K.C. Chiefs: 5 and Oh Yes!

 

 

 

Your Kansas City Chiefs are 5-and-0 and look like the best team in the National Football League. They are scoring at a 32.8 points per game clip which happens to rank them… uh… let’s see… first overall! The L.A. Rams are second at 30.4 ppg and no other team charts over 30. Not since K.C. averaged 30.25 for the season in 2003 have the Chiefs offense been this much fun to watch. Yep, that was the season Priest Holmes led the league with 27 TDs all by himself.

 

The lessons of a team like the 2003 Chiefs include making sure you have a defense that can make stops because trying to outscore every opponent is a hard task to accomplish.  While the Chiefs have had a stellar defense in recent years, this years effort doesn’t match up well. Not yet anyway. But let’s not talk about that right now.

 

What I’m wondering at this moment is… have the Chiefs EVER in forever had a QB who was a legitimate MVP candidate after 5 games into the season? The answer is no. Lenny Dawson was the 1969 Super Bowl MVP and deservedly so. However — and this may not be news to you but — no Kansas City player has ever won the MVP award. Sure George Brett flirted with a .400 batting average in 1980, the year he won the MVP in the American League (he finished with a .390 average). If only George played football. But alas, we now have Alex Smith knocking on the MVP door by recording a 124.2 QB rating while no other QB with at least 33 passing attempts has a rating higher than 112.0.

 

This is not so much about the “numbers” either, because Smith has the look of greatness… then again, when a QB is playing so incredibly, his numbers are going to be good too. To put this in perspective, consider the following statement: Alex Smith is doing things that no human — in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform — has ever done before:

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the pitfalls of only focusing on the stats of a QB is that football is the ultimate team sport… meaning that without solid performances of those around them, their performance means diddly-squat. Just ask Dan Marino, Warren Moon, Fran Tarkenton… you get the idea.

 

 

 

In fact, no matter how good a QB is, sometimes it takes the excellent play of others for that QB to shine. I recall the long and frustrating career of a guy named John Elway. Until the Broncos drafted RB Terrell Davis, when Elway was 35 years old, his career was headed for a Dan Marino epitaph (great but no championship). While many — including me — have been surmising that Alex Smith elevated play is due to the presence of an heir apparent in Patrick Mahomes II — it may be more justifiable to argue that the presence of the breakout kid — Kareem Hunt — is giving Smith the balanced attack he needs to operate within.

 

I’d like to echo something one of our blogger — freshmeat62 — has stated, “Alex Smith is showing the talent he’s had all along.” If you consider that to be a truth about Alex Smith, then it is also incredible that after all these years, he’s never once thrown anyone under the bus… or called out anyone else, player or coach… nor could you find him yelling at another player on the sidelines (gee, when have I seen that happen before with other players?). Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees but, it’s obvious to me the Alex Smith is a great leader and always has been, certainly while he’s donned a red and gold uniform.

 

As I mentioned previously, I don;t want to get too caught up in the numbers but… at the same time, if you are dominating, you’re numbers are going to be compelling, and they are:

 

 

 

 

Yes, football is a 22 man sport, at least… add in the special team players and and coaches, and you can see why it’s considered the ultimate team game. However, they don;t say that the QB position is the most important position in th game without reason. Although the Chiefs could have lost the game on Sunday night by having any one of their TDs fail… West’s catch on the goal line, DAT’s jet sweep left, West catch and dance to evade defenders on the right side… any number of plays that led to this victory could have spelled a loss. The point? That didn’t happen… and Alex Smith’s leadership and on field play was as big a reason — and really much bigger — than anything else.

 

If you get a chance to watch this one again… do so right away. It was a delight and I never got the idea that Alex Smith wasn’t in control of this one. 5-and-oh yes!

 

 

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  • berttheclock

    Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports does not always get his facts right, but, last week he penned a thread about various players he thought should be traded to other teams, many of whom might be able to have a better chance of winning a ring. He did not mention the Chiefs, but, he did mention the Cardinals. He had them trading away Fitzgerald so he could play for a winning team for the Lombardi. Strange thing just happened. Adrian Peterson was just traded by the Saint to the Cardinals. Better fit for him. But, did you read that Peterson said, if he had it to do over, he would played a different position in football, and, if had really thought it through, he would have played MLB where the pay is a great deal higher.

