Ma­homes one TD pass away from Chiefs his­tory, Daw­son

The Kansas City Star - - Sports - BY BLAIR KERKHOFF bkerkhoff@kc­star.com

A game doesn’t pass these days with­out quar­ter­back Patrick Ma­homes break­ing or ap­proach­ing a team or NFL pass­ing record.

One mark that could fall on Sun­day, when the Chiefs play host to the Ari­zona Car­di­nals at Ar­row­head Sta­dium, may res­onate deeper than oth­ers.

The Chiefs’ record for touch­down passes in a sea­son is 30, set by Len Daw­son in 1964. Three scor­ing passes last week in the vic­tory over Cleve­land pushed Ma­homes’ to­tal to 29.

Bar­ring some crazy oc­cur­rence, the record not only soon will be­long to Ma­homes, but he’ll add to it as the weeks un­fold.

Daw­son, un­avail­able to com­ment for this story, is ex­pected

to speak with Ma­homes next week.

“Len has had a ton of suc­cess in the NFL and was kind of ahead of his time, throw­ing all those touch­downs” Ma­homes said. “The record has stood for a very long time. It would be awe­some to pass that, but hope­fully we can just keep build­ing and get more wins.”

Daw­son, eas­ily the most ac­com­plished quar­ter­back in Chiefs his­tory, holds nearly ev­ery ca­reer record, and many sin­gle-sea­son records.

But ev­ery week seems to turn into an­other chap­ter of Ma­homes’ record quest. In the Chiefs’ sec­ond game, he tied Daw­son’s team record by throw­ing six touch­down passes at Pitts­burgh.

Ma­homes takes a streak of eight games with 300 con­sec­u­tive pass­ing yards into Sun­day’s game. The NFL record is nine.

The Chiefs have had good quar­ter­backs since Daw­son, who by the time his Hall of Fame ca­reer ended in 1975 was well on his way to a decades-long broad­cast ca­reer. But he’s the only quar­ter­back in the team’s Ring of Honor.

From a pro­duc­tion stand­point, Ma­homes, who also leads the NFL with 2,901 pass­ing yards, is headed where no Chiefs quar­ter­back has been.

It’s also true that the foot­ball en­vi­ron­ments dif­fered greatly for Daw­son and Ma­homes.

A quar­ter­back who threw 30 touch­down passes in a sea­son be­fore the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 was likely a league leader. The fewest touch­down passes to lead the AFC or NFC in the past 10 years is 33, and Pey­ton Man­ning set the NFL record with 55 in 2013.

In lead­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion to its three league cham­pi­onships, Daw­son, as Ma­homes said, was ahead of his time. Daw­son holds the NFL record for most sea­sons lead­ing a league in com­ple­tion per­cent­age, with eight, and is among the record hold­ers for years lead­ing a league in touch­down passes. He did it four times.

Not in 1964. That year, Babe Par­illi of the Bos­ton Pa­tri­ots threw for 31 to top the AFL.

Daw­son had sev­eral of his best games that sea­son, how­ever. His six­touch­down game oc­curred in a 49-39 vic­tory over Den­ver. He also threw for a ca­reer-best 435 yards in that game.

The next week, Daw­son threw four touch­down passes and no in­ter­cep­tions against Oak­land, and he had a sim­i­lar per­for­mance against San Diego later in the sea­son.

But the Chiefs fin­ished 7-7 that sea­son, the rare non-win­ning record for Daw­son’s AFL teams. It was the eighth of his 19 NFL sea­sons, the sec­ond of his seven Pro Bowl years.

By then, Daw­son was with his third team and sec­ond league. And he was well on his way to a spec­tac­u­lar ca­reer. No other quar­ter­back in the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s his­tory has won a league cham­pi­onship. Daw­son’s third in­cludes the Chiefs’ lone Su­per Bowl tri­umph.

By con­trast, Ma­homes stands at the be­gin­ning of his ca­reer. Sun­day will mark his 10th game as a starter. Main­tain­ing the best record in the AFC with a vic­tory — not chas­ing per­sonal records — is fore­most on his mind.

“I don’t think there’s any time for that,” Ma­homes said. “For me, it’s about the wins. That’s all I want to do.”

WIL­LIAM P. STRAETER AP

Kansas City's Len Daw­son gets ready to launch the ball dur­ing ac­tion in Kansas City against the Oak­land Raiders in 1970. The Raiders and the Chiefs bat­tled to a 17-17 tie. Daw­son holds the Chiefs’ record for touch­down passes in a sea­son with 30.

JOHN SLEEZER jsleezer@kc­star.com

Chiefs quar­ter­back Patrick Ma­homes throws to tight end Travis Kelce for a touch­down in the sec­ond quar­ter Sun­day at Cleve­land.

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