Ranking the best quarterbacks in NFL history #17. Len Dawson

17.  Len Dawson: Dawson was selected in the first round (fifth overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1957 draft.  Dawson appeared in 211 games (159 starts) over 19 seasons with the Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs.  Dawson spend five seasons with the Steelers and the Browns without seeing any real playing time before heading to the Dallas and making a name for himself.

With the Texans in 1962, Dawson led the Texans to an 11-3 regular season record and an AFL Championship while leading the league in passer rating (98.3), completion percentage (61) and touchdowns (29).  He was named to his first Pro Bowl as well as earning First-Team All-Pro honors.  He continued his great play under center as the Texans moved to Kansas City with two more incredible seasons coming in 1966 and ’68.  In ’66, Dawson earned First-Team All-Pro honors after leading the Chiefs to an 11-2-1 regular season record while leading the AFL in passer rating (101.7), completion percentage (56) and touchdowns (26).  In ’68 Dawson once again led the league in passer rating (98.6) and completion percent (58.5) while throwing for 2,109 yards and 17 touchdowns.  That year, Dawson was named to the Pro Bowl for the third consecutive season and fifth time in a seven-year span.

A year later, he was under center as the Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 to win the Super Bowl and give Dawson his second championship.

For his career, Dawson completed 57.1 percent of his passes for 28,711 yards and 239 touchdowns.  During that time, he led the league in completion percentage six times, passer rating six times and touchdown passes four times while also carrying the ball 294 times for 1,293 yards and nine scores.  Dawson was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1987.


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