    • mnelson52

      Yes, another millionaire being underpaid….lol

      • berttheclock

        According to Forbes, the average MLB salary is $4 M a year with $100 daily meal money.

        The NBA average if $5.15 M. The NHL is $2.4 M and the NFL trails everyone with an average of $1.9 M.

      • Roswell Incident

        They have to make that last their entire lives. And I don’t know about you, but I would have been hard pressed to save anything I made in my 20s.

    • ladner morse

      Did he actually say that he wanted to play there… because the pay was higher?

      • berttheclock

        No, he didn’t say anything except he would have considered playing another position on a team or play MLB.

    • Roswell Incident

      RBs have short shelf lives.

  • berttheclock

    OK, I’ll toss out the bomb. Speaking of the much better play by Alex Smith, a couple of weeks ago at Dee’s Bar, I asked a good friend of mine, Ron, who is a hardened Chiefs fan and a well trained chemist from K-State about what he thought the Chiefs should do if they win the Lombardi with Alex Smith. I thought he would respond with a litany of trade pickups for Alex. Instead, he said, correctly, how current NFL QBs are playing far better in their thirties and lasting far longer than any other position players (with the exception of the 44 year old FG kicker, Vinateri of the Colts). So, he thought Veach’s best move would be to trade Mahomes II and get everything including the kitchen sink for him from some losing NFL team who really does need a new QB. He said the Chiefs could rebuild with the higher picks and they could find another college talent further down the line.

    • berttheclock

      So, Laddie, how is that for adding fuel to your fire? Might get a few hits, eh?

    • berttheclock

      BTW, Ron’s favorite Chiefs’ player of all time is Aaron Brown Jr, Number 87, DE, who hit Joe Kapp so hard in Super Bowl IV that Kapp had to leave the game. Brown played for the University of Minnesota and Stram even tried to make him into a RB one year which backfired as his thighs began to hurt him and he was unable to start in Super Bowl I and that helped the running attack of the Packers. Ironically, Brown ended his career with the Packers. Sadly, he lost his life a few years back while walking and was hit from behind by an errant driver.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      My take is, Alex hasn’t just gotten better overnight….he has always been a very smart and talented QB…….he is just finally for the first time since his days in SF had a supporting cast that he trusts.
      It’s like when your playing catch with your young son or grandson in the yard……you underhand it to him because you know that is his best chance at a completion…….if you fire it in there, you are going to boink it off his nose and then you are in trouble with mama.

      • berttheclock

        One other very important factor for Alex is the fact with the Chiefs, he has had the same QB coaches and OCs. Remember with the Niners, how each and every year there would be a different OC with a different scheme?

        • berttheclock

          The worst he had was Jimmy Raye who would call Gore on 1st and 2nd downs to run up the middle for little gains, but, would ask Alex to bail them out on 3rd and long.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            Jimmy Raye clearly did not like Aliex too

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            I’m sorry….it was Mike Singletary that did not like Smith, not Raye.

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          Yeah that had to be rough constantly learning new schemes.

          He has a different OC this year than last , but you and I both know Reid has been Smiths OC unofficially for the last 5 years.

          • That has to really help. You combine that with the right supporting cast and he shows he can perform. If you consider that AS11 doesn’t play risky football and doesn’t seem to care about his stats, you can see why he would avoid throwing to receivers that aren’t open. If the line isn’t blocking well or the RBs aren’t respected, he has to throw the ball away, take off running, or eat it in a sack.

    • Roswell Incident

      I’d love to see Mahommes sit on the bench for one more year. For how long was Rodgers a backup?

