2000s: Trent Green’s 2003 Season
The 2000s was a rollercoaster of a decade for the Chiefs franchise and its fans. On the one hand, there were some extreme highs, like the offensive juggernaut that was the Chiefs’ offense from 2002 through 2004. On the other hand, there were some abysmal lows like the three-year stretch from 2007 to 2009 where the team won only 10 games.
Naturally, the team experienced highs and lows at the quarterback position as well. There were stretches where the team had multiple mid-to-late-round draft picks and undrafted free agents helming the offense. It’s not that players like Damon Huard and Tyler Thigpen don’t hold a special place in the hearts of Chiefs’ fans. Relatively speaking, they deserve credit for making it to the NFL level and even started for a time. Yet due to certain factors, some outside of their control, they were journeymen and therefore were unable to command a consistently dominant offense.
Luckily, there were great stretches to balance this out. It seemed in the early years of the decade, the Trent Green and Dick Vermeil era produced constant highlights. Players like Tony Gonzalez and Priest Holmes were setting records at their respective positions and the franchise looked poised to enter a golden age.
The year in particular that counts as the greatest quarterback season of the decade is Trent Green’s 2003 campaign. Following a disappointing, albeit exciting campaign in 2002, the Chiefs raced out to an undefeated 9-0 record. They would ultimately finish with 13 wins to only 3 losses and claim the No. 2 seed in the AFC Playoffs.
This was driven in large part by Green’s masterful composition of the offense. During that season Green played in all 16 games completing 63 percent of his passes for 4,039 yards and 24 touchdowns to only 12 interceptions.
Unfortunately, after setting a blistering pace the team continued the franchise draught of playoff wins by losing in the infamous “no punt game” against the Indianapolis Colts. It is a year remembered for individual exploits and accomplishments, while the team’s accomplishments are largely forgotten due to what could have been.
Now, some fans will argue that Green’s 2004 season was record setting and therefore should be the best. While that argument is valid, there was only a marginal individual improvement and a rather significant team decline. After finishing 13-3 in 2003 the team was only able to muster 7 wins the following year. His 2003 campaign gets the nod largely because of the team’s success.
After the historic offensive years of the Vermeil era, aside from a couple seasons here and there, the franchise as a whole declined into one of the worst stretches in its history. Fortunately, as with all teams in the NFL there is always the promise of rebirth. From the ashes of a broken franchise would rise a team and regime that would lead them into the greatest stretch since the 1960s.
Other Notable Seasons:
- Elvis Grbac – 2000 – 7 wins (15 games), 60% completion rate, 28 touchdowns, 4,169 yards passing
- Trent Green – 2004 – 7 wins, 66% completion rate, 27 touchdowns, 4,591 yards passing