1988 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1988 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 19th season in the National Football League and the 29th overall.

Bill Kenney opened the team's initial two games at quarterback, but was replaced by DeBerg for the second half against Seattle.[1] DeBerg guided the team to a 20–13 win against Denver in his initial start as a member of the Chiefs. However, six losses and a tie followed as Kenney and DeBerg jostled for the QB job.

As the season drew to a close, it became apparent the winds of change were blowing across the organization. President Jack Steadman resigned on December 8, while general manager Jim Schaaf was relieved of his duties the same day.[1] Steadman was later named chairman of the board. On the field, the Chiefs finished the year at 4–11–1 as questions swirled regarding head coach Frank Gansz's future and who would fill the club's leadership void. One day after the season's conclusion, former Philadelphia Eagles and United States Football League executive Carl Peterson was named the club's president/general manager and chief operating officer on December 19.

1988 Kansas City Chiefs season
Head coachFrank Gansz
General managerJim Schaaf
OwnerLamar Hunt
Home fieldArrowhead Stadium
Division place5th AFC West
Playoff finishdid not qualify
Pro BowlersLB Dino Hackett
CB Albert Lewis
S Deron Cherry


The spring was marked by several notable trades as the club jockeyed to improve on its 4–11 finish in 1987. Todd Blackledge was traded to Pittsburgh on March 29 and 12-year veteran quarterback Steve DeBerg was acquired from Tampa Bay on March 31. The Chiefs moved up one spot in the first round of the draft to select defensive end Neil Smith with the second overall pick.

NFL draft

1988 Kansas City Chiefs draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 2 Neil Smith *  Defensive end Nebraska
3 59 Kevin Porter  Defensive back Auburn
4 96 Johnny Ray Ambrose  Wide receiver Mississippi
6 139 James Saxon  Running back San Jose State
7 170 Troy Stedman  Linebacker Washburn
8 197 Alfredo Roberts  Tight end Miami (FL)
9 224 Azizuddin Abdur-Ra'oof  Wide receiver Maryland
10 251 Kenny Gamble  Running back Colgate
11 282 Danny McManus  Quarterback Florida State
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career




1988 Kansas City Chiefs staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – CT Hewgley


1988 Kansas City Chiefs roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad

Rookies in italics

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 4, 1988 Cleveland Browns L 6–3
2 September 11, 1988 at Seattle Seahawks L 31–10
3 September 18, 1988 Denver Broncos W 20–13
4 September 25, 1988 San Diego Chargers L 24–23
5 October 2, 1988 at New York Jets T 17–17
6 October 9, 1988 at Houston Oilers L 7–6
7 October 16, 1988 Los Angeles Raiders L 27–17
8 October 23, 1988 Detroit Lions L 7–6
9 October 30, 1988 at Los Angeles Raiders L 17–10
10 November 6, 1988 at Denver Broncos L 17–11
11 November 13, 1988 Cincinnati Bengals W 31–28
12 November 20, 1988 Seattle Seahawks W 27–24
13 November 27, 1988 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 16–10
14 December 4, 1988 New York Jets W 38–34
15 December 11, 1988 at New York Giants L 28–12
16 December 18, 1988 at San Diego Chargers L 24–13


AFC West
Seattle Seahawks(3) 9 7 0 .563 6–2 8–4 339 329 W2
Denver Broncos 8 8 0 .500 3–5 5–7 327 352 W1
Los Angeles Raiders 7 9 0 .438 6–2 6–6 325 369 L2
San Diego Chargers 6 10 0 .375 3–5 4–8 231 332 W2
Kansas City Chiefs 4 11 1 .281 2–6 4–9–1 254 320 L2


  1. ^ a b "Kansas City Chiefs History 1980's". Archived from the original on August 6, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2007.
  2. ^ "1988 Kansas City Chiefs draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 12, 2014.

External links

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)
Retired numbers
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
Seasons (59)

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