Productivity – Kansas City Chiefs Receivers over the Years

A couple of weeks back, when we were discussing the Mr. Rushmore monument for the entire AFL, a reader commented on Chris Burford’s modesty in not including himself among the elite of the 1960s Texans & Chiefs.  A couple of days later, Chris sent me an email with the following document; a breakdown of the most productive of Chiefs receivers throughout the decades.

Chris’s note was simple, and stated the facts simply: food for thought Jimax……………lots of good ones!  a compilation of those Chiefs with over 75 games with Chiefs, and their career stats on all the teams played on….caveat…some teams threw a lot more than others…particularly the last 20 years

chiefs receivers productivity chart

Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

6 Responses to Productivity – Kansas City Chiefs Receivers over the Years

  1. 1967 says:

    “Does not consider number of times thrown to, or whether 14 or 16 game schedule, nor ratio of team running vs passing statistics in any particular season”

    – notable omissions, ones that would provide a truer barometer of greatness and/or at least level the mano y mano playing field, a more equitable comparison. Rules too in effect one era/year as compared another tend to skew in ways that cannot be corrected (the 5 yard bump rule in 1978, and offensive lineman ability to use their hands more freely result a rule change 1973 are a couple that come to mind; both as well others impact the passing game, obviously.)

    Even the numbers listed do not provide minute detail otherwise: for example, Otis Taylor played just three ‘plays’ of the first game/opening offensive series the 1975 season vs DEN before injuring his knee and missing the rest of the season(in fact, it in essence ended his career). Am certain there are other considerations as well I am unaware of re: other players. Other factors like steroid/PED use, be it an Alvin Roy 1950’s to the Chargers 1960’s to the Steelers 1970’s to today’s unmitigated medicinal disaster, my opine.


    Best vs greatest vs most

    Years ago I took to doing a comparison of ‘opportunities’ re: the home run hitters MLB, Ruth, Aaron and (Barry) Bonds. While many factors can be looked at, and the different eras each played in provided their own advantages and disadvantages, those are in the final analysis a ‘wash’, my opine. What is not is the actual number of opportunities each received, as in at bats. Games played are non sequitur on their face because the reality is players can pinch run, be a defensive replacement etc., the tote board would infer a they played a full ‘game’ as it were, first cursory glance.

    Limited time/internet paper prevents greater narrative, but suffice to say that at a point in time when Ruth, Aaron and Bonds had a similar # of chances as in an equal # opportunities, said being 8,398 at bats, the hr totals for each were as follows: Ruth 714, Aaron 493 & Bonds 619; in fact, it took Bonds an extra 836 at bats to merely ‘tie’ Ruth at 714, and on his 837th extra at bat he finally managed to pass him, # 715.

    Upshot – ‘best’, ‘greatest’ & ‘most prolific’ are different animals, be it baseball or football. Having watched football since the late 1950’s, no one will ever convince me that because player X has ‘more’ stat & gaudier ones too than player Z, that alone is an indicator of a ‘better’ player. Hence, why I am convinced that Ruth remains the ‘best’ home run hitter in MLB history, as indicated. To me, Bonds (and Aaron too that matter) merely continued running past the finish line of a race that Ruth had already won years before.

    Likewise the silly numbers that continue to be put up yearly that have relegated to farce the record books, sports. Bend it like Beckham to make a point, when I ponder what has happened to ‘stat relevance’ today compared yesteryear, I am reminded of something Charles Manson once said – “you know, a long time ago being crazy meant something; nowadays everybody’s crazy.”

    Ditto for ‘crazy stats’ and what passes for the ‘greatest’ today… I may be cynical but I am also realistic. For me, it was a much better brand of sports and game, pro football no less than any, yesteryear.

  2. chris burford says:

    good comments 1967…hard to compare eras with so many variables….it’s all relative to what you are doing and faced with at a particular time…but it makes for fun in the off season……….

