In the history of the hated—from Al Davis to John Elway to Philip Rivers and everyone in between—the name Brandon Siler doesn’t exactly make the blood boil. Still, when it was announced that the linebacker, who had spent his entire four-year career with the San Diego Chargers, would be the newest Brandon on Kansas City’s defense, it was another small victory, and not only because Siler will hopefully fill a real need for the Chiefs. Our gain is a little sweeter when it’s also a rival’s loss.
And that got me thinking about those times in recent Chiefs history when we’ve had the chance to see an old rival reborn in red and gold—and even wash away his sins with a game-changing or dominating performance against his old team. Even something as relatively mundane as a well-executed third-down conversion or defensive stop for short gain has an added ounce of gratification. There’s that feeling of “Yeah, that’s right—he’s with us now.”
So, in no particular order, here are a few of the notable former AFC West adversaries who saw the light (or were traded, or discarded by the forces of darkness and picked up as a steal in free agency, etc.) and used their football force for good.
Chester McGlockton, DE/DT
Year he came to Kansas City: 1998 | Rival team he left behind: Raiders
Moment of redemption: A small one, Thanksgiving Weekend, 1999: McGlockton sacks Rich Gannon—earning two-thirds of his 1.5-sack season total—as the Chiefs rally from a fourth-quarter, two-touchdown deficit and win in Oakland on a Pete Stoyanovich field goal as time expires, 37-34.
Eddie Kennison, WR
Year he came to Kansas City: 2001 | Rival team he left behind: Broncos
Moment of redemption: Less than a month after requesting to be released by Denver because he “had lost his love of the game,” Kennison resurfaced at Arrowhead—a move that reportedly outraged Broncos coach Mike Shanahan—and welcomed his old team by leading his new team in receiving and even contributing a 14-yard run in a 26-23 Chiefs win. Over the next four years, Kennison would become one of the most productive receivers in the NFL, and in 2004, he would enjoy one of his best games as a Chief in a 45-17 dismantling of the playoff-bound Broncos, catching seven passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns, and taking his only kick return of the season back for 36 yards.
Dave Krieg, QB
Year he came to Kansas City: 1992 | Rival team he left behind: Seahawks
Moment of redemption: After 11 years with the Seahawks, Krieg took over the starting job in KC and promptly took the Chiefs to the playoffs, rolling over Seattle twice along the way.
Marcus Allen, RB
Year he came to Kansas City: 1993 | Rival team he left behind: Raiders
Moment of redemption: The sweetest moment, all around. On the last day of the 1994 regular season, Allen rushed for 132 yards, his highest total in more than seven years, to beat the Raiders 19-9 in Oakland Los Angeles and push the Chiefs into the playoffs—while knocking the Raiders out.
Anthony Davis, LB
Year he came to Kansas City: 1994 | Rival team he left behind: Seahawks
Moment of redemption: In what was likely the best game of his career statistically, Davis recorded a sack and returned an interception 30 yards in a Chiefs victory over his old team.
And, of course, here are a few Dishonorable Mentions, players who left the Chiefs to take their talents to AFC West rivals (not that all of them wanted to go…):
Andre Rison, WR
In one of the greatest endings in the history of both Monday Night Football and the Chiefs-Raiders rivalry, Rison caught a 32-yard pass in the back of the end zone to cap a miraculous 80-yard, 58-second drive to stun the Raiders, 28-27. A couple of years later, “Bad Moon” was a Raider himself.
Neil Smith, DE
This one was painful to see. In 1997, Smith moved to the Broncos and soon did what he could never quite do with Kansas City: Win a Super Bowl title (and then, the next year, he did it again). For good measure, he ended his career in San Diego, but is still beloved in KC.
Rich Gannon, QB
But this one probably hurt the most. The man who so many thought should have taken over full-time behind center for the Chiefs nonetheless played one of his best games at Arrowhead as a Raider. Of course, that was the Y2K implosion on January 2, 2000 when… oh, just watch, if you must.
Chester McGlockton, DE/DT
That’s right, after Chester finished his rather unremarkable tenure in Kansas City (seven total sacks in three seasons), he went on to two lackluster years in Denver. Whatever.
This research (confined basically to what I’m able to recall) is spotty at best and I’m sure I’m missing a few (dozen?), so feel free to chime in with what you remember.
Will Siler soon join the ranks of the redeemed? He gets his first chance September 25 at San Diego. Hey, maybe he can drag down Philip Rivers for his second career safety. And if he goes on to more success, I’m sure Chiefs fans will do more than forgive—we’ll all but forget he was ever a Charger.