Looking back at Chiefs quarterbacks – Who is No. 2?

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JULY 2015 – I recently watched the ESPN 30 for 30 about the 1983 NFL Draft: Elway To Marino and was instantly reminded of our blunder of drafting Todd Blackledge with the seventh pick, the second quarterback selected that year.

Yes, we the Chiefs could have selected Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Richard Dent or even Reggie Roby (6th round). I sat there wondering if Kelly or Marino would have succeeded with the Chiefs during our miserable years in the mid to late 1980s.

We are only left to dream and ponder of what could have been. And we are still puzzled why the Chiefs have not drafted a quarterback in the first round in recent years.

Kansas City has had more than 30 starting quarterbacks in the Chiefs’ 50-plus years of existence. I recently challenged many fans to list at least 20 starting QBs and many got close, but could not come up with them all. Who could as there are some forgettable names in the past half century?

It is easy to fail to recall Jacky Lee or Pete Beathard, who got spot starts in the 1960s. It’s also hard to remember Frank Seurer, although he is a KU product, and Mark Vlasic.

One of these Chiefs quarterbacks that some still forget is Chase Daniel, a Missouri alumnus, has started two games the past two years in place of Alex Smith.

With that being said, I have come up with my all-time awards for best/worst and unusual quarterbacks to have worn a Chiefs’ jersey.

Sponsor-ChiefsThe Greatest: Len Dawson. This is a no-brainer. He leads in almost every major stat. He led us to the only two super bowl appearances. Dawson may not have been the best QB during his time, but he still holds the NFL record for seasons leading the league in completions percentage. Add the Super Bowl IV MVP and he is the clear cut choice.

Number 2: Trent Green. Many arguments here, but he is second in most categories and deserves this recognition. He is the only QB to have a “perfect” QB rating and add a 99-yard TD pass to his numbers and you can see why I ranked him here. He had more 300 yard games, a higher QB rating and averaged more yards per attempt than any other KC QB.

Number 1 Unsung Hero: Mike Livingston. Our only Super Bowl victory may not have happened without Livingston. After Dawson and Jacky Lee were injured, Livingston guided KC to six straight victories in the 1969 season.

Most Underrated KC QB: Steve DeBerg. In the four years DeBerg started in KC, we made it to the post-season twice. In 1990, he tossed 23 touchdowns with only four interceptions. DeBerg was replaced by Dave Krieg.

Most Overrated KC QB: Matt Cassel. Sure we had a 10-win season with him, but it just felt like we never had a chance when we were behind.

Most Hard-Luck QB: Bill Kenney. Kenney spent most of his career on his back behind a porous offensive line, but he did rack up some nice stats during his short run. His best season was 1983, throwing for more than 4,000 yards and leading the NFL in completions.

Best Trade of a Starting QB: Cotton Davidson.   Before Dawson and before the Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City, becoming the Chiefs (I never understood why the Texans mascot wouldn’t fly in KC?), Davidson, a Baylor great and a two-time AFC All-Star, was starting for the Texans. After Dawson became the starter, Davidson would be traded to the Oakland Raiders for the No. 1 selection in the 1963 draft. The Chiefs used that pick on Grambling defensive lineman Buck Buchanan, who developed into a pro Hall of Famer.

Best “Too Bad We Got Him Towards the End” QB: Joe Montana. He led the Chiefs to the AFC championship game after the 1993 season, his first KC year, with playoff victories over Pittsburgh and Houston, and gave us hope for years to come. However, 1994 would be his last year and we quickly watched our hopes diminish.

Worst QB Controversy: Rich Gannon vs. Elvis Grbac. Many are still trying to forget the 1997 season in which Gannon replaced the injured Grbac with five consecutive victories down the stretch to give us home-field advantage. The rest is history: Grbac stayed and Gannon went out to become an MVP and appeared in a Super Bowl with the Raiders.

QB We’d Love To Forget: Blackledge. Maybe not truly his fault, but the 1983 draft still haunts us.

You May Have Forgotten They Started For KC: Ron Jaworski and Warren Moon. Two greats who once took a few snaps at Arrowhead, but far beyond their glory days.

Worst QB with Best Stat: Steve Bono. We all would love to forget his tenure in KC, but who can forget his 76-yard TD run untouched on Oct. 2, 1995 against the Arizona Cardinals. At the time, it was the longest run by a NFL quarterback. That was a classic.

Worst Stat Of A Starting KC QB: Doug Hudson. In his only start in 1987 against Denver, Hudson was sacked in the end zone for a safety, he fumbled as well, but recovered.   He threw one incomplete pass. He never appeared in another NFL game.

That’s my list and I’m sticking to it, but feel free to contact me with your Chiefs’ quarterback rankings and memories, both good and bad.

Article by James “JP” Peuster. JP can be reached at www.jpegsports.com. Listen to JPEG Sports 24/7 at www.jpeg247.com or on Wednesdays 3 to 4 p.m. at 1510 AM on the radio dial.

One Response to Looking back at Chiefs quarterbacks – Who is No. 2?

  1. JJ Birden says:

    Nice write up on the Chiefs QB’s. The right pick on Dawson and you know I agree with your on DeBerg and Montana since I was privileged to play with both. Deberg was hot in ’90 and Cool Joe almost led us to the Super Bowl in ’93.

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