Skip to main content

5 Greatest Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans Games of All Time

Chiefs lead the series 30-25.
5 Greatest Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans Games of All Time

Kansas City's rivalry with Tennessee goes back to the franchises' AFL roots.

"Sunday Night Football" will air the 56th meeting between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans. The two teams have been competing since the launch of the American Football League (AFL) and their series has spanned multiple cities as the Chiefs were originally the Dallas Texans and the Titans were the Houston Oilers.

Along the way, they have played some great games, and they've remained competitive with the Chiefs barely leading the all-time series 30-25. Here are the five best.

5. Kansas City Chiefs 21, Houston Oilers 20

Oct. 12, 1980 — Kansas City, Mo.

Earl Campbell was in the midst of his best season and rushed for 178 yards on a franchise-record 38 carries as Houston took a 10-0 halftime lead. However, Kansas City slowly worked its way back and took a 21-20 lead when the Oilers' defense forced quarterback Steve Fuller out of the pocket and he ran 38 yards for a touchdown with 2:51 left. Houston tight end Rich Caster fumbled on the next possession, and Kansas City recovered to secure the win.

4. Kansas City Chiefs 28, Houston Oilers 20

Jan. 16, 1994 — Houston

The Chiefs acquired Joe Montana and Marcus Allen in the offseason, but the legendary quarterback struggled with injuries during the '93 campaign. However, he was healthy when Kansas City met a Houston team on an 11-game win streak in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs. The Chiefs had throttled the Oilers 30-0 in the regular season, but the Oilers led 13-7 in the fourth quarter of their rematch. Then Montana responded with two touchdown passes to put Kansas City up 21-13. Houston scored on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Warren Moon to Ernest Givins to close the lead to 21-20, but Allen sealed the victory with a 21-yard touchdown run. The game was the franchise's last playoff appearance as the Houston Oilers.

3. Tennessee Titans 22, Kansas City Chiefs 21 (AFC Wild Card Game)

Jan. 6, 2018 — Kansas City, Mo.

The two teams kicked off Wild Card Weekend, and Kansas City scored on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Demarcus Robinson with three seconds left in the half to take a 21-3 halftime lead. The Titans then became the first road team since 1972 to come back from an 18-point playoff deficit thanks to a ball-control offense and a stout defense that held the Chiefs to 41 yards in the second half. They finally pulled ahead for good with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota to Eric Decker with six minutes remaining. Tennessee then stopped Kansas City on downs and ran out the clock.

2. Dallas Texans 20, Houston Oilers 17 (2OT) (AFL Championship)

Dec. 23, 1962 — Houston

Houston entered the AFL Championship Game with the opportunity to win its third straight title, but the first half was all Dallas, who led 17-0 at the end of it. Houston dominated the second half, thanks to quarterback/kicker George Blanda, who accounted for 11 of the team's 17 points when the Oilers tied the Texans 17-17 at the end of regulation. In overtime, Dallas running back Abner Haynes won the coin toss but made the mistake of telling the referees that the Texans would "kick to the clock." He meant that he wanted the Texans to receive with the wind at their backs, but by saying "kick," he gave that opportunity to Houston. It didn't matter. The first overtime period was scoreless, and the Texans won in the second with a 25-yard Tommy Brooker field goal. The 77:54 game time is the longest of any championship game in pro football history.

1. Tennessee Titans 35, Kansas City Chiefs 32

Nov. 10, 2019 — Nashville, Tenn.

The Chiefs entered the game 6-3, and the Titans were 4-5 and struggling to get back on track. They finally did so in this contest of different offensive philosophies. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns, while Titans running back Derrick Henry rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns as the teams traded scores. The Titans scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 23-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill to Adam Humphries with 23 seconds remaining, and then blocked Harrison Butker's 52-yard field goal attempt as time expired. 

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.