Kansas City Chiefs Legend Len Dawson Passes Away

Kansas City Chiefs friends, family, and fans are in mourning today. Hall of Fame quarterback and Super Bowl IV MVP Len Dawson has passed away. He was 87. A member of the 1987 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, Dawson won his first AFL championship in his first full year as a starter, simultaneously securing an All-Pro for the Dallas Texans in 1962. His Texans relocated to Kansas City in 1963, renaming themselves the Chiefs, and the rest was history. Dawson steered the franchise through its most fruitful period, guiding the Chiefs/Texans to nine winning seasons across his 12 years as the team's leading passer, including three AFL championships and a Super Bowl win in 1969. A perenially underrated and dominant player, he consistently posted league-best marks in several key statistics, leading his leagues in completion percentage an incredible eight times, passer rating six times, and passing touchdowns four times. 

Dawson retired in 1975 with 28711 passing yards, ninth most at the time, and 239 touchdowns, fifth most at the time. Perhaps most astounding was his 82.6 career passer rating, as the NFL average mark in the 1975 season was a measly 65.8. His four times leading the league in passing touchdowns would stand as a record until 2021, when Tom Brady finally led the league for a fifth time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the age of 44.
Photo Credit: © Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Dawson would follow his tremendous NFL career with great success in broadcasting, launching another successful franchise with HBO's Inside The NFL in 1977. He hosted the program until 2001, eventually receiving the Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award in 2012. The Chiefs retired his iconic number 16 in 1987, the year of his Hall of Fame induction.

Photo Credit: © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports