The Chiefs fired head coach Marv Levy on January 4 after compiling a 31–42 record. Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach John Mackovic was named the fifth head coach in team history on February 2. The 39-year-old Mackovic became the youngest individual ever to hold that post for the club. The Chiefs held the seventh overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft and selected quarterback Todd Blackledge. The Chiefs would not draft another quarterback in the first round until the 2017 NFL Draft when they drafted Patrick Mahomes.
Tragedy struck the Chiefs on June 29 when Joe Delaney drowned while attempting to save the lives of three children in Monroe, Louisiana. Delaney was posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizen's Medal by Ronald Reagan on July 13. Linebacker Bobby Bell became the first Chiefs player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 30, providing some solace for the mourning Chiefs fan base following Joe Delaney's death.
With Bill Kenney and Todd Blackledge both on the roster, starting Steve Fuller was traded to the Los Angeles Rams on August 19. Kenney earned a Pro Bowl berth after racking up a franchise-record 4,348 passing yards, while wide receiver Carlos Carson hauled in 80 passes for 1,351 yards. Despite the team's high-flying passing game, head coach John Mackovic had trouble finding a suitable replacement for Joe Delaney and the running back position. The highest scoring contest in franchise history took place as the Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks combined for 99 points in a wild, 51–48 overtime loss at the Kingdome. A meager crowd of 11,377 braved near-zero degree temperatures to attend the club's season-ending 48–17 win against Denver on December 18, the smallest attendance figure ever for a Chiefs game at Arrowhead as the club finished the year at 6–10.
|1983 Kansas City Chiefs season|
|Head coach||John Mackovic|
|General manager||Jim Schaaf|
|Home field||Arrowhead Stadium|
|Division place||5th AFC West|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
|Pro Bowlers||QB Bill Kenney|
WR Carlos Carson
CB Gary Green
S Deron Cherry
|1983 Kansas City Chiefs staff|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|1983 Kansas City Chiefs roster|
|1||September 4, 1983||Seattle Seahawks||W 17–13|
|2||September 12, 1983||San Diego Chargers||L 17–14|
|3||September 18, 1983||at Washington Redskins||L 27–12|
|4||September 25, 1983||at Miami Dolphins||L 14–6|
|5||October 2, 1983||St. Louis Cardinals||W 38–14|
|6||October 9, 1983||at Los Angeles Raiders||L 21–20|
|7||October 16, 1983||New York Giants||W 38–17|
|8||October 23, 1983||at Houston Oilers||W 13–10|
|9||October 30, 1983||at Denver Broncos||L 27–24|
|10||November 6, 1983||Los Angeles Raiders||L 28–20|
|11||November 13, 1983||Cincinnati Bengals||W 20–15|
|12||November 20, 1983||at Dallas Cowboys||L 41–21|
|13||November 27, 1983||at Seattle Seahawks||L 51–48|
|14||December 4, 1983||Buffalo Bills||L 14–9|
|15||December 11, 1983||at San Diego Chargers||L 41–38|
|16||December 18, 1983||Denver Broncos||W 48–17|
|Los Angeles Raiders(1)||12||4||0||.750||6–2||10–2||442||338||W1|
|San Diego Chargers||6||10||0||.375||4–4||4–8||358||462||L1|
|Kansas City Chiefs||6||10||0||.375||2–6||4–8||386||367||W1|
The 1983 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's strike-shortened 13th season in the National Football League and the 23rd overall.
In May 1982, running back Joe Delaney underwent surgery to repair a detached retina in his eye, a radical procedure at the time. Optimism abounded at Arrowhead Stadium thanks to the club's promising 9–7 record from 1981, but swelling labor unrest from NFL players spelled doom for both the Chiefs and Levy in 1982. The Chiefs split their first two games of the year before a 57-day strike by the NFL Players Association began at midnight on September 20. The strike concluded on November 17 after seven games were canceled and one was rescheduled, but the Chiefs would never recover, losing four straight games after their return to the field. Center Jack Rudnay, who had been one of the franchise's most durable and decorated offensive performers over the past decade, announced on December 20 that he would retire after the season. Despite wins in two of the season's final three games, the Levy era concluded as the club finished the strike-shortened campaign at 3–6.List of Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterbacks
The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs are a member of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League (NFL). Originally named the Dallas Texans, the club was founded by Lamar Hunt in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League. In 1963, the team moved to Kansas City, Missouri and were renamed the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs have had 37 different quarterbacks start at least one game in their franchise's history, 21 of which have started at least 10 games. Cotton Davidson was the team's first starting quarterback; he played all 14 games for the Texans in their inaugural 1960 season. Davidson played with the franchise from 1960 to 1962, and was traded in 1963 to the Oakland Raiders. Len Dawson signed with on July 2, 1962 and played for the franchise for 14 seasons. With Dawson as the team's starter, the Texans/Chiefs won three American Football League championships and appeared in two Super Bowl championship games. Dawson was named Most Valuable Player after the Chiefs' victory in Super Bowl IV and retired in 1975 with several franchise records. Three quarterbacks currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame have started at least one game for Kansas City: Dawson, Joe Montana, and Warren Moon. In the 2008 season, the Chiefs started three quarterbacks: Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard, and Tyler Thigpen. After Croyle and Huard were sidelined by injuries, Thigpen played in eleven games, winning one and losing ten. In 2009 and 2010, Matt Cassel started 15 of 16 games each season, while Croyle started the other 2 games.
|Playoff appearances (20)|
|Division championships (10)|
|League championships (3)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold