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Kansas City Chiefs: 5 Best Quarterbacks Ever

Kansas City Chiefs: 5 Best Quarterbacks Ever

Kansas City Chiefs: 5 Best Quarterbacks Ever

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes overcame a knee injury this season to lead the franchise to its first Super Bowl in 50 years. He is unique in the fact that he has started his career with Kansas City. Most of the franchise's best quarterbacks have come to the Chiefs on the second or last stops in their NFL journey. Here is where Mahomes ranks among them.

5. Alex Smith (2013-17)

Smith never found his footing during his eight seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and lost the starting job to Colin Kaepernick in 2012. He was traded to the Chiefs and recorded his best years to date, making four playoff appearances and three Pro Bowls prior to being traded to Washington in January 2018 to clear the way for Mahomes to take over. Unfortunately, Smith's career is on hold and could be over as he continues to recover from a compound and spiral fracture to his tibia and fibula in his right leg he suffered last season during a Week 11 game with the Redskins on Nov. 18 against Houston.

4. Trent Green (2001-06)

Green was scheduled to be the starter for the St. Louis Rams in 1999, but suffered a season-ending knee injury and was replaced by Kurt Warner. When head coach Dick Vermeil went to the Chiefs in 2001, he signed Green. After a solid 2002 season, he went on a run of three straight seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards. Green also started 80 consecutive games at quarterback, which is the most in Kansas City history.

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3. Joe Montana (1993-94)

Montana missed nearly two full seasons because of an elbow injury and Steve Young had taken his job by the time he was healthy. He asked the San Francisco 49ers for a trade and they sent him to Kansas City. Although he struggled with injuries in 1993, Montana led the Chiefs to their first division title in 22 years and the AFC Championship Game. He helped lead the team to another postseason appearance in 1994 before retiring.

2. Patrick Mahomes (2017-present)

Mahomes backed up Alex Smith his rookie season, but got the starting job when Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins. In 2018, he threw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns and won the league MVP as Kansas City made the conference championship. Not only is this the best passing season in franchise history, but it also is one of the best of all time. The Chiefs are now in the Super Bowl thanks to its high-flying offense. Even though his time as the starter has only lasted less than two seasons, Mahomes is already the second-best quarterback in franchise history.

1. Len Dawson (1962-75)

After stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, the Hall of Famer signed with the AFL's Dallas Texans and won the league title and MVP his first year. The team moved to Kansas City the next season and he won two more championships and Super Bowl IV. Along the way, he led the AFL in passer rating six seasons and touchdown passes in four.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.