Select Top 20 Kansas City Chiefs Quarterbacks of All Time (Part 2)

Welcome back, football enthusiasts! As we dive into the highly anticipated next part of our series, “Select Top 20 Kansas City Chiefs Quarterbacks of All Time,” the excitement continues to build. In Part 1, we delved into the rich history of signal-callers who have graced the Chiefs’ roster, from legends of the past to the rising stars of today.

Now, in the second part, we’re set to unravel the remaining quarterbacks who have left an indelible mark on the Kansas City football landscape. The competition is fierce as we count down from the middle of the pack to the coveted top spots. From game-changing plays to unforgettable moments, each quarterback has brought their unique style to the hallowed grounds of Arrowhead Stadium.

11. Chad Henne (2020)

This is such a feel-good entry.

Chad Henne is not in any way, shape, or form a hero for any NFL team in the normal sense of the word, but ask anyone in the Chiefs Kingdom what they think of Chad Henne, and you’ll likely get the sort of inflection and energy saved for some of the most beloved players in a team’s history. That’s what it’s like to root for the Chiefs in this golden era.

Henne came to Kansas City with one of the most important backup quarterback roles ever: to shepherd the first few years of Mahomes’ career. While Alex Smith is respected for how he handed over the torch, Henne has also earned loads of credibility for his presence behind and beside Mahomes as the veteran voice and occasional sub when Mahomes went down with minor injuries.

No one will ever forget “Henne’s drive” from this last postseason, and it was indicative of the way that the veteran quarterback would often perform for the Chiefs in relief of Mahomes. No one was ever going to mistake him for the starter, but Henne would always do just enough to move the chains, score the points, and stretch out the time of possession. In the process, Henne will always receive a hero’s welcome pretty much anywhere in K.C., even if he was never the biggest hero on the field.


12. Dave Krieg (1992-93)

Back when Dave Krieg was a quarterback option for teams in the NFL, the Chiefs used to be in the same division as the Seattle Seahawks, a position that gave them a front-row seat to what Krieg could do on the field. After the short Steve DeBerg era, the Chiefs decided to turn to Krieg to see what he could do for Marty Schottenheimer’s offense.

The flavor du jour for the Chiefs in those days was aging quarterbacks, and it appeared no one had any time to teach a new quarterback anything. Looking back, it’s almost laughable the lengths to which the Chiefs organization went to avoid taking a chance on anyone at the position.

For his part, Krieg did have 10 wins in his first season in K.C., but a ratio of 15 touchdowns to 12 interceptions doesn’t look good, and neither does the drop of 10 percent in his completion rate from his previous season in Seattle. That next offseason, the Chiefs would go fishing for a superstar in Joe Montana, and Krieg was soon relegated to the bench for his second and final year in Kansas City.

13. Tyler Thigpen (2008)

Boy, this one is quite a mixed bag.

On paper, Tyler Thigpen’s stint with the Chiefs (and his entire NFL career) is as forgettable as any. He won only one of his 11 starts for Herm Edwards and showcased unimpressive metrics in most categories. He played only a handful of years in the league, mostly as a backup or third-tier option. He was a seventh-round pick who made it farther than most in such a category.

For those who watched Thigpen, however, there was something far more exciting at work—something a bit more difficult to describe to those who weren’t around. He was inconsistent as hell and prone to turning the ball over. Yet he was also capable of carrying the team on long touchdown drives and making the occasional throw or run that would completely stymie the defense.

In a world in which the competition was Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard, the athleticism of Thigpen was something to behold and gave Chiefs fans real hope that there might be some unearthed gem if only given more playing time. In the end, the mistakes were simply too numerous to allow the Tyler Thigpen experiment to continue, but for a brief period of time, Chiefs fans were ready to pin their hopes on the potential of this Coastal Carolina product. That’s worth remembering from a period in which hope of any kind was hard to find.

14. Matt Moore (2019)

Matt Moore had good reason to believe his career was over before he heard from the Chiefs.

During the summer of 2019, Moore was already one full season out of the NFL, with another year ready to start. He’d practiced his last reps with the Miami Dolphins at the conclusion of the 2017 season, and being clearly in his mid-thirties likely wasn’t helping his stock at all. Moore had taken a position as an assistant coach for a high school football team when Brett Veach came calling. Moore’s name was on a shortlist for the position, and the Chiefs were in need of some help.

For the Chiefs, the loss of Chad Henne to injury late in training camp brought myriad questions with it, knowing that Mahomes was great but also young. Instead of leaning on Chase Litton or Kyle Shurmur, the Chiefs decided to keep both sidelined by importing another veteran to be Mahomes’ primary backup.

Moore would end up staying for a couple of seasons in Kansas City, and they were good ones. Moore would win a Super Bowl ring with the team in his first year, and some of that success should be credited to him as he filled in admirably for Mahomes at midseason—first in a close loss to the Green Bay Packers and then in a gutsy win over the Minnesota Vikings. In both games, Moore played well enough to keep the Chiefs competitive, and fans were pleased with the results.

Moore was nothing more than depth during the insanity of a COVID-affected 2020 season, but his veteran presence was so helpful in a pinch when the Chiefs needed it.

15. Nick Foles (2016)
Shortly after the 2015 NFL season, Nick Foles was ready to call it quits. Then he got a call from Andy Reid.

After his first four seasons, Foles was reportedly ready to retire, but the Chiefs needed a backup for Alex Smith, and a familiar face was enough to convince him to come down off the vocational ledge, despite his frustrations after being ousted by the L.A. Rams. He signed a two-year deal (with that second year as an option) with K.C. to back Alex Smith.

