With Patrick Mahomes set to be the best Chiefs (and NFL) player of the 2020’s, lets take a look back at the greatest Chiefs player from each decade.
1960’s – Len Dawson
Patrick Mahomes may be the face of the Chiefs now, but before Mahomes, Len Dawson was and still is the greatest QB in franchise history. Winning four championships throughout his career, three AFL Championships, and one Super Bowl, Dawson put Kansas City on the map with his passing abilities.
Dawson owns some of the most illustrious records in franchise history including, all-Time passing yardage (28,507), all-Time passing touchdowns (237), and all-time wins (93). Throughout his career he was the Mahomes of the 1960’s, leading the league in completion percentage and passing touchdowns on multiple occasions. Just take a look at some of the off balance Mahomes-esque passes Dawson was throwing up before Pat’s dad was even thought of.
1970’s – Bobby Bell
Bobby Bell’s career could have landed him in either decade as the top player of the 1960’s or 1970’s, as the DE turned OLB racked up sacks and interceptions left and right. Bell was a nightmare for offenses in the 70’s, known for his pass rushing and on the ball defense he was able to keep offenses on their toes.
One of a very select few, Bell amassed 20 sacks and 20 interceptions in his career helping pave the way for him to be the first Chiefs player in the Hall of Fame. Between me and you, I’d never want to be lined up on the other side of this all-time NFL defensive legend, just look at that stare down.
1980’s – Deron Cherry
Arguably the greatest Chiefs player to not be in the Hall of Fame, Deron Cherry was the definition of a hard-nosed safety. The five-time All-Pro and 1986 AFC Defensive Player of the Year made the transition from punter to top two safety in Chiefs history.
Cherry amassed 927 career tackles, with six 100 tackle seasons and ranks third in franchise interceptions. Now known for his civic service with multiple organizations, Cherry was one of the meanest safeties in the league in the 1980’s.
1990’s – Derrick Thomas
Potentially the greatest and most dominant Chiefs legend of all-time, it should be no surprise that Derrick Thomas takes the number one spot for the 1990’s. Thomas was a sack machine during his time in the league, amassing 126.5 throughout his career. In 1990 Thomas had one of the greatest seasons of any defensive player in NFL history, with 20 sacks, seven of which came in a single game.
Thomas’ legacy can still be felt anytime you visit Arrowhead stadium, as fans young and old still dawn the legendary 58.
2000’s – Tony Gonzalez
The year 2000 was a new millennium and brought with it a player who would change the TE position forever, Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez broke out in 2000, his third season, and showed the league that TEs can be much more than blockers and a QB’s fourth or fifth option when he amassed 849 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
Gonzalez is the greatest tight-end in NFL history, hands-down. He holds the franchise record for receiving yards (10,940), receiving touchdowns (76), and receptions (916). The 14-time Pro Bowler paved the way for guys like Rob Gronkowski and the Chiefs own Travis Kelce. Although he didn’t finish his career with the Chiefs, Gonzalez is without a doubt a Chief for life.
2010’s – Travis Kelce
As much as I want to put our $503 million dollar man, Patrick Mahomes, in this spot, the greatest Chiefs player from the 2010’s goes to Travis Kelce. Kelce has already cemented himself as an all-time Kansas City Chiefs great in only seven seasons. The former QB turned college TE is not only the best TE in the NFL currently, but could easily be considered a top-15 receiver in the league as well.
Holding the record for most 1,000 yard seasons by a TE, Kelce has an impressive rap sheet of his own including five Pro Bowl selections, four All-Pro selections, and Super Bowl Champion. With his QB getting resigned for another 12 seasons, expect Kelce to continue to dominate defenses into the 2020’s and lead the Chiefs to another Super Bowl.