Ranking every Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterback since 1990

Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles
Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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8. Kyle Orton (2011)

Let me beat you to the question: How can Kyle Orton rank this high in Chiefs QB history when he was only under center for three games and on the roster for a month? Is this an error? A misprint? An entry to make sure that someone is actually reading all of this?

Kyle Orton’s tenure was short but oh, so sweet, and if you have to ask about the serious nature of this, then you’re showing your age. Because it wasn’t that long ago, and if you were there, you’d remember well the feeling of having someone like Orton under center.

Remember this: the Chiefs were somehow competing for an AFC West title in a miserable offensive year in 2011. The wheels were coming off of the Todd Haley-Scott Pioli regime, but the Chiefs were a stubborn team with real talent on defense, and they wouldn’t go away quietly. A man named Tyler Palko was starting real games for the Chiefs despite being one of the worst QBs in league history to ever earn that many starts, and the Chiefs Kingdom was desperate to see someone—anyone?!—play quarterback instead of Palko (who was in for an injured Matt Cassel).

Forget how Orton performed with the Bears, Broncos, or anyone else after his stint with the Chiefs. What matters is that K.C. claimed Orton off waivers and inserted him as the starter for the final three games of the season. In his first game, the 13-0 Packers came to town and lost their first game! It was the most thrilling moment for Chiefs fans in years. From there, Orton would lose a close game to the Raiders but topple the Broncos to end the season.

K.C. wouldn’t make the postseason, but they won two of their last three and looked far more legitimate with at least someone with a fair level of talent at quarterback, showing what could be if the powers-that-be would only go shopping. Orton was a minor blip in the franchise’s overall timeline, but it was a breath of fresh air in a season of misery.