49ers earn Super Bowl spot as Chiefs end title-game drought

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates his 27-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans during the AFC championship game on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates his 27-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans during the AFC championship game on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

Credit: Rich Sugg

Credit: Rich Sugg

The Kansas City Chiefs will play in the Super Bowl for the first time since 1970 — ending one of the NFL’s longest appearance droughts.

The Chiefs (14-4) — who reached the 2020 game after defeating Tennessee 35-24 for the AFC Championship — will face the San Francisco 49ers (15-3) on Feb. 2, 2020, at Miami Gardens, Fla. The 49ers defeated Green Bay 37-20 in the NFC Championship Game Sunday to reach the Super Bowl, which they last played in 2013, losing to Baltimore. San Francisco won NFL titles in 1995, '90, '89, '85 and '82.

» MORE: Tevin Coleman hurts shoulder

It will be Kansas City’s third chance at the title.

The Chiefs lost in 1967 in the first AFL-NFL Championship Game — nope, it wasn't called the Super Bowl yet — to the Lombardi Packers 35-10. Three years later, one year after the New York Jets shocked Baltimore to lay claim to the AFL being equal to the long-established NFL, Kansas City was back. This time, it was known as the Super Bowl — indeed, Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt is credited with coming up with the name.

Kansas City, representing the AFL, defeated the 13-point favorite Minnesota Vikings for the championship in 1970 (Super Bowl IV) at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans behind the MVP performance of quarterback Len Dawson.

Another drought broken is Andy Reid’s return to the championship game. Reid goes back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2004 season, when his Eagles lost to New England. That gap is second longest to Dick Vermeil's hiatus.

Here’s a look at every NFL team’s Super Bowl appearance drought, from the Falcons to the Lions — who have been waiting the longest to reach the NFL’s title game:

1 - New England Patriots 
Last appearance: Defeated Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta 
Last title: 2019

1 - Los Angeles Rams 
Last appearance: Lost to New England in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta 
Last title: 2000 (as St. Louis Rams)

2 - Philadelphia Eagles 
Last appearance: Defeated New England in Super Bowl LII 
Last title: 2018

3 - Atlanta Falcons 
Last appearance: Lost to New England in Super Bowl LI 
Last title: 0 championships in 54 seasons

4 - Denver Broncos 
Last appearance: Defeated Carolina in Super Bowl 50 
Last title: 2016

4 - Carolina Panthers 
Last appearance: Lost to Denver in Super Bowl 50 
Zero championships in 25 seasons

5 - Seattle Seahawks 
Last appearance: Lost to New England in Super Bowl XLIX 
Last title: 2014

7 - Baltimore Ravens 
Last appearance: Defeated San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII 
Last title: 2013

8 - New York Giants 
Last appearance: Defeated New England in Super Bowl XLVI 
Last title: 2012

9 - Pittsburgh Steelers 
Last appearance: Lost to Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV 
Last title: 2009

9 - Green Bay Packers 
Last appearance: Defeated Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV 
Last title: 2011

10 - Indianapolis Colts 
Last appearance: Lost to New Orleans in Super Bowl XLIV 
Last title: 2007

10 - New Orleans Saints 
Last appearance: Defeated Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV 
Last title: 2010

11 - Arizona Cardinals 
Last appearance: Lost to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII 
Last title: 1947 NFL Championship

13 - Chicago Bears 
Last appearance: Lost to Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLI 
Last title: 1986

17 - Oakland Raiders 
Last appearance: Lost to Tampa Bay in Super Bowl XXXVII 
Last title: 1984

17 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
Last appearance: Defeated Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII 
Last title: 2003

18 - Houston Texans 
Zero Super Bowl appearances in 18 seasons

20 - Tennessee Titans 
Last appearance: Lost to St. Louis in Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta 
Last title: 1961 AFL Championship

24 - Dallas Cowboys 
Last appearance: Defeated Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XXX 
Last title: 1996

25 - Los Angeles Chargers 
Last appearance: Lost to San Francisco in Super Bowl XXIX 
Last title: 1963 AFL Championship

25 - Jacksonville Jaguars 
Zero Super Bowl appearances in 25 seasons

26 - Buffalo Bills 
Last appearance: Lost to Dallas in Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta 
Last title: 1965 AFL Championship

28 - Washington Redskins 
Last appearance: Defeated Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVI 
Last title: 1992

31 - Cincinnati Bengals 
Last appearance: Lost to San Francisco in Super Bowl XXIII 
Zero championships in 52 seasons

35 - Miami Dolphins 
Last appearance: Lost to San Francisco in Super Bowl XIX 
Last title: 1974

43 - Minnesota Vikings 
Last appearance: Lost to Oakland in Super Bowl XI 
Last title: 1969 NFL Championship

51 - New York Jets 
Last appearance: Defeated Baltimore in Super Bowl III 
Last title: 1969

54 - Cleveland Browns 
Zero Super Bowl appearances in 54 seasons 
Last title: 1964 NFL Championship

54 - Detroit Lions 
Zero Super Bowl appearances in 54 seasons 
Last title: 1957 NFL Championship