Kansas City Chiefs All-Time Best: The Offense

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Kansas City Chiefs All-Time Best: The Offense

QUARTERBACK:  LEN DAWSON

Long-time Chiefs fans will consider this a no-brainer. 

Joe Montana has by far the best resume of any quarterback to ever play for the Chiefs. The problem is, his biggest accomplishment in red and gold was his 1994 display of "Montana Magic" at Mile High Stadium against the Broncos

Montana's 5-yard touchdown pass to Willie Davis with only 8 seconds left on the clock, capped what arguably was the best drive, with less than two minutes to go in a game, in Chiefs history.

Younger Chiefs fans, or those who think the "best" quarterback is the guy who throws for a lot of yards and touchdowns, will say Trent Green should be at the top of the list.

Green, playing in Dick Vermeil's pass-happy offense, averaged 4,023 yards and 22 TDs over five seasons in Kansas City. 

What neither Montana nor Green could do in Kansas City however, was get the team to the Super Bowl, something Dawson did twice. 

Statistically, Dawson threw more touchdowns than any other quarterback between 1962 and 1969. 

After injurying a knee the second week of the 1969 season and missing five games, Dawson went on to lead the Chiefs to their lone Super Bowl win and was named the game's MVP.

 

RUNNING BACK:  PRIEST HOLMES

The most talented running back to ever don a Chiefs uniform was Joe Delaney. 

In fact, after his 193-yard performance against the Oilers in his rookie season of 1981, Houston defensive end Elvin Bethea was quoted as saying,

"I've played against the best: OJ Simpson, Gale Sayers, Walter Payton and Delaney ranks right up there with them... He is great with a capital G."

Delaney won rookie of the year honors that season, rushing for 1,121 yards, but his sophomore season would be cut short by the NFL strike and a detached retina. 

Unfortunately for Delaney and the Chiefs, with less than a month left before the start of training camp in 1983, he lost his life trying to save three young boys from drowning in a Louisiana pond.

Other runners whose stars once shined in a Chiefs uniform include the Nigerian Nightmare Christian Okoye, Abner Haynes, Ed Podolak and Marcus Allen. 

However, no running back would remind long-time Chiefs fans of the great Joe Delaney more than Priest Holmes.

Holmes, after four unassuming seasons for the Ravens, resurrected his career in Kansas City in 2001.  Over the next three seasons, he started 46 games at halfback and ran for 4,590 yards and scored 61 touchdowns, best in the NFL during that span.

Between 2001 and 2007 when he retired, Holmes became the all-time leader in Chiefs history in several categories, including:

Career rushing yards - 6,070

100-yard rushing games - 24

10+ yard carries - 186

Rushing touchdowns - 76

 

FULLBACK:  KIMBLE ANDERS

Tony Richardson took over the Chiefs starting fullback duties in 1999 and quickly became the best friend of running backs Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. 

Running behind Richardson's blocking, Holmes and Johnson turned in four of the top five rushing campaigns in Chiefs history. 

For Chiefs fans from the 90s, you'll remember Houston native Kimble Anders. 

Between 1993 and 1998, Kimble Anders became the most productive Chiefs fullback in the team's history. 

Anders, a hard-nosed runner and excellent receiver, was also an outstanding blocker responsible for plowing the road ahead of Hall of Famer Marcus Allen. 

In his career with the Chiefs, he caught 369 passes for 2,829 yards, while running for another 2,261 yards. 

Checking in at a modest 5'11" and 218 pounds, Anders exhibited surprising speed and agility for a fullback.  A powerful runner, he would often make opposing linebackers and safeties look inconsequential as he put his head down and ran through them. 

Then, without a word or glance in his conquered opponent's direction, Anders would simply get up and jog back to the huddle.  

 

TIGHT END:  TONY GONZALEZ

Prior to 1997, the tight end position was used by the Chiefs like it is for most teams, an extra blocker on run downs and an occasional receiver.  The best the Chiefs had ever had to that point was Fred Arbanas.

In his nine seasons, Arbanas served as blocker and the sometimes target for quarterback Len Dawson.  1964 proved to be his best season with career bests in receptions (34), yards (686) and touchdowns (8). 

During the 1997 NFL draft, general manager Carl Peterson made what was arguably the best draft day decision of his career. he traded up to acquire Houston's pick at No. 13 in order to acquire Tony Gonzalez out of Cal.

Gonzalez, in the 12 years since joining the Chiefs, has done nothing less than become the best receiving tight end in NFL history.  He is the Chiefs all-time leader in receptions (916), receiving yards (10,940), receiving touchdowns (76), and consecutive games with a reception (130). 

A sure first-ballot Hall of Famer, it appears that Gonzalez will conclude his career in Atlanta as a Falcon with the only thing missing from his resume being a Super Bowl ring.  

Unfortunately for Chiefs fans, if Gonzalez gets a ring, it won't be in Kansas City.  

 

WIDE RECEIVERS:  OTIS TAYLOR and CARLOS CARSON

Until 2008, no other pass catcher in Chiefs history had more receiving yards than Otis Taylor's 7,306. 

Known for his sure hands, quarterback Len Dawson once said,

"Otis made my job easy.  If you got the pass to Otis, you knew he'd catch it."

Taylor was the team's leading receiver in their Super Bowl IV win over Minnesota with 6 catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. 

On the play in which he scored, it was classic Otis Taylor, as he caught a short pass, turned up-field and stiff-armed his way 41 yards into the end zone.  

During Carlos Carson's 10 seasons with the Chiefs, he accumulated 6,360 yards and had more 1,000-yard receiving seasons than any other Chief with three.

Blessed with outstanding speed, Carson proved to be quarterback Bill Kenney's favorite target.  During his best season in 1983, he caught 80 passes for 1,351 yards, which was good for second-best in the NFL that year. 

 

TACKLES:  JOHN ALT and JIM TYRER

John Alt, the No. 21 pick in the 1984 draft out of Iowa, played 13 seasons with the Chiefs from 1984 to 1996. 

Alt led a rejuvenated Chiefs offensive line in the early 90s and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1992 and 1993.  He was named to the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2002.

Jim Tyrer spent 13 seasons with the Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs.  A menacing blocker, he was named an AFL All-Star eight times and made the Pro Bowl twice. 

Tyrer cleared the way for Chiefs running backs in their Super Bowl IV win over Minnesota.  He was also named AFL Offensive Lineman of the Year that same season.

 

GUARDS:  ED BUDDE and WILL SHIELDS

Ed Budde was an explosive blocker for the Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs for 14 seasons.  As an overpowering presence on the line, Budde helped lead his team to two AFL Championships and a win in Super Bowl IV. 

A mainstay on the offensive line, only punter Jerrel Wilson played longer for the Chiefs (15 seasons).  Budde was named to two Pro Bowls and was an AFL All-Star five times.

Will Shields is arguably the best offensive lineman ever to play for the Chiefs. 

A third-round pick out of Nebraska in 1993, Shields played in 230 consecutive games and went to 12 Pro Bowls, both club records. 

Shields led a Chiefs offensive line that blocked for statistically three of the best running backs in Chiefs history: Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. 

 

CENTER:  JACK RUDNAY

Considered one of the finest centers in the NFL during the 1970s, Jack Rudnay played in 178 games for the Chiefs, including 144 in a row. 

Drafted in 1969 in the fourth round out of Northwestern, Rudnay missed the Chiefs lone Super Bowl championship season with a back injury.  During his 13 seasons, all with the Chiefs, Rudnay was named to four Pro Bowls.

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