During his nineteen year career, Dave Krieg managed to make the Pro Bowl three different times and start games at quarterback for five different NFL clubs. Mostly associated with the Seattle Seahawks, with whom he played twelve seasons, Dave Krieg was the type of player that always confounded fans of the game. While in some years he would appear in the lists of top rated quarterbacks in a number of categories, including passing touchdowns, passing yards per game, passer rating, completed passes, passing attempts and passing yards, he was better known for leading the league in categories that are unflattering for a quarterback.
Dave Krieg graduated from Milton College in Milton, Wisconsin in 1980, just two years later the college would close its doors. After going undrafted and then signing with the Seahawks, Krieg spent his first season with the team as the third string quarterback. He would go on to start three games in 1981 and then two in 1982 before an injury left the door open for quarterback Jim Zorn to reclaim his starting job. Krieg would return to the starting quarterback role midway through the 1983 season and be a big contributor in leading the team to its first appearance in the postseason. In fact the team that year would make it all the way to the American Football Conference Championship Game which they would lose to the eventual Super Bowl winner, the Los Angeles Raiders. Krieg would remain with the Seahawks through the 1991 season, mostly as the starting quarterback, before the team eventually decided to not resign him and bank their future on young quarterbacks Kelly Stouffer and Dan McGwire.
Dave Krieg spent the next two seasons of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, as the starter in 1992 and as Joe Montana’s backup in 1993. Krieg helped lead the Chiefs to a 10-6 record in 1992 and then due to injuries to Montana started five games in 1993, helping the Chiefs to an overall record of 11-5. 1994 saw Krieg sign with the lowly Detroit Lions to be the backup behind Scott Mitchell. After going 4-5 over the first nine games of the season, Mitchell got injured and Krieg was elevated to the position of starting quarterback. He would throw for 14 touchdowns with just 3 interceptions over the last 7 weeks of the season, going 5-2 in his limited starting duty for the Lions. The Lions chose to stick with Mitchell, and Krieg once again changed teams, this time signing with the Arizona Cardinals. Hampered by inconsistent play and a lack of talent, the Cardinals would put up a record of 4-12 in 1994 and Krieg’s stay there would last just one season. Krieg signed a one year contract to backup Chicago Bears quarterback Erik Kramer in 1996 and after Kramer went down with an injury, he would go 6-6 as the team’s starting quarterback. The Chicago Bears would be the last team that Krieg would start a game for, but not the last team he would be a member of. He would spend the last two years of his career, 1997 and 1998, as the backup to Steve McNair of the Tennessee Oilers (they would not become the Titans until 1999).
Though thought of by many as a mediocre at best quarterback, due to his longevity as well as his abilities, Dave Krieg would finish his career ranked in the top ten and top fifteen in many notable career quarterback statistical categories. Some of the career passing categories that he ranks high in include passing attempts, wins as a starter, pass completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns. This is particularly interesting given the fact in only five of Dave Krieg’s nineteen years in the league would he start all sixteen games of the season. Krieg would also leave the Seahawks with a career record of 70-49 as the team’s starting quarterback.
A few interesting facts about the career of Dave Krieg:
-In 1989, as part of ABC’s Superstars competition, Dave Krieg would place first overall in the basketball and rowing events. Others competing in that episode of Superstars included Willie Gault, Evander Holyfield, Carl Lewis, Herschel Walker, and Randall Cunningham. Krieg would finish in third place overall during the show.
-In a 1990 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Krieg would be sacked nine times including seven times by Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas.
-Krieg would lead the league in fumbles recovered during three seasons, 1989, 1992, and 1995. This was made easier in the fact that he would lead the league in fumbles twice, 1989 and 1995.
-During his nineteen years in the league, though he played quarterback, Krieg would catch three passes during his career.
-In three seasons during his career, Dave Krieg would lead the league in Passing Touchdown Percentage (1983, 1987, and 1988).
-Krieg would lead the league twice in interceptions, the first time early in his career in 1984 and then again late in his career in 1995.
-Dave Krieg retired from the NFL as the career leader in yardage lost due to being sacked.