The Battle for Backup

Kansas City Chiefs backup quarterback Anthony Gordon is battling for the third-string position along with Shane Buechele, to see who will back up Patrick Mahomes and Chad Henne this season.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs feature the best quarterback in the game in Patrick Mahomes, who compiled yet another stellar season in 2020 with 4,740 passing yards, 38 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

He’s off to the greatest start for any quarterback in NFL history and is undeniably on track to be one of the best players in all of football for the next decade. Mahomes’ presence means the Chiefs are never out of a football game, exemplified by his 44-10 record (including the playoffs) as a starter.

In fact, in his three years as the Chiefs’ starting signal caller, Kansas City has never finished short of the AFC Championship Game. Mahomes is special, and he’s set to be the Chiefs’ quarterback for a very long time.

Veteran quarterback Chad Henne is the squad’s primary backup. Henne, who has more than a decade of experience under his belt as a professional, demonstrated his worth by leading the Chiefs to victory in the Divisional Round of last year’s postseason following Mahomes’ departure due to injury.

Mahomes and Henne are known commodities on the football field, but there are two new faces in camp this year who will compete for the right to develop behind Mahomes this upcoming season, whether that be on the roster or the practice squad.

Anthony Gordon

The 23-year-old Gordon joined the Chiefs as a Reserve/Futures signee in January. He signed with Seattle after going undrafted in 2020, but the lack of a preseason ultimately prevented Gordon from showing what he could do and led to his release before the campaign got under way.

It was a shame, too, because Gordon put together a truly magnificent season for Washington State in 2019. 

Originally a junior college transfer, Gordon backed up eventual Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback Gardner Minshew in 2018 before earning the starting job as a redshirt senior the following year. He certainly made the most of his lone season as a starting quarterback, too. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Gordon led the nation in 300-yard games (12), completions of 10-plus yards (222) and passing yards per game (429) while ranking second in passing touchdowns (48) and yards (5,579).

Gordon set multiple franchise and conference single-season records in 2020, tallying the most prolific season by a passer in Pac-12 history in terms of passing touchdowns, passing yards, total offense and completions (493).


Shane Buechele

Much like Gordon, Buechele racked up some serious numbers during his time at Southern Methodist.

After two seasons at the University of Texas, Buechele joined the Mustangs in 2019 and immediately began to re-write the school record books. In fact, despite just two years on campus, Buechele left SMU with the second-most touchdown passes (57) and third-most passing yards (7,024) in school history. He was among the top passers in the nation last season, ranking ninth in passing yards (3,095) and 13th in passing touchdowns (23).

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