This is it! The 32-player tournament to determine the best Chiefs player of all time is available. We will begin the tournament with four different matchups, all coming from the Championship Era region.
How will the best Chief of all-time be decided? You the fans will vote. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we will have another article up for you fans to vote. At 11:59 p.m. CST, the votes will be counted and the winners will advance, regardless of the results of the polls after 11:59 p.m.
#1 QB Len Dawson vs #8 K Jan Stenerud
Len Dawson: Len Dawson played for the Dallas Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs for 14 seasons. During his time as the Chiefs quarterback, Dawson got the opportunity to be part of something special and do something the franchise has not done in 42 years.
Dawson led the Chiefs to their first and only Super Bowl victory in 1970 against the Minnesota Vikings. Dawson and the Chiefs stunned the Vikings, giving Kansas City the last Super Bowl trophy before the NFL-AFL merger. With only one Super Bowl victory in the history of the franchise, Dawson is the only Super MVP in Chiefs history.
Other championship success compiled by the Chiefs with Dawson under center consists of three AFL titles.
Individually, Dawson found a lot of success as he was selected to six All Stars and one Pro Bowl. He is one of five Chiefs to ever win the NFL Man of the Year Award. He also holds the NFL and AFL record for leading the league in completion percentage for more seasons than any other quarterback.
With all of his accomplishments, his jersey, 16, is retired. Dawson is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and currently serves as the color commentator alongside Mitch Holthus for Chiefs games on 101 the Fox.
Jan Stenerud: During the 60's and 70's, Jan Stenerud was the icon of kickers in the game of football. He was one of the first placekickers to use a soccer-like style to kick a football.
Stenerud made 70 percent of his field goals during his three years in the AFL, which was better than the 53 percent average among all kickers in the AFL and NFL.
Stenerud shined in the franchise’s first and only Super Bowl victory. He kicked three field goals against the Vikings in Super Bowl IV, scoring the first nine points of the game. His 48-yarder remained as the longest field goal in Super Bowl history until 1994.
Stenerud has been selected to two All Stars and four Pro Bowls during his professional career. He is one of three placekickers to be enshrined to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His jersey, 3, is retired by the Chiefs.
#4 LB Willie Lanier vs #5 DT Buck Buchanan
Willie Lanier: Following a Super Bowl I loss to the Green Bay Packers in 1967, Hank Stram and the Chiefs drafted Willie Lanier. Along with his accomplishments, Lanier is very well known as the greatest linebackers to play the game because he was the first black middle linebacker to play professional football.
While spending his entire career with the Kansas City Chiefs, Lanier picked off 27 passes in regular season and postseason contests combined. Lanier also recorded two sacks and a pair of defensive touchdowns during his time playing professional football.
His biggest game was in the Super Bowl against the Vikings where he had seven tackles and one interception to help the Chiefs defense hold the Vikings to seven points and go on to win the fourth Super Bowl.
As a member of the Pro football Hall of Fame, Lanier has been selected to two AFL All-Star games and six Pro Bowls. He is the first of five Chiefs to win the NFL Man of the Year award. His jersey, 63, is retired by the Chiefs.
Buck Buchanan: Buck Buchanan shined as one of the best defensive linemen in franchise history. His presence at defensive tackle helped his fellow linebackers who lined up behind him before ever snap in the 60’s and 70’s.
Buchanan was able to shake off his shake rookie season in 1963. After his rookie season, he appeared in every single All Star game and selected to two Pro Bowls after the discontinuation of the AFL All-Star selection.
He has six AFL All Star seasons under his belt along with two Pro Bowl selections. As a key member of Kansas City’s football team during their Super Bowl run, Buchanan is currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His jersey, 86, is retired by the Chiefs.
#3 CB Emmitt Thomas vs #6 WR Otis Taylor
Emmitt Thomas: Another player highly regarded by the franchise for spending his entire professional playing career in Kansas City is Emmitt Thomas. The Chiefs defense under Stram had many big pieces with Thomas being one of them at cornerback.
One of his biggest seasons as an individual came in 1969 where the Chiefs made a Super Bowl run. Thomas earned nine interceptions during that season, making it the second most interceptions he collected in a single-season.
In his 13 seasons with the Chiefs, Thomas racked up 58 interceptions, returning them for 937 yards and five touchdowns. His interception total is the most in franchise history and the ninth most in league history.
Along with a Super Bowl ring in stock, Thomas has been selected to five Pro Bowls. He is a current member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His jersey, 18, is retired by the Chiefs.
Thomas currently serves as the defensive backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Otis Taylor: With the AFL trying to make a name for itself, the Chiefs had many players who stayed with them their entire careers. Otis Taylor is no exception to that list. Taylor was Dawson’s biggest target during the championship era.
In 10 years with the Chiefs, Taylor caught 410 passes for 7,306 yards and 57 touchdown receptions. All of those numbers are the most by any wide receiver in franchise history.
Following the departure of receiver Chris Burford, Dawson aired out most of his passes to Taylor to help the Chiefs build a dynamic offense through the passing game.
Taylor has three AFL All-Star and NFL Pro Bowl honors combined. He is a current member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame and hopes to reach the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
#2 LB Bobby Bell vs #7 G Ed Budde
Bobby Bell: Bobby Bell is not only known to be the best linebacker to ever play the game. He is praised as a player and a gifted athlete who has the ability to play all 22 positions.
Bell’s defensive presence was the biggest for the Chiefs during the championship era. Bell’s 26 interceptions and 40 sacks helped the Chiefs be a force on defense during the 60’s and 70’s.
His defensive performance helped the Chiefs win their only Super Bowl in 1970. He paved the way for many great linebackers in Kansas City.
Bell has six AFL All-Star and three NFL Pro Bowl honors while spending his entire professional career with the Chiefs. He is a current member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His jersey, 78, is retired by the Chiefs.
G Ed Budde: Ed Budde might not be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but that does not mean he did not deserve a spot on this list for his success at offensive guard. Budde’s 14 years, all with Kansas City, is one of the longest tenure’s in franchise history.
Budde was one of the key leaders for a strong and reliable offensive line. For doing a good job of protecting Dawson, Budde played in six All-Star games. The most prestigious honor he earned was when he was the first offensive lineman to by named the Offensive Player of the Week by the Associated Press.
Budde’s strong blocking was another reason as to why the Chiefs captured the Super Bowl in 1970.
Budde is a current member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame.
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