That single season was a good one for Kansas City, and Foles played a nice Henne-esque part in the middle of it as he replaced Smith in a midseason win over the Indianapolis Colts and then went on to start and beat the Jacksonville Jaguars the following week. In those games, he tossed three touchdowns with zero interceptions and kept the Chiefs in business toward a 12-4 season.

Fortunately for Foles, much greater things awaited him on the other side of a potential retirement and his short stint in K.C. After declining the Chiefs’ option, Foles went on to be the Super Bowl MVP for Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles in his second stint with the team.

16. Chase Daniel (2013-14)

Somewhere along the way, Chase Daniel became the example. For quarterbacks who are good enough to provide some insurance without threatening in any way the pecking order of a team’s depth chart, there is some solid money to be made for minimal effort—and Chase Daniel is their poster child.

Daniel, a Mizzou product, has pocketed nearly $42 million in his NFL career. In that same span of time, he’s made only five career starts. That’s a lot of money from teams to sit there as veteran insurance only to never really have to shoulder much in the way of responsibility. Not a bad gig.

It was three years in New Orleans and the next three in K.C. Three were quick seasons spent in Philly, back in New Orleans, and Detroit. He banked two more in Chicago and last season in L.A. with the Chargers. All the while, he’s largely just sat and cashed paychecks while waiting for action.

As for his time in K.C., Daniel was brought on board at the same time as the team traded for Alex Smith in a bid to completely overhaul the quarterback position after years of frustration. He didn’t play much, but he was part of a package that at least righted the ship.

17. Mark Vlasic (1991)

Mark Vlasic is an interesting footnote in the history of Chiefs quarterbacks.

The former fourth-round pick of the San Diego Chargers kept winning backup jobs behind Steve DeBerg and Dave Krieg in the early ‘90s (over such other luminaries as Matt Blundin or Mike Elkins). Late in his first season in K.C., back in ‘91, Vlasic stepped in for an injured DeBerg (a fairly common occurrence) and played well under center in close divisional contests. He kept the chains moving, minimized mistakes, and even led the Chiefs to a win over the Chargers in Week 14.

Marty Schottenheimer decided to give Vlasic the start against the 49ers the following week, and the Chiefs’ history might read just a bit differently if Vlasic hadn’t gotten injured so early in the game. Instead, DeBerg reclaimed his role in a frustrating loss to Steve Bono and the Niners, and that was it. When Vlasic did get a turn in the postseason, he threw four interceptions against Buffalo, and that was it.

Vlasic would last another year in K.C., but he would never play another NFL snap.

18. Brady Quinn (2012)

Brady Quinn won three total games in his first three years in the league after being drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. From there, he would be traded for Peyton Hillis and spare change to the Denver Broncos, where he wouldn’t earn a single snap for the next two years.

So it only makes sense for Brady Quinn to start half of an entire season for the Chiefs in 2012, right?

It’s a chicken-and-egg situation. Quinn was doomed from the start for a Chiefs team devoid of talent and led by toxic characters at every level of the organization. The Chiefs were doomed because they were led by Quinn. If anything, we should give Quinn credit for helping usher in the greatest era of Chiefs football by making Clark Hunt so desperate that he did everything he could to turn things around.

19. Warren Moon (2000)

Of all of the names on this list, this one is most likely to elicit an “Oh, yeah!” from Chiefs Kingdom, a lost bit of trivia that will have long-time fans even remembering that Moon ever played for the franchise in the first place.

Warren Moon is, of course, known to football fans as the longtime Oilers legend who is a member of both the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (with a stellar run in Edmonton) and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. He didn’t even start playing in the NFL until the age of 28, but he lasted 17 full seasons with the Oilers, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, and Chiefs.

For his final two seasons as a professional quarterback, Moon turned in his only two years as a backup in Kansas City, which means the Chiefs are the only team who employed him who never knew what it was like to watch him work as arguably the most productive quarterback to ever play the game (the dude threw 435 total touchdowns in his professional football career).

As a sign that it was time to hang it up, Moon got a late-season start against the Chargers in 2000, and the Chiefs lost by a single point despite a miserable showing from Moon (12 completions on 31 attempts, 1 interception). It’s a small but sad anecdote about an otherwise glorious career—and it’s unfortunate that none of the heroics happened in K.C.

20. Damon Huard (2006-07)

Damon Huard went on to have quite the NFL career for a guy who went undrafted in 2006 and didn’t even play for a single team in what should have been his rookie season. After sitting out that ‘06 campaign, the Miami Dolphins came calling with an offer the following spring and ended up winning the QB3 role just a couple of weeks into the ‘07 season.

After three more years in Miami, where he made only six total starts, he went on to back up Tom Brady in New England for another three seasons, where he would make zero starts, before finding his way to K.C. in 2004. It was here that he’d find a home for the next half-decade.

The fact that the Chiefs gave Damon Huard far more opportunities to start than ever before says so much about the quality of the team in those years, especially later on. Huard wouldn’t play a single snap for his first two seasons with the Chiefs, but after Trent Green went down with a concussion, Huard stepped in with surprising results. The Chiefs responded with a three-year extension that offseason and traded Green to the Dolphins.

While Green might have come close to finished himself, Huard was an abysmal option as a starter for the Chiefs. Despite that strong showing in relief of Green, Huard barely beat out replacement-level competition in the next couple of seasons, put up middling production, and kept the Chiefs from making any real noise.

The Chiefs finally cut ties with Huard after five seasons when Scott Pioli came on board as the team’s new GM and traded for Matt Cassel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *