List of Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterbacks

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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 37 different quarterbacks start at least one game in their franchise's history, 21 of which have started at least 10 games.[1][2][3] Cotton Davidson was the team's first starting quarterback; he played all 14 games for the Texans in their inaugural 1960 season.[1] Davidson played with the franchise from 1960 to 1962,[4] and was traded in 1963 to the Oakland Raiders.[5] Len Dawson signed with on July 2, 1962 and played for the franchise for 14 seasons.[5][6] With Dawson as the team's starter, the Texans/Chiefs won three American Football League championships and appeared in two Super Bowl championship games.[6] Dawson was named Most Valuable Player after the Chiefs' victory in Super Bowl IV and retired in 1975 with several franchise records.[6][7] 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. In the 2008 season, the Chiefs started three quarterbacks: Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard, and Tyler Thigpen.[8][9][10][11][12] After Croyle and Huard were sidelined by injuries, Thigpen played in eleven games, winning one and losing ten. In 2009 and 2010, Matt Cassel started 15 of 16 games each season, while Croyle started the other 2 games.

Starting quarterbacks by season[edit]

Patrick Mahomes, the current starter since 2018
Alex Smith was the team's starter from 2013–2017
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.
Tyler Thigpen was the third different starting quarterback for the Chiefs in the 2008 season.[11]
Damon Huard (left) and Brodie Croyle (right) split the starting quarterback duties in the 2007 season.
Trent Green was the team's starter from 2001 to 2006
Elvis Grbac (#11) in huddle
Len Dawson started games for the Chiefs from 1962 to 1975

Regular-season[edit]

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

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

Post-season records[edit]

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

Most games as starting quarterback[edit]

Only the top 10 are listed below.

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

As of the end of the 2018 season

Team Career Passing Records[edit]

Through the 2018 NFL Season

Name Comp Att % Yds TD Int
Len Dawson 2,115 3,696 57.2 28,507 237 178
Trent Green 1,720 2,777 61.9 21,459 118 85
Alex Smith 1,587 2,436 65.1 17,608 102 33
Bill Kenney 1,330 2,430 54.7 17,277 105 86
Steve DeBerg 934 1,616 57.8 11,873 67 50
Mike Livingston 912 1,751 52.1 11,295 56 83

Notes[edit]

a : Since the 1978 NFL season, all teams have played 16-game schedules.[99]
b : Strikes by the National Football League Players Association in the 1982 and 1987 seasons resulted in shortened seasons (9 and 15-game schedules, respectively).[100]
c : 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.[2][51][101]
d : By Week 3 of the 2008 season, Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard, and Tyler Thigpen had all started one game each.[8] Both Croyle and Huard suffered injuries in their respective starts in Weeks 1 and 2.[8][10] Thigpen started the Chiefs' Week 3 game against the Falcons,[11] Huard started in Weeks 4 and 5. Croyle returned to start in Week 7 and suffered a season-ending knee injury.[12] Both Croyle and Huard were placed on injured reserve following the game, leading to Thigpen's second start, against the Jets in Week 8.[102] Thigpen was the starting quarterback through the remainder of the season.

References[edit]

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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  53. ^ "Frank Seurer". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
  54. ^ "Doug Hudson". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 19, 2008.
  55. ^ "1988 Kansas City Chiefs season". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 19, 2008.
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  58. ^ "Ron Jaworski". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 19, 2008.
  59. ^ "Steve Pelluer". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
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  62. ^ "Mark Vlasic". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
  63. ^ "1992 Kansas City Chiefs season". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. Retrieved July 19, 2008.
  64. ^ "Dave Krieg". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
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  98. ^ "2018 Kansas City Chiefs season". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
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