Kansas City Chiefs Have A Quarterback Controversy For The Ages

By Troy Alan
Denny Medley – USA Today Sports

In my continued search for the all-time best Kansas City Chiefs football team, I’ve stumbled into a quarterback controversy. It involves whether or not to include statistics that were not accumulated in a Chiefs uniform. For instance, should Joe Montana‘s numbers with the San Francisco 49ers be in play as a Chiefs QB? Same goes for Warren Moon as a Houston Oiler and Rich Gannon as an Oakland Raider.

Gannon is no stranger to controversial situations within the confines of Arrowhead Stadium at the position. As a two-year backup to Steve Bono, many cries were made from the nosebleeds for him to be put in the game. Instead, the Chiefs chose to play the “odd man out in San Francisco” card again and bring in Elvis Grbac, leaving Gannon on the bench to start the 1997 season. After an injury to Grbac, Gannon got his shot and led the Chiefs to the playoffs where he was unceremoniously placed back on the bench. The Chiefs lost the game.

The Chiefs first attempt at dumpster diving the 49ers heralded Montana. He led them to the playoffs, was injured and they lost with Bono at the helm. We all know Joe Cool was the best quarterback to ever play for Kansas City, but was he the Chiefs’ best quarterback?  He’s a four-time Super Bowl winner and three-time Super Bowl MVP. However, he’s ninth on the list when it comes to passing yards with the Chiefs, behind both Grbac and Bono. Gannon is 15th.

My initial thought was that the numbers would prove Trent Green to be the best, and in some statistical categories he is. Among Chiefs quarterbacks that have thrown more than 100 passes, he has the highest completion percentage at 61.9 percent. He also has the longest completion of 99 yards and has the highest yards per game average amongst those QBs with 243.9. He is fifth out of those 22 players in sack percentage. Montana and Bono are tied at the top with a 3.8 percentage followed by Steve Deberg at 5.0, Grbac at 5.2 and Green at 5.9.

A quick look at interceptions shows that Gannon was by far the best protector of the ball. His INT percentage with the Chiefs was an unheard of 1.7 percent. Montana’s was 2.0, Green’s was 3.1 and Len Dawson‘s was almost triple that at 4.8 percent.

That being said, Dawson was not a  part of the “greatest show on turf” and never played under Dick Vermeil, yet he has over 7,000 more passing yards than Green. He has a Super Bowl ring and has led the Chiefs to the only two they’ve participated in. He has also played in, wait… 95 more games than Green? Hold up… 95 games times a 243.9 average equals 23,170.5 yards. That’s more than three times Dawson’s lead.

Just when I was ready to name Dawson the Chiefs all-time best, I changed my mind. If you look strictly at numbers while playing quarterback for Kansas City (rings aside), the best Chiefs quarterback in their history is Trent Green. Never second guess your first intuition.


Troy Alan is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TRantMedia or “Like” him on Facebook.

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