The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs are a member of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League (NFL). Originally named the Dallas Texans, the club was founded by Lamar Hunt in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League. In 1963, the team moved to Kansas City, Missouri and were renamed the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs have had 55 different quarterbacks attempt a pass, 38 different starting quarterbacks, and 19 different quarterbacks start least 10 games. Eleven of the Chiefs starting quarterbacks have led the Chiefs to the playoffs, however, only five have won a playoff game.[1] Patrick Mahomes has been the Chiefs' starting quarterback since 2018. Mahomes has been the full-time starting quarterback since the beginning of the 2018 season, when he broke multiple single season team records and became the first Chiefs player to win MVP. Cotton Davidson was the team's first starting quarterback. He played all 14 games for the Texans in their inaugural 1960 season.[2] Davidson played with the franchise from 1960 to 1962,[3] and was traded in 1963 to the Oakland Raiders.[4] Len Dawson signed with the Chiefs (then known as the Texans) on July 2, 1962 and played for the franchise for 14 seasons.[4][5] With Dawson as the team's starter, the Texans/Chiefs won three American Football League championships and appeared in two Super Bowl championship games.[5] Dawson was named Most Valuable Player after the Chiefs' victory in Super Bowl IV and retired in 1975 with several franchise records.[5][6] Three quarterbacks currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame have started at least one game for Kansas City: Dawson, Joe Montana, and Warren Moon. The most quarterbacks started in one season was five in 1987, however, this was primarily due to the player strike that led to teams using replacement players. The Chiefs have had the same quarterback start every game in a season 15 times. Trent Green started the most consecutive games with 81. Mahomes and Dawson are the only quarterbacks to lead the Chiefs to the Super Bowl, I and IV for Dawson and LIV and LV for Mahomes, with the Chiefs winning IV and LIV.

Starting quarterbacks by season

Patrick Mahomes, the current starter since 2018
Patrick Mahomes, the current starter since 2018
Alex Smith was the team's starter from 2013–2017
Alex Smith was the team's starter from 2013–2017
Chase Daniel started one game each in 2013 and 2014
Chase Daniel started one game each in 2013 and 2014
Matt Cassel's 15 starts in 2009 were the most for one Chiefs starting quarterback since Trent Green's complete season in 2005.
Matt Cassel's 15 starts in 2009 were the most for one Chiefs starting quarterback since Trent Green's complete season in 2005.
Tyler Thigpen was the third different starting quarterback for the Chiefs in the 2008 season.[7]
Tyler Thigpen was the third different starting quarterback for the Chiefs in the 2008 season.[7]
Trent Green was the team's starter from 2001 to 2006
Trent Green was the team's starter from 2001 to 2006
Damon Huard (left) and Brodie Croyle (right) split the starting quarterback duties in the 2007 season.
Damon Huard (left) and Brodie Croyle (right) split the starting quarterback duties in the 2007 season.
Elvis Grbac (#11) in huddle
Elvis Grbac (#11) in huddle
Len Dawson started games for the Chiefs from 1962 to 1975
Len Dawson started games for the Chiefs from 1962 to 1975
Cotton Davidson, the first starting quarterback in franchise history. Starter in 1960 and 1961
Cotton Davidson, the first starting quarterback in franchise history. Starter in 1960 and 1961

Regular-season

The number of games started in the season by each player is listed in small parentheses. Statistics do not include postseason starts.

