Remembering Opening Day: 1993

Over the next few days as a lead up to the 2010 Chiefs season opener, we are going to remember some of the more memorable first games for the red and gold over the last 30 seasons. These are openers that I’ve seen first-hand over the past three decades. Here’s one of my favorites.

Sunday, September 5, 1993 @ Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Fl., Denver, Co.

On a hot, muggy day at the old stadium in Tampa, three players made their regular-season debuts as members of the Chiefs.

By the time they were done, Joe Montana, Marcus Allen and Will Shields would establish themselves of Hall of Fame caliber players. Montana and Allen are already enshrined in Canton, and Shields should get his ticket punched soon after he becomes eligible (in 2012).

Montana came to the Chiefs in a trade with the 49ers. Allen signed with the club as an unrestricted free agent, leaving the hated Raiders. Shields was the team’s first pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, going in the third round after an All-America career at Nebraska.

On this day, everything clicked for the Chiefs. Montana had made a smooth transition to the west coast offense as it was being put together and called by offensive coordinator Paul Hackett. Allen was very quickly a team leader and showed that despite having been in Al Davis’ doghouse for four years he still had gas in his tank.

It was a different story with Shields. He was a backup in this first game, but right guard Danny Villa went down with an injury. That forced Shields to jump in and play, a position he never left until his retirement after the 2006 season. The last thing he heard when he went on the field that Sunday in Tampa were the words of offensive line coach Alex Gibbs: “Don’t get Montana killed.”

Tampa Bay opened the scoring with a first quarter field goal from Michael Husted of 35 yards. But after that it was 27 straight points for the Chiefs, with a pair of Montana touchdown passes and a TD run from Allen. K Nick Lowery hit field goals of 20 and 23 yards. The Chiefs left Tampa with a 27-3 victory, the first of 13 in the season that ended in an AFC Championship game loss to Buffalo.

It was the first chapter in what would be a two-year passion play with Montana, a five-season story with Allen and 14 seasons with Shields.

CHIEFS-BUCCANEERS/Sunday, September 5, 1989

Kansas City        0    17    7    3    –    27

Tampa Bay         3     0    0    0    –     3

Team Statistics

Chiefs

Buccaneers

First Downs

20

15

Total Yards

400

147

Runs-Yards

31-122

20-25

Net Passing Yards

278

132

Cmp-Att-Int

18-26-0

20-35-1

Sacks Allowed

1-6

1-8

Fumbles-Lost

5-3

2-0

Time of Possession

30:29

29:31

  • Leading Rushers: Chiefs – RB Marcus Allen 13-19 yards; Buccaneers – Cobb 17-28 yards.
  • Leading Receivers: Chiefs – WR J.J. Birden 8-82 yards; Buccaneers – Hawkins 6-53 yards.
  • Leading Passer: Chiefs – Joe Montana 14 of 21 for 246 yards; Buccaneers – Steve DeBerg 12 of 20 for 79 yards.

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