On Feb. 11, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will meet in a Super Bowl for the second time in five seasons. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs appear to be building another great NFL dynasty, while the 49ers have found themselves falling just short of a championship in recent years. Super Bowl LVIII will involve two franchises that have been among the NFL’s most dominant over the past half-decade, and this promises to be another close game.

Looking back over all the years since the Chiefs entered the NFL in 1970, we find a total of only 15 games played between San Francisco and Kansas City. The Chiefs have won the last three in a row and now have an 8-7 lead in the all-time series.

Here is a look back at the 10 best 49ers-Chiefs games in NFL history.

Ranking the Top 10 Greatest Chiefs vs. 49ers Games in NFL History

  1. Sept. 26, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium

Final Score: Kansas City 31, San Francisco 10

The 49ers were no match for a Kansas City team led by quarterback Matt Cassel in 2010. Cassel threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns, but it was the Chiefs’ running backs who really stole the show. Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones both rushed for more than 90 yards, with Jones punching in a touchdown and Charles averaging 8.1 yards per carry.

The Kansas City defense also proved too much for San Francisco, recording five sacks and an interception. The 49ers’ star running back, Frank Gore, could only manage 2.9 yards per carry, but he did lead the team in receiving with 102 yards. That was more than double the next-best receiver, making this a game to forget for the visiting team.

  1. Nov. 12, 2000, at 3Com Park

Final Score: San Francisco 21, Kansas City 7

Quarterback Elvis Grbac and the Kansas City offense struggled mightily against the 49ers in Week 11 of the 2000 season. Grbac completed just 22 of 40 pass attempts for 276 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked three times and received little support from his running backs, as the Chiefs were completely outclassed by a strong 49ers offense led by quarterback Jeff Garcia.

Garcia distributed the ball well, helping five pass-catchers post over 30 receiving yards. At the bottom of the box score from this game are a couple of names 49er fans might recognize -- Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens. The fact that these two stars combined for only five catches and 37 yards shows that the 49ers never really needed to leave first gear to win this one.

  1. Dec. 14, 1991, at Candlestick Park

Final Score: San Francisco 28, Kansas City 14

One touchdown per quarter got the job done for San Francisco in this one. The 49ers kept piling on the pain after going into halftime with a 14-0 lead, and Kansas City never looked competitive. Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice caught two touchdown passes and had 81 receiving yards for the 49ers. He was supported nicely by an 81-yard, one-TD rushing effort from Dexter Carter.

This easy win wasn’t without its share of drama, however, because 49ers third-string quarterback Steve Bono suffered an ankle sprain in the second half. Bono was playing because of an injury to Steve Young, who was forced to enter the game and limp through to the end.

  1. Dec. 26, 1982, at Arrowhead Stadium

Final Score: San Francisco 26, Kansas City 13

Head coach Bill Walsh’s 49ers secured a 13-point victory over Kansas City in 1982, which would end up being one of only three wins for the 49ers during that strike-shortened season. It was a stunning decline for a team that had won the Super Bowl at the end of the 1981 season, but when the smoke cleared after the strike, the defending champions finished the year just 3-6.

San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana had an unusually sloppy game in this one, failing to pass for a touchdown and throwing two interceptions. He was bailed out by a Jeff Moore rushing TD and an incredible 83-yard pick-six by Ronnie Lott.

  1. Dec. 6, 1971, at Candlestick Park

Final Score: Kansas City 26, San Francisco 17

We go all the way back to the early 1970s for the No. 6 game on this list. The Chiefs piled on the points in the second and third quarters of this Week 12 matchup to down the Niners 26-17. Kansas City running backs Ed Podolak and Wendell Hayes both went over 65 rushing yards on 17 carries apiece, and wide receiver Otis Taylor contributed 106 total yards from scrimmage.

Emmitt Thomas’s 36-yard interception return made sure there would be no 49ers comeback, and the Chiefs came away with the victory.

  1. Nov. 10, 2002, at 3Com Park

Final Score: San Francisco 17, Kansas City 13

One of the lower-scoring games on this list was played in Week 10 of the 2002 season. The 49ers, led by QB Jeff Garcia, did just enough to outlast quarterback Trent Green’s Chiefs. Most of the scoring came in the first half, with only a Kansas City field goal added in the second.

Two second-quarter touchdowns proved to be the difference for San Francisco, and both were delivered by running backs. Garrison Hearst and Kevan Barlow each notched a score, with Hearst’s 69 yards making him the leading rusher on the day.

Each quarterback was sacked three times, which didn’t help the offensive output on a day when both defenses played well. The Chiefs came into the game as the NFL’s top-scoring team, so the 49ers’ defensive performance was particularly encouraging for a San Francisco team that went on to win the NFC West title before losing in the NFC playoffs’ Divisional Round.

  1. Sept. 23, 2018, at Arrowhead Stadium

Final Score: Kansas City 38, San Francisco 27

The 49ers felt the force of quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ emergence as a star in 2018. After throwing for a total of 582 yards and 10 touchdowns over his first two games as a starter that season, Mahomes set his sights on the 49ers. He quickly led the Chiefs to a 14-0 first-quarter lead and ended the day with 314 passing yards and three touchdown passes.