14 game seasons
Season Quarterback(s) Reference(s)
Dallas Texans 1960–1962
1960 Cotton Davidson (12) / Hunter Enis (2) [3][8][9]
1961 Cotton Davidson (12) / Randy Duncan (2) [10][11]
1962 Len Dawson (14) [12][13]
Kansas City Chiefs 1963–present
1963 Len Dawson (13) / Eddie Wilson (1) [14][15]
1964 Len Dawson (14) [16]
1965 Len Dawson (12) / Pete Beathard (2) [17][18]
1966 Len Dawson (14) [19]
1967 Len Dawson (14) [20]
1968 Len Dawson (13) / Jacky Lee (1) [21][22]
1969 Len Dawson (7) / Jacky Lee (1) / Mike Livingston (6) [23][24]
1970 Len Dawson (12) / Mike Livingston (2) [25]
1971 Len Dawson (13) / Mike Livingston (1) [26]
1972 Len Dawson (12) / Mike Livingston (2) [27]
1973 Mike Livingston (8) / Len Dawson (6) [28]
1974 Len Dawson (8) / Mike Livingston (6) [29]
1975 Mike Livingston (7) / Len Dawson (5) / Tony Adams (2) [30][31]
1976 Mike Livingston (14) [32]
1977 Mike Livingston (11) / Tony Adams (3) [33][34]
16 game seasons
Season Quarterback(s) Reference(s)
1978 Mike Livingston (14) / Tony Adams (2) [35]
1979 Mike Livingston (4) / Steve Fuller (12) [30][36][37]
1980 Steve Fuller (13) / Bill Kenney (3) [30][38][39]
1981 Bill Kenney (13) / Steve Fuller (3) [40]
1982[a] Bill Kenney (6) / Steve Fuller (3) [41]
1983 Bill Kenney (16) [42]
1984 Todd Blackledge (8) / Bill Kenney (8) [30][43][44]
1985 Bill Kenney (10) / Todd Blackledge (6) [45]
1986 Todd Blackledge (8) / Bill Kenney (8) [46]
1987[a][b] Todd Blackledge (2) / Matt Stevens (2) / Doug Hudson (1)
Bill Kenney (8) / Frank Seurer (2)
[30][47][48][49][50]
1988 Bill Kenney (5) / Steve DeBerg (11) [30][51][52]
1989 Steve DeBerg (10) / Ron Jaworski (3) / Steve Pelluer (3) [30][53][54][55]
1990 Steve DeBerg (16) [56]
1991 Steve DeBerg (15) / Mark Vlasic (1) [30][57][58]
1992 Dave Krieg (16) [30][59][60]
1993 Joe Montana (11) / Dave Krieg (5) [30][61][62]
1994 Joe Montana (14) / Steve Bono (2) [30][63][64]
1995 Steve Bono (16) [65]
1996 Steve Bono (13) / Rich Gannon (3) [30][66][67]
1997 Elvis Grbac (10) / Rich Gannon (6) [30][68][69]
1998 Elvis Grbac (6) / Rich Gannon (10) [70]
1999 Elvis Grbac (16) [71]
2000 Elvis Grbac (15) / Warren Moon (1) [30][72][73]
2001 Trent Green (16) [74][75]
2002 Trent Green (16) [76]
2003 Trent Green (16) [77]
2004 Trent Green (16) [78]
2005 Trent Green (16) [79]
2006 Trent Green (8) / Damon Huard (8) [80][81]
2007 Damon Huard (10) / Brodie Croyle (6) [82][83]
2008 Brodie Croyle (3) / Damon Huard (2) / Tyler Thigpen (11) [84][85][86]
2009 Matt Cassel (15) / Brodie Croyle (1) [87]
2010 Matt Cassel (15) / Brodie Croyle (1) [88]
2011 Matt Cassel (9) / Tyler Palko (4) / Kyle Orton (3) [89]
2012 Matt Cassel (8) / Brady Quinn (8) [90]
2013 Alex Smith (15) / Chase Daniel (1) [91]
2014 Alex Smith (15) / Chase Daniel (1) [92]
2015 Alex Smith (16) [93]
2016 Alex Smith (15) / Nick Foles (1) [94]
2017 Alex Smith (15) / Patrick Mahomes (1) [95]
2018 Patrick Mahomes (16) [96]
2019 Patrick Mahomes (14) / Matt Moore (2) [97]
2020 Patrick Mahomes (15) / Chad Henne (1) [98]
17 game seasons
Season Quarterback(s) Reference(s)
2021 Patrick Mahomes (17) [99]

Post-season records

Quarterback Record
Patrick Mahomes 7–2
Len Dawson 4–4
Joe Montana 2–2
Steve DeBerg 1–2
Alex Smith 1–4
Todd Blackledge 0–1
Dave Krieg 0–1
Steve Bono 0–1
Elvis Grbac 0–1
Matt Cassel 0–1
Trent Green 0–2

Most games as starting quarterback

Only the top 10 are listed below.

Rank Name Seasons GS GP W L T Pct
1 Len Dawson 1962–75 158 183 94 56 8 .620
2 Trent Green 2001–06 88 88 48 40 0 .545
3 Bill Kenney 1980–88 77 106 34 43 0 .442
4 Alex Smith 2013–17 76 76 50 26 0 .658
5 Mike Livingston 1968–79 75 90 30 43 1 .412
6 Patrick Mahomes 2017–present 63 63 50 13 0 .794
7 Steve DeBerg 1988-91 52 57 31 20 1 .606
8 Elvis Grbac 1997–2000 47 49 26 21 0 .553
Matt Cassel 2009–12 48 19 28 0 .404
10 Steve Fuller 1979–82 31 52 13 18 0 .419
Steve Bono 1994–96 37 21 10 0 .677

As of week 18 of the 2021 season

Team Career Passing Leaders

Below are the top five quarterbacks in each category throughout their tenure with the Chiefs. Stats are complete through week 18 of the 2021 NFL Season.

Yards[100]
Name Yards
Len Dawson 28,507
Trent Green 21,459
Patrick Mahomes 18,991
Alex Smith 17,608
Bill Kenney 17,277
Touchdowns[101]
Name TDs
Len Dawson 237
Patrick Mahomes 151
Trent Green 118
Bill Kenney 105
Alex Smith 102
Quarterback rating (minimum 500 attempts) [102]
Name Rating
Patrick Mahomes 105.8
Alex Smith 94.8
Trent Green 87.3
Joe Montana 85.0
Damon Huard 83.3

Notes

a : Strikes by the National Football League Players Association in the 1982 and 1987 seasons resulted in shortened seasons (9 and 15-game schedules, respectively).[103]
b : Replacement quarterbacks Matt Stevens, Frank Seurer, and Doug Hudson started for the Chiefs alongside Kenney and Blackledge following the NFL Players Association strike in 1987. For the only time in team history, five different quarterbacks started in 1987 following the player's strike.[30][47][104]

See also

References

General
  • Herb, Patrick, Kuhbander, Brad, Looney, Josh, and Moris, Pete, eds. 2008 Kansas City Chiefs Media Guide, Kansas City Chiefs Football Club, Inc., 2008
Specific
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