Last Saturday marked the 25th anniversary of the Joe Montana trade from the San Francisco 49ers to the Kansas City Chiefs. On April 21, 1993 the 49ers traded the future Hall of Fame quarterback, safety David Whitmore, and a 1994 third rounder to the Chiefs for a first rounder, which was number 18 overall in the 1993 draft.
The Chiefs had not had a quarterback like Montana with his star power and magnitude since Len Dawson was quarterbacking the Chiefs back in 1962. Dawson helped lead the Chiefs to three AFL Championships in 1962, 1966, 1969, and 1970.
With the trade to Kansas City, the Chiefs acquired a four-time Super Bowl champion, three-time Super Bowl MVP, and two-time league MVP. The Chiefs were ready to compete after trading for Montana and then signed another future Hall of Famer in running back Marcus Allen. The Chiefs had a very talented roster with Montana, Allen, J.J. Birden, and Willie Davis on offense. Neil Smith, Dale Carter, and the great linebacker Derrick Thomas were on the defensive side of the ball.
Montana would help lead the Chiefs to 11-5 record during the regular season and a divisional crown. They would enter the 1994 playoffs opening up at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Montana would throw a game-tying touchdown on fourth down finding Tim Barnett in the end zone, sending the game to overtime where the Chiefs would win the game on a Nick Lowery 32 yard field goal.
The following week they struggled against the Houston Oilers. That is when Kansas City’s offense went to work. Montana would throw three touchdowns in the second half to Keith Cash, Birden, and Davis. Allen would add a 21-yard touchdown run in the Chiefs come from behind victory over the Oilers. The comeback was Montana’s 29th fourth quarter comeback win.
In the AFC Championship, the Buffalo Bills dominated them as the Chiefs lost 30-13. The 1993 season did mark the first two playoff wins for the Chiefs since their Super Bowl win in 1970. The 13 wins, including the playoff wins, tied the franchise record for most wins in a season. In Montana’s final season in the NFL, the Chiefs finished 9-7 as they made the playoffs. However, Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins beat them 27-17.
In two seasons with the Chiefs Montana passed for 5,427 yards with 29 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Ironically two years later, the Chiefs traded away their veteran Alex Smith in favor of Patrick Mahomes II. The Chiefs are hoping Mahomes can lead them to more playoff success as they have struggled in the playoffs since Montana retired.