that the 71 Chiefs were better than the 71 Cowboys, but the Dolphins played their best game of the year against the Chiefs and their worst game of the year against the Cowboys. I don't know if the Chiefs would have beaten the Cowboys in that Super Bowl, but it definitely would have been an interesting matchup.

7DnBrnc53 wrote:What I would like to know is, what happened in 1972? Weren't the Chiefs one of the favorites for the SB that year? Why did they fall back?


The Chiefs got stomped by Miami in the playoff rematch opener (shades of 1970 Chiefs-Vikes), and maybe that affected their confidence for the remainder of the year...but those 1972 Chiefs were a really old team. Most of their starters were in their 30's. I think some of the younger players who were pushed into bigger roles were vastly overrated, too. Dennis Homan, Morris Stroud, Elmo Wright, Mike Sensabaugh replacing Johnny Robinson, Wilbur Young, etc. They simply were not as good as the players who departed. Despite everything, there was a game late in the year against Oakland where a victory would have given KC the inside track for the division title, but the Raiders took the Chiefs apart, 26-3, and had 100 more rushing yards than KC had total yards. Not all that impressive.
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Re: 1971 Kansas City Chiefs

Postby Jay Z » Fri Jul 16, 2021 8:51 am

I don't think the 1971 Chiefs defense was on the level of the 1969 Chiefs defense. 1969 Chiefs defense was a Super Bowl winning defense. 1971 was merely good. Gave up a lot of passing yard the whole year. Got a lot of INT, but lost the turnover battle in the playoff game. Griese, Warfield et al went right through them. Needed to be better and they weren't.

Elmo Wright and Morris Stroud were patch jobs as receivers, and that fell apart in 1972. I don't know why they got rid of Pitts when they didn't have something better. Or why they couldn't keep Garrett happy. Another factor was the Dolphins shutting down Taylor, which I'm sure the Cowboys would have as well. Wright had one big catch, but he wasn't going to be good enough to compensate.

The playoff game kind of masks Ed Podolak's deficiencies as a featured back. Makes him look more explosive than he was. I suppose the fact that he got caught on the KO return shows it a bit. Podolak quickly became a boring plodder that was emblematic of the team's decline.
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Re: 1971 Kansas City Chiefs

Postby Brian wolf » Sat Jul 17, 2021 1:09 pm

Good calls but had they hit the FGs against Miami, I am sure Emmitt Thomas would have clamped down on any other receiver he faced whether Baltimore or Dallas. Warfield was a load for anybody but could Hinton or Hayes, or even the fading Alworth had a big game against him ?
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Re: 1971 Kansas City Chiefs

Postby Brian wolf » Sat Jul 17, 2021 1:20 pm

Elmo Wright getting hurt in 1972 hurt their chances despite a good season from Taylor. Just not enough weapons to help their cause. Injuries, not production is why Taylor hasnt made the HOF yet, in my view ...
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Re: 1971 Kansas City Chiefs

Postby Bryan » Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:30 pm

Jay Z wrote: Or why they couldn't keep Garrett happy.

The playoff game kind of masks Ed Podolak's deficiencies as a featured back. Makes him look more explosive than he was. I suppose the fact that he got caught on the KO return shows it a bit. Podolak quickly became a boring plodder that was emblematic of the team's decline.


Two things...Hank Stram never forgave Garrett for fumbling in the 1970 opener against the Vikes (a combination of Jim Marshall and Roy Winston turned the fumble into a TD) which led to a 27-10 defeat and Bud Grant to snidely remark something to the effect of "The Offense of the future met the defense of the present". Stram shopped Garrett around because of the Vikings fumble.

In regards to Ed Pololak, a stat was created for RBs called "net yards gained", which compared a RBs yards per carry to the leaguewide yards per carry for that season, and then multiplied the difference by the number of carries the RB had. If the league average was 4.0, and Sherman Smith averaged 5.0 on 100 carries, then Smith would end up with +100 net yards. Anyways, someone did all this math and the big takeaway conclusion was that Ed Podolak was the worst RB in NFL history. He had a high number of carries and was always below the league average in yards per carry. Good stuff.
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Re: 1971 Kansas City Chiefs

Postby racepug » Mon Aug 02, 2021 5:53 pm

Bryan wrote:but those 1972 Chiefs were a really old team.
In "The Super '70s" (Tom Danyluk) H.o.F. OG Larry Little said that the Dolphins expected the Chiefs to be fired up in looking for revenge for the previous year's playoff loss and instead, in unforgiving heat (in Kansas City!), the Dolphins smacked the Chiefs around all game. Matter of fact Larry Little mentioned something about how he sprinted from one end of the field to the other between the 3rd and 4th quarters 'cause he could tell that the Chiefs players were sucking wind. Even though I was a little kid at the time as an adult to find out that the N.F.L. (stupidly, in my opinion) had the top two teams (by record, at least) in the A.F.C. play each other in the divisional round of the playoffs really sticks in my craw. Turned out that 1971 was "the last hurrah" for that great core of Chiefs players.
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Re: 1971 Kansas City Chiefs

Postby racepug » Tue Aug 03, 2021 5:32 pm

vikingsfan1963 wrote:Looking for some opinions about this team. I understand many think this might've been their best team in their 66-71 run. Obviously, it was the beginning of the end for that era as evidenced by the next few seasons. Chiefs vs. Cowboys in the Super Bowl would've been interesting with the former Dallas team going against the team that survived the battle for that city.
I've read more than once that Hank Stram felt that his 1971 team was better than his S.B. winning team from 2 years earlier (I'm not sure how his players felt/feel about that). Having them play the Dolphins in the first round of the playoffs was pure idiocy (in my opinion). With Stenerud missing those FGs (that one, in particular) and Ed Podolak being forced out on that k.o. return by Garo Yepremian (of all people) I guess the fates were simply against the Kansas City Chiefs that year.
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