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    Best Kansas City Chiefs Quarterbacks of All Time: From Patrick Mahomes to Len Dawson

    The Kansas City Chiefs have witnessed legendary quarterback play since 1964, featuring five names hailed as the most revered in franchise history.

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    The Kansas City Chiefs are lauded throughout NFL history for producing high-octane offenses. But an offense can never fire on all cylinders without stout quarterback play.

    For a team that’s captured four Vince Lombardi Trophies, the franchise has five names revered for their iconic production behind center.

    Ranking the Greatest QBs in Chiefs History

    So, who are the greatest Chiefs quarterbacks of all time? There’s a strong mixture of NFL legends and Super Bowl winners below.

    5) Joe Montana, 1993-1994

    Joe Montana may have had a truncated stay in Kansas City and played in the twilight years of his career, but “Joe Cool” is still revered among Chiefs Kingdom.

    The legendary four-time Super Bowl winner with the San Francisco 49ers arrived as part of the famed 1993 free agency class — the first such class that involved unrestricted free agency and a newer salary cap.

    While the Chiefs were already an established playoff contender with Dave Krieg as QB1, the team gravitated toward the then-37-year-old QB following their 17-0 opening round playoff loss to the San Diego Chargers.

    Montana proved he had fire left in that famed right arm of his, going 8-3 as a starter and leading the Chiefs to their first conference title game appearance since 1969 during the ’93 season. The following year, Montana delivered one last 3,000-yard campaign (3,283 yards) in 1994 before riding off to the sunset after their Wild Card loss to the Miami Dolphins.

    Montana produced a 17-8 overall record with the Chiefs and went 2-2 in the playoffs. But Kansas City is forever the place that stretched out his legendary career before heading to the Hall of Fame.

    4) Trent Green, 2001-2006

    Trent Green earned two Pro Bowls in his 11-year NFL career, and both nods came as a Chief.

    And Green came to K.C. after he was once considered a prized free agent addition for the 1999 St. Louis Rams … the same Rams team that lost Green for the season and got led by a little-known backup at the time named Kurt Warner. Green went on to witness Warner capture the nation’s heart in guiding the Rams to their first-ever Super Bowl win.

    With former Rams head coach Dick Vermeil taking the Chiefs’ head coaching reins, he helped orchestrate the trade for Green ahead of the 2001 season, which involved relinquishing the 12th overall pick of the draft.

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    Green flourished from there, delivering five consecutive 3,000-yard campaigns, including three where he surpassed 4,000 yards. He racked up 3,783 yards in his first Chiefs campaign, which was also the year he led the NFL with 24 interceptions.

    But that would be the last time he led the league in picks. Green tossed between 24 and 27 touchdowns between 2003 and 2005. He also hit 4,039, 4,591, and 4,014 passing yards during that span.

    Of Green’s 28,475 career passing yards, 21,459 came in a Chiefs uniform, ranking him third in franchise history.

    3) Alex Smith, 2013-2017

    Alex Smith’s arrival to the Chiefs was reminiscent of Montana’s famed 1993 addition, as both were former QB1s for the 49ers who eventually lost their starting roles.

    Except Smith came to K.C. via trade, which involved a future second-round pick in the swap ahead of the 2013 season. Smith responded by putting together his first Pro Bowl campaigns.

    He went on to earn three nods in 2013, 2016, and 2017 as the first starting QB of the Andy Reid era. Smith also produced three 11-win seasons, helping establish the Chiefs as a perennial playoff contender.

    The former No. 1 overall pick of the 2005 draft, Smith never threw fewer than 3,260 passing yards in a single season and delivered 4,042 in his last Chiefs campaign of 2017. And that final season eventually became a prelude to a top-10 pick named Patrick Mahomes taking over QB1 duties.

    In the end, Smith ranks fourth in Chiefs history with 17,608 passing yards and fifth all-time in tossing 102 total touchdowns.

    2) Len Dawson, 1962-1975

    We’ve now reached the first Super Bowl-winning QB in Chiefs history.

    It didn’t take long for Dawson and the Chiefs to win their first Super Bowl — four seasons to be exact.

    Dawson even threw more interceptions (13) than touchdowns (nine) during that Super Bowl 4 run, but he went 5-2 as a starter and led the league with a 59% completion percentage during the regular season.

    As a Chief, Dawson led the league in touchdown passes four times (one while with the Dallas Texans before their move to K.C. after the 1962 season). He also delivered a streak of leading the league in completion percentage six straight times from 1964 to 1969.

    Dawson remains revered in Chiefs lore as the team’s all-time leader in passing yardage with 28,507 yards and 237 touchdowns. But his records are likely to fall ahead thanks to our No. 1 choice.

    1) Patrick Mahomes, 2017-Present

    The 10th overall pick of the ’17 draft class is now the most popular Chiefs QB of all time.  Plus, he’s already placing his name into “greatest of all time” conversations across the league.

    The Chiefs would’ve never captured three Super Bowl wins since the 2019 season if it weren’t for the gutsy decision to dump the 4,000-yard passer Smith for Mahomes ahead of 2018. Since that call, Mahomes has spearheaded six straight AFC title game appearances, along with snatching the trio of Lombardi trophies.

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    From an individual accolades standpoint, Mahomes has yet to miss a Pro Bowl nod with six straight nominations. He’s additionally earned two NFL Most Valuable Player Awards and finished all the Chiefs’ SB victories as the game’s MVP.

    Mahomes has led the NFL in touchdowns twice in his career, including his epic 50-touchdown campaign of 2018. Now, he only needs 84 yards and 19 touchdowns this season to officially replace the legendary Dawson as the Chief’s all-time passing yardage and touchdowns leader.

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