    • Tom says:

      Matt Cassel with the Cheifs in his two full seasons averaged roughly 200 more passes per season and 130 more completions than Lenny Dawson. Cassel averaged 500 throws to Dawson’s 300. Burford in 8 seasons averaged just under 50 catches a year, so it is quite feasible that he would have averaged 80-90 catches per season in todays wide open aerial attack.

      In the Dolphins video interview, former great Bill Stanfill laments over the money and injuries and then breaks away from convention and the worn out cliche… “I would have played for nothing,”. Considering the tens of millions of dollars paid to todays top and not so top players, Stanfills grievance is understood and legitimate.

      The likes of a Burford or Stanfill in todays market would command tens of million of dollars and I could be wrong but I got the impression from listening and looking at Stanfill that he and all of the others that were so actively exploited financally, are owed more than a debt of gratitude from todays NFL, not only for their physical suffering but for the contribution they made to the game that made others wealthy beyond imagination and allows todays players to be so compensated. Stanfill appears to feel the sting of the lack of sincere appreciation and justice for what he and the others acheived to which the NFL, owners, players sponsors etc owe a debt of gratitude and long over due financial compensation relative to todays earnings.

  3. 1967 says:

    Yes…nod Ed McMahon’s quip to Carson’s ‘Carnac the Magnificent “playing on / in a hermetically sealed field / environment”, sans said only inconclusive subjectivity. Even if two guys took, oh I dunno – say 8,398 swings vs a pitching machine see which would hit more home runs (nod philosophy), one cannot replicate precisely similar conditions for two players. Why I used at bats/opportunities which if nothing else are comparable as such.

    One other aspect I have pondered: what benefit or disadvantage has a single star player on offense (football) compared his positional counterparts, other team(s) who are ‘one’ star among several? In other words, do a player’s stats increase or decrease aft considering his teammates help and the particular team’s resume as a whole… how much to attribute to said, one way or the other?

    One star can be double or triple-teamed, whereas a team of individual stars cannot be necessarily, pick your poison. Jerry Rice had Joe Montana, Dwight Clark, John Taylor & Roger Craig among others… which reminds me: who did Gale Sayers have?

    Sayers did amazing things despite having no All Star/Pro Bowl offensive lineman during his tenure CHIC, no QB of renown & briefly even but one notable offensive teammate, TE Mike Ditka (WR Johnny Morris was on the downside his career when Sayers arrived;only at the very end Gale’s career did another WR named Dick Gordon have any success; by then, Gale was pedestrian/a reserve RB due injury/ineffectiveness.)

    Compare Sayers with (for example) a Franco Harris who had several star types on the PIT offense: Bradshaw, Stallworth, Swann and Webster, at minimum. For me, Sayers accomplishments stand out even more so in comparison. DET’s Barry Sanders too had All Star/All Pro teammates both the offensive line (two: OT Brown & OG Glover) and WR (Herman Moore.) Reason why I still believe Sayers & Jim Brown are the best ever, flip a coin (with perhaps the nod to Gale as Brown too had copious offensive help, ‘star’s his offensive teammates.)

    Choosing the ‘greatest’ was so much simpler once upon a time… think I’ll go and watch a video of Burford and the ’66 Chiefs.

    : )

    • Tom says:

      Sayers was the rarest of athletes, the kind that come around once or twice in a generation, to put Sayers athleticism in perspective, in 1961 as a high school senior he was the National Interscholastic leader in the long jump when he jumped over 25′ the only prepster in America that year to do so. By 1961 California had only produced three high schoolers to have eclisped the 25′ mark, George Brown LA Jordan 1948, Monte Upshaw Peidmont in 1954 and Willie Davis “Dodgers” LA Roosevelt in 1958.
      The legendary Jesse Owens, Bob Beamon and the current WR holder Mike Powell never had a recognized 25′ long jump in high school.

      • Joe Allwood says:

        Yes, Sayers was a once in a lifetime athlete…if he’d only signed with the Chiefs, who drafted him in the 1965 AFL draft…would it have made a difference in Super Bowl I? Interesting to speculate.

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