Best Kansas City Chiefs Players Tournament, Round 1: Marty Era Region
With the first round of the NCAA tournament halfway through, we are also halfway through the first round of the Best Kansas City Chiefs Player tournament.
On Wednesday, fans voted for No. 1 RB Christian Okoye, No. 2 S Deron Cherry, No. 4 WR Stephone Paige and No. 6 CB Albert Lewis. Eliminated was No. 3 RB Joe Delaney, No. 5 WR Carlos Carson, No. 7 K Nick Lowery and No. 8 C Jack Rudnay.
Today, we will go over the top eight players from the Marty Era region.
Keep in mind, some players played in multiple regions. Therefore, some players you do not see on here might be mentioned in the final part of Round 1 when we conclude the round next Monday with the 2000s Era region.
At 11:59 p.m. CST, the votes will be counted and the winners will advance.
No. 1 LB Derrick Thomas vs. No. 8 CB Dale Carter
With the fourth pick in the 1989 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected Derrick Thomas out of Alabama. Thomas was the first defensive player selected in the 1989 draft and proved why he won the honors he earned.
While spending his entire career with the Chiefs, Thomas collected a franchise high 126.5 sacks. His most dominant season came in 1990, where he crushed opposing quarterbacks 20 times. Throughout the 90s, Thomas was known as the league’s most dangerous pass-rusher.
He was the league's Defensive Rookie of the Year and went on to be noticed, but was unstoppable.
Who is the better Chief?
Thomas holds the franchise record for forced fumbles in a season and career, fumbles recovered in a career, sacks in a single-season and safeties in a career. The most prestigious record held by Thomas is when he recorded an NFL high seven sacks in one game.
His career was cut short during a car accident in 2000.
Thomas was voted to nine Pro Bowls and won six All-Pro honors. He has a spot in both the Chiefs and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is also one of five Chiefs players to win the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. His jersey, 58, is retired by the Chiefs.
Thanks to Dale Carter’s current opponent, the blitz provided up front allowed Carter to snag some picks and make some defensive plays for the Chiefs.
During the seven seasons he spent with the Kansas City Chiefs, Carter managed to come away with 23 interceptions for 231 yards and one touchdown. He was one of Kansas City’s top contributors at defensive backs during the 1990s.
Carter was unable to find the same amount of success when he spent the other half of his career with four other teams and only came up with one interception.
Carter won the league’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 1992. He earned four Pro Bowl selections and two All-Pro recognitions during his time in Kansas City.
Carter is expected to soon be inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame.
No. 4 QB Joe Montana vs. No. 5 DE Neil Smith
Perhaps Joe Montana is not the most successful player in franchise history. However, he could very well be the best player to ever wear a Chiefs jersey.
In fact, the last time the Chiefs won a playoff game was with Montana under center. Montana is also the only Chiefs quarterback to lead the team to the AFC Championship game since the merger.
Who is the better Chief?
During his brief stint in Kansas City, Montana threw for 6,441 yards, 35 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, including the postseason. Montana was the final piece in helping Kansas City become a Super Bowl caliber team.
Despite not making it beyond the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Title game, Montana still proved a lot of people wrong and got the opportunity to showcase what he could still do. Kansas City gave him that opportunity and Montana earned a Pro Bowl invitation once as a Chief.
Despite leaving Kansas City for Denver, Neil Smith still accomplished a lot in nine years as a Chiefs defensive end.
Smith racked up 85.5 career sacks in Kansas City, placing him second among all defensive players in franchise history. With Thomas as his teammate, Smith helped Kansas City create a defense in which no quarterback wanted to go up against.
Smith eventually went on to earn 100 career sacks, in which only 28 players in NFL history have. Smith earned five Pro Bowl invitations and three All-Pro selections while playing for the Chiefs. He also earned his way to the Chiefs Hall of Fame.
No. 3 RB Marcus Allen vs. No. 6 C Tim Grunhard
Marcus Allen’s career appeared to be over in Oakland, but Kansas City gave him a chance to resurrect his career. In the end, Allen made the right choice by coming to Kansas City.
Allen rushed for 3,698 yards and caught for 1,153 yards in his five seasons with the Chiefs. Allen came away with 47 total touchdowns while he tried to rebound in Kansas City.
Who is the better Chief?
As a Chief, Allen earned one Pro Bowl invitation and was named to one All-Pro selection. He earned the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in 1993, in which he rushed for 763 yards and 12 touchdowns. Allen also had three touchdowns thrown to him that season, helping him win the award.
Despite spending 11 seasons with the Raiders and only five with the Chiefs, Allen decided to go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a Chief, even though he won a Super Bowl with the Raiders.
Allen holds the record as the oldest player to score over 10 touchdowns in a season at 37.
Tim Grunhard became Kansas City’s most dominant center since Jack Rudnay played for the Chiefs. In his 11 seasons with the Chiefs, Grunhard snapped footballs to Steve DeBerg, David Krieg, Joe Montana, Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac and Rich Gannon.
Grunhard started in 164 games with the Chiefs including postseason contests. He is 11th all-time for most games played as a Chief.
Grunhard eventually received attention and played in the 1999 Pro Bowl. Grunhard became the head coach of Bishop Miege High School football team—a Roman Catholic private school located in Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Grunhard went on to coach Bishop Miege to the 2009 4A state title victory. Grunhard recently joined the Kansas Jayhawks staff as the offensive line coach under head coach and former Chiefs offensive coordinator, Charlie Weis.
No. 2 G Will Shields vs. No. 7 FB Kimble Anders
Will Shields had one of the more prolific careers in franchise history and is very well known as the best guard to ever play the game while spending all 14 playing years in Kansas City.
Who is the better Chief?
Shields represented his last name very well—he shielded Montana, Bono, Grbac, Gannon and Trent Green. He also paved the way for Allen, Anders, Tony Richardson, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson.
Shields started in 223 games and is the only player in franchise history to play in over 200 games. He earned 12 Pro Bowl invitations and nine All-Pro honors. He also won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2003.
Shields is more than likely to earn a spot in the Chiefs and the Pro Football Hall of Fame and have his jersey, 68, be retired by the Chiefs.
Today, Shields runs 68 Inside Sports, a gymnasium and sports facility in Overland Park, Kan.
Having spent his entire 10-year career with the Chiefs, Kimble Anders was one of the more productive fullbacks to play the game of football.
Anders rushed for 2,261 yards with a 4.6 yard per carry average. He came through the most when he caught 369 passes for 2,829 yards. Anders scored 18 total touchdowns, nine rushing and nine receiving to help Kansas City become a high scoring offense in the 90s.
Anders impressed many football spectators with his ability to rush, catch and run with the football and went on to play in three Pro Bowls.
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