1981 Kansas City Chiefs season

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1981 Kansas City Chiefs season
Head coach Marv Levy
General manager Jim Schaaf
Owner Lamar Hunt
Home field Arrowhead Stadium
Results
Record 9–7
Division place 3rd AFC West
Playoff finish did not qualify
Pro Bowlers RB Joe Delaney
DE Art Still
CB Gary Green
S Gary Barbaro
K Nick Lowery
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1980 1982 >

The 1981 Kansas City Chiefs season ended with a 9–7 record, but no playoff appearance.

Bill Kenney began the 1981 season as the club's starting quarterback and directed the Chiefs to a 6–2 start, including a 37–33 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium on Opening Day. Second-round draft choice, running back Joe Delaney electrified the club’s offense by rushing for 1,121 yards, a team single-season record at the time. He was named the AFC’s Rookie of the Year and became the first running back to represent the franchise in the Pro Bowl.[1] Delaney registered a 193-yard performance in a 23–10 victory against the Oilers on November 15, the best single-game total ever amassed by a Kansas City rookie.[1]

Owning an 8–4 record with four games remaining, the Chiefs were poised to make the playoffs for the first time in 10 years before hitting a three-game losing skid. Bill Kenney missed the club’s final three contests due to injury as Steve Fuller temporarily reclaimed the starting QB position and guided the club to a 10–6 win at Minnesota, in the final contest played at Metropolitan Stadium. With the Chiefs winning the game, Vikings fans began dismembering the stadium as early as the second half—taking seats, pieces of the scoreboard and even chunks of sod as souvenirs.[1] The victory assured the Chiefs of a 9–7 record, the club’s first winning mark since 1973 as coach Marv Levy increased the club’s victory total for a third consecutive year. Inspired by the Washington Redskins’s “Hail to the Redskins,” Levy penned a fight song for the Chiefs ("Give a Cheer for Kansas City"), but much like the team's Wing-T offense, the concept never really caught on.[1]

Offseason[edit]

NFL draft[edit]

Main article: 1981 NFL draft
1981 Kansas City Chiefs draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 14 Willie Scott  Tight end South Carolina
2 41 Joe Delaney *  Running back Northwestern State
3 70 Marvin Harvey  Tight end Southern Mississippi
3 75 Roger Taylor  Offensive tackle Oklahoma State
3 78 Lloyd Burruss *  Defensive back Maryland
4 97 Ron Washington  Wide receiver Arizona State
5 124 Todd Thomas  Center North Dakota
6 153 Dock Luckie  Defensive tackle Florida
7 180 Billy Jackson  Running back Alabama
8 206 David Dorn  Wide receiver Rutgers
9 237 Anthony Vereen  Defensive back Southeastern Louisiana
10 262 Les Studdard  Center Texas
11 289 Frank Case  Defensive end Penn State
12 319 Bob Gagliano  Quarterback Utah State
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[2]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1981 Kansas City Chiefs staff
Front office
  • Founder – Lamar Hunt
  • President – Jack Steadman
  • Vice President and General Manager – Jim Schaaf
  • Director of Player Personnel – Les Miller
  • Assistant Director of Player Personnel – J. D. Helm

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Kicking Teams – Frank Gansz

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Rick Abernethy

Roster[edit]

1981 Kansas City Chiefs roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve List
  • 35 Horace Belton RB (IR)
  • -- James Black DE (IR)
  • -- David Cunningham RB (IR)
  • -- Jeff Davis TE (IR)
  • -- Lance Madison WR (IR)
  • -- Les Studdard G (IR)
  • -- George Stewart G (IR)
  • -- Ron Washington WR (IR)

Complete team roster
Rookies in italics

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 6, 1981 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 37–33
53,305
2 September 13, 1981 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 19–10
50,555
3 September 20, 1981 San Diego Chargers L 42–31
63,866
4 September 27, 1981 at Seattle Seahawks W 20–14
59,255
5 October 4, 1981 at New England Patriots L 33–17
55,931
6 October 11, 1981 Oakland Raiders W 27–0
76,543
7 October 18, 1981 Denver Broncos W 28–14
74,672
8 October 25, 1981 at Oakland Raiders W 28–17
42,914
9 November 1, 1981 at San Diego Chargers L 22–20
51,307
10 November 8, 1981 Chicago Bears L 16–13
60,605
11 November 15, 1981 Houston Oilers W 23–10
73,984
12 November 22, 1981 Seattle Seahawks W 40–13
49,002
13 November 26, 1981 at Detroit Lions L 27–10
76,735
14 December 6, 1981 at Denver Broncos L 16–13
74,744
15 December 13, 1981 Miami Dolphins L 17–7
57,407
16 December 20, 1981 at Minnesota Vikings W 10–6
41,110

Standings[edit]

AFC West
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA
San Diego Chargers(3) 10 6 0 .625 6–2 8–4 478 390
Denver Broncos 10 6 0 .625 5–3 7–5 321 289
Kansas City Chiefs 9 7 0 .563 5–3 7–5 343 290
Oakland Raiders 7 9 0 .438 2–6 5–7 273 343
Seattle Seahawks 6 10 0 .375 2–6 6–8 322 388

[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Kansas City Chiefs History 1980's
  2. ^ "1981 Kansas City Chiefs draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ 2010 NFL Record and Fact Book (PDF). National Football League. p. 385. Retrieved March 7, 2011.