List of Chiefs quarterbacks by year includes Patrick Mahomes, Alex Smith, Matt Cassel, Trent Green and Len Dawson. Mahomes has been starting games since 2018.

Since the Chiefs made their debut in the NFL in 1960, the franchise has had numerous QBs that have played for the team. In the last three decades, there have been 20 different quarterbacks that have started at least one game.

The Chiefs have three Super Bowl championships with the first coming in 1969 under Hank Stram. Len Dawson was the first-choice QB in the championship year and the team had to wait quite some time to claim their second title.

It was only in 2019 under Andy Reid and Mahomes as the QB that they won their second championship. They repeated it in 2022 as well under the same coach and quarterback combination.

Patrick Mahomes is without a doubt among the top quarterbacks 2023 list alongside Josh Allen and Joe Burrows. Mahomes was the NFL MVP in 2022.

When it comes to the history of quarterbacks who played for the Chiefs, Cotton Davidson was the first starting QB in 1960 and 1961.

The Hunt Family is the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs and Clark Hunt is the Chairman and CEO. They aim to win the Super Bowl again in 2023.

Chiefs Starting Quarterbacks History

Patrick Mahomes (2018-present), Alex Smith (2013-2017), and Matt Cassel (2009-2012) are the Chiefs starting quarterbacks in the last decade.

Source : twitter


Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes will move on to his sixth season as the starting QB and starting the season against the Detroit Lions on Thursday, September 7.

Mahomes is now third behind Trent Green in the list of the most games as the starting quarterback. Mahomes has now started in all of his 80 regular season games since 2017. He only played one game in his rookie season and started the game after being drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Mahomes started his first game as a rookie while he was a backup for then-starter Alex Smith. He only became the starter after Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins (now Commanders).

In his five seasons as a starter and one game in his first year, Mahomes has now become the best quarterback in the NFL right now winning two championships.

  • Win-Loss record: 64-16
  • Passes attempted: 2,993
  • Completed: 1,985 (66.3%)
  • Passing Yards: 24,241
  • Passing TD: 192

Since Mahomes has been the starting QB, not many have had the chance to start games for the Chiefs. Matt Moore started two games in 2019 and Chad Henne started once in 2020.


Chiefs starting QB before Patrick Mahomes was Alex Smith who started games from 2013 to 2017. Even with other options available, he was the first choice.

The predecessor to Mahomes helmed the position for five straight seasons. Although the Chiefs did have other QBs in their squad who were also up to the mark Smith kept his position as the starter.

In 2013, Smith started 15 games and Chase Daniel who did play five games that season started just once. The 2013 season also saw the introduction of Reid as the new head coach after he parted ways with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The QB status was the same in 2014 as well with Daniel starting just one game and Smith starting the entire season in 2015. Daniel had signed with the Eagles in 2016 and the Chiefs signed Nick Foles in August. He started his first game for the Chiefs in Week 9.

Source : twitter


In this era of the Chiefs' history, there were two head coaches who served in addition to the multiple QBs who started in games. Todd Haley was the head coach since 2009 and was fired after 13 games in 2011 and Romeo Crennel took over as interim and was named permanent head coach in 2012.

There were five quarterbacks that started at least once for the Chiefs from 2009 to 2012. Matt Cassel has started 47 games for the Chiefs in this period.

The other three QBs who started games in this period were:

  • Brodie Croyle - 1 game each in 2009 and 2010
  • Tyler Palko - 4 games in 2011
  • Kyle Orton - 3 games in 2011
  • Brady Quinn - 8 games in 2012

Chiefs Quarterbacks Last 20 Years

Chiefs Quarterbacks last 20 Years include:

  • Trent Green (2001-2006)
  • Damon Huard (2006-2008)
  • Brodie Croyle (2007-2010)
  • Tyler Thigpen (2007-2009)
  • Matt Cassel (2009-2012)
  • Tyler Palko (2010-2011)
  • Kyle Orton (2011)
  • Brady Quinn (2012)
  • Alex Smith (2013-2017)
  • Chase Daniel (2013-2015)
  • Nick Foles (2016)
  • Patrick Mahomes (2017-present)
  • Matt Moore (2019-2020)
  • Chad Henne (2019-2022)

Since Trent Green joined the Chiefs in 2001, there have been 13 new players who have taken the QB position for the franchise. Green also holds the franchise record for starting the most number of games consecutively for the Chiefs at 81 games.

From 2001 to 2005, no player apart from Trent Green started or played a game for the Chiefs. It was only in 2006 that Damon Huard played and started eight games.

In comparison to other NFL franchises, the Kansas City Chiefs are a relatively new team and therefore do not have a very long history of players or coaches. There have been 5 appointments as head coaches since 2001 when Dick Vermeil was appointed.

Famous Former Chiefs Quarterbacks

Former Chiefs quarterbacks Joe Montana, Len Dawson, Alex Smith, and Trent Green are among the most famous QBs in its history.

Joe Montana

Source : twitter

Montana is one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in not just the Chiefs' history but in NFL history. He is also among the greatest QBs in the history of the sport.

Famously known as "Joe Cool" and "the Comeback Kid", he has won almost everything in his career that spanned over 16 seasons.

  • 4 x Super Bowl champion (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989)
  • 3 x Super Bowl MVP (1981, 1984, 1989)
  • 2 x NFL MVP (1989, 1990)
  • 8 x Pro Bowl (1981, 1983-1985, 1987, 1989-1990, 1993)

Montana spent 14 seasons with the 49ers and his last two seasons (1993-1994) with the Chiefs. He started all of the 25 games he played and had a 17-8 record. Although he did not win anything with the team, he is still among the most well-known QBs to have played for the Chiefs.

Len Dawson

When it comes to franchise records, Dawson is the record holder in almost all of the categories. Dawson has started the most number of games (158) for the Chiefs and also played the most number of games (182).

Dawson played for the Texans/Chiefs from 1962 to 1975 under head coach Hank Stram. In his 14 seasons with the franchise as the start QB, Dawson recorded 28,507 passing yards which is still the franchise record.

The record which has been intact for almost five decades will probably be broken by Patrick Mahomes who is 4,266 yards behind Dawson. Dawson also has 237 passing TDs in his career which also is a franchise record.

Len Dawson has achieved a lot as a player alongside his popularity in his long and illustrious career.

  • Super Bowl champion (1969)
  • 3 x AFL champion (1962, 1966, 1969)
  • Super Bowl MVP (1969)
  • AFL MVP (1962)
  • NFL Man of the Year (1973)
  • 6 x AFL All-Star (1962, 1964, 1966-1969)

Alex Smith

Smith was traded to the Chiefs in 2013 and spent five full seasons with the franchise and started all the games that he played in those years.

Smith was already a household name when he joined the Chiefs and in his five seasons, he helped the team to qualify for the playoffs four times. Smith was also a Pro Bowler in 2013, 2016, and 2017.

Smith did not win a Super Bowl in his career or an MVP award but was one of the most recognized players who was behind the Chiefs' rise in the NFL.

Trent Green

When Green was traded by the Rams after the end of the 1999-2000 season, he was a completely transformed player. He joined the Chiefs as a Super Bowl winner (1999) after two seasons with the Rams.

In his six seasons with the Chiefs, Green started all of the 88 games he played and is second only behind Dawson's record for the most games played and started. Green has recorded 21,459 passing yards. He also holds the franchise record for the highest passer rating of 87.3 and completion percentage of 61.94.

  • 2 x Pro Bowl (2003, 2005)
  • Record holder (tied) for the longest touchdown pass of 99 yards