The Chiefs’ leading rusher on the day, Kareem Hunt, could only average 2.4 yards per carry on 18 attempts, which makes Mahomes’ performance even more impressive. Tight end Travis Kelce was the main beneficiary of Mahomes’ output, catching eight passes for 114 yards, as a Hall of Fame quarterback-tight end duo was born.

A couple of quick 49ers touchdowns after halftime added some interest to this game, but a comeback was never really going to happen. San Francisco QB Jimmy Garoppolo completed 66 percent of his passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns, but he was sacked four times and could only manage a quarterback rating of 43.8. This was the first of three straight wins for the Chiefs against the 49ers.

  1. Sept. 11, 1994, at Arrowhead Stadium

Final Score: Kansas City 24, San Francisco 17

This rare 1990s clash saw two former 49ers Hall of Fame quarterbacks competing against each other. After winning four Super Bowls with San Francisco, QB Joe Montana had moved on to Kansas City, making way for another future Hall of Famer in Steve Young. The two 49ers legends faced off in this 1994 matchup, and Montana came away with the win.

Montana’s 203 passing yards and two touchdowns led the Chiefs to a 24-17 victory at home. The 38-year-old, playing his final NFL season, outplayed the 32-year-old Young, who threw two interceptions and was sacked four times. However, Young would end up with the last laugh when the 49ers went on to win Super Bowl XXIX that season, giving Young his first and only championship ring. 

  1. Oct. 5, 2014, at Levi’s Stadium

Final Score: San Francisco 22, Kansas City 17

An exciting back-and-forth game between these two teams took place in Week 5 of the 2014 season. Drafted by the Niners in 2005, quarterback Alex Smith had moved on to the Chiefs in 2013 and was facing his old team for the first time. He struggled to leave a mark on this game, completing just 16 of 30 pass attempts for one TD and an interception. Second-year Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, playing in his first full NFL season, caught his team’s lone touchdown pass.

The 49ers were led by Smith’s replacement at quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. The exciting dual-threat QB threw for 201 yards and a touchdown, but it was the leg of kicker Phil Dawson that proved to be the difference. Dawson’s five field goals helped lift the 49ers to a five-point victory. San Francisco’s Brandon Lloyd and Anquan Boldin each had more than 70 receiving yards, and running back Frank Gore rushed for 107 in helping to set up Dawson’s game-winning kicks.

  1. Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami

Final Score: Kansas City 31, San Francisco 20

Our No. 1 pick for the all-time greatest Kansas City vs San Francisco game involves a bit of Super Bowl history.

Heading into this year’s Super Bowl, almost a decade has passed since the 49ers last beat the Chiefs on Oct. 5, 2014. They have faced each other three time since then, with Kansas City winning all three games. Of course, the most painful loss for San Francisco came at the end of the 2019-20 season, when the Chiefs defeated the Niners in Super Bowl LIV.

Kansas City had the lead after one quarter, but the 49ers dominated the middle two quarters and had a 10-point lead with seven minutes to go. Rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel was a big reason for the 49ers' surge in that game. The bruising play-maker caught five passes for 39 yards and added 53 more yards on three rushing attempts. He was a focal point of the San Francisco offense, but he couldn’t get his team over the finish line at the end.

Instead of Samuel, the player who came through in the clutch was Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, even though he did yield a fourth-quarter interception. Over the final seven minutes, however, Mahomes and the Chiefs offense scored 21 unanswered points for the victory.

The rally started with Mahomes’ 44-yard pass to wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who inexplicably found himself in acres of space on a third-and-15 situation. From that point forward, it was Kansas City perfection. A quick dart to tight end Travis Kelce pulled the Chiefs within three points before a beautiful sideline pass to Sammy Watkins set up the game-winning score. Mahomes was clutch in just his second season as a starter, ushering in the start of a potentially very long dynasty.

49er fans’ lasting memory will be of a long pass from Jimmy Garoppolo sailing just too far beyond the reach of Emmanuel Sanders, who had broken free of coverage and was open for a touchdown. With under two minutes remaining at the time, that pass could have swung the game back in the 49ers' favor, but it ultimately became an infamous moment in Garoppolo’s NFL career.

We will have to wait and see if Brock Purdy can deliver in a similar situation if he gets the chance.

Parameters for Rankings

These all-time great Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers games have been ranked based on each game’s “wow” factor as well as the overall stakes surrounding the game. As a result, since it had the highest stakes of all, the Super Bowl LIV matchup earned the No. 1 ranking on this list.

Related: 8 things to know about 49ers-Chiefs history

Bet on NFL Odds at Betway

Find season-long NFL betting odds on the Betway sportsbook. You'll find all the latest spreads, parlays, totals, NFL prop bets, moneylines, and NFL futures. Or call it how you see it with our NFL live betting in-play. All your NFL betting needs are covered at our online sportsbook.

Visit Betway’s NFL picks page for picks and predictions throughout the regular season.