One of football's strangest streaks is finally over.
Jeremy Maclin's third-quarter touchdown reception against the Green Bay Packers on Monday night was the first by a Chiefs wide receiver since Alex Smith hit Dwayne Bowe for a 22-yard score against Washington on Dec. 8, 2013.
It didn't seem like a big deal when no Kansas City wideout scored in the last three games of the 2013 season, but people started to notice as 2014 came and went without it happening.
At season's end, the Chiefs had a 9-7 record, but became the first team to play a 16-game season without a wide receiver catching a touchdown pass. They extended that streak to 21 games this season.
The Chiefs had high hopes going into the Packers game that the streak would end Monday, since Maclin had scored the last two times he'd played Green Bay. On Monday night, Maclin used his Packer-beating acumen to sneak open in the middle of the field. Even Smith couldn't possibly check down from his primary option:
The score capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive that pulled the Chiefs within 17 points, 31-14. During the 21 games that Kansas City's receivers were shut out, Packers wideouts caught 37 touchdown passes.
Many sources claim that the Chiefs were the first team since the 1964 New York Giants to go a full season without a touchdown catch by a wide receiver, but that's a mistake. Frank Gifford caught three touchdown passes that year, and he had switched from running back to wide receiver after his severe brain injury in 1960.
Washington in 1960 is also seen as a possible answer, but there is a debate over Bill Anderson. He is listed as a split end by Pro Football Reference and appears to have been the team's deep threat, averaging over 20 yards per catch in both 1958 and 1959. He played tight end later in his career, including for Green Bay in Super Bowl I.
Before that, the record gets murky. The 1950 Pittsburgh Steelers certainly didn't have any touchdowns from wide receivers, but they were the last team running the single-wing offense. That system didn't use wide receivers, though, so the stat becomes meaningless.