  • mnelson52

    I have no doubt that to this point Smith is the MVP. I believe he can stay there as long as we don’t suffer too many injuries. They are starting to add up. I do think Robinson can step in and do a nice job in place of Conley, but I’m not sure if Smith has developed that type of trust with him yet. I believe Conley was the only starting WR we had that could win the jump ball when the QB just throws the Hail Mary in hopes that his guy comes down with it. I really don’t think Hill and Wilson fit the bill. Maybe Robinson can if that’s who they put in Conley’s place. Of coarse our TEs can get high, but even though they are taller, I think Conley could out jump them, plus I would bet Kelce misses the Steelers game. The good thing is, the Chiefs are playing with the lead late in games where a Hail Mary hasn’t been needed. I do have concerns about playing the Steelers without Kelce and Conley though. Steelers now can mostly concentrate on the run when they don’t have to worry about Kelce hurting them. As I posted on another thread, when the Steelers got stomped last year (as they did Sunday) just before playing us, they took it out on us by giving us our only beat down last year. I hope Reid gets our guys ready for this one because I think the Steelers are out to prove something this week. Of coarse then again, every team is out to knock off the only undefeated team. I don’t expect the Chiefs to go 16-0, but I do think the best team in the NFL is the Chiefs. As good as Reid has been, he usually finds a way to blow 2 games a year. He has games where he forgets he has Kelce, or forgets he has a RB or just sucks at managing the clock. These are things he can’t afford to do even once with the brutal schedule we have this year. Then again, most people before the season would have been happy to come out of the first quarter of the season with a 2-2 record. I can just see AS11 smiling and saying- How do you like me now

    • Stan Colbert

      I don’t think you need worry about Alex throwing many 50-50 balls.

    • I would say we have already seen a lot of injuries, particularly on offense. Morse, Conley, LDT, Kelce, Ware, & Ehinger have all missed or will miss games. Fisher, DAT, and even Smith himself have been on the injury report but played. Granted that Conley was late in the game, but Kelce only played half of this last one. We were setup with depth on the OL and RB positions. We will now see what kind of depth we really have behind Conley.

      As I wrote in my article earlier today, I was surprised to see that AS11 hit 10 different receivers in the game against the Texans. We need him to continue to do that in every game. If the D keys on a player or two and doubles them up, Alex has to hit the other guys. I don’t remember him doing that with KC. It seemed he only trusted a couple of players and avoided the rest. Or perhaps, it was that they weren’t getting open and he wouldn’t risk a turnover. Either way, we didn’t see that on Sunday.

      I am a little surprised that the offense has performed as well as it has given all of these injuries. I don’t think we can take much more though. How deep can the well really be?

      Bite your tongue on Reid brain farting. I think they got him some kind of shock collar. When he starts to do something stupid, the zap him.

  • berttheclock

    Off topic, but, very recently two great former players dies. Y A Tittle, who was bumped and banged around for almost 17 years, but, led the Niners to glory, passed away. Plus, one of the greatest basketball players ever to hit the courts, Connie Hawkins, died. Hawkins was wrongfully kept from playing in the NBA until he was 27.

  • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

    I’m beginning to think that it is pounded into the heads of our receivers that if they see Smith scrambling, they are to also sprint in that same direction……..seems we are seeing more and more of that when Smith gets in trouble.

    • Stan Colbert

      It is a drill worked on. The fact his skill position players are getting more experience makes them better at getting into areas of Alex vision while also gaining advantage over defenders.

      • berttheclock

        In the past, the only wide out who tried to find a hole, such as used by receivers of the Seahawks, was Avant. The others just kept running down field.. So, when, Alex had to really scramble, he would lower his head and concentrate on just running. That led to many comments by fans who saw open receivers far down field after Alex had been hit and they kept yelling about him not throwing to them. Alex didn’t really have the time to look for them. Now, as he knows his wide outs will look for open spots, he keeps his head up far longer.

        • mnelson52

          It seems to me that most of these players start playing in Pop Warner. I don’t see why it would take them 15 years to finally learn to help a scrambling QB. I know not all started that young, but it seems that just a little common sense would make them break off their routes if their QBs in trouble. It’s been a long time ago, but, if I remember correctly, we used to do that for our QB even in backyard football. This may be the first year the Chiefs have had this many capable of scrambling open for him, but it’s hard to believe they didn’t know to try.

  • Stan Colbert

    Alex has been encouraged to throw deeper the last couple years. No doubt he spent time watching film seeing possibilities not taken advantage of. I believe he is comfortable with His cast, and recognizes their abilities, to extend his comfort zone this year. He is throwing a much more accurate deep ball this year, meaning he has undoubtedly put in some serious throwing time!

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      It appears Alex is throwing more accurate because he now has receivers that can get clear.
      The reason the coaching staff didn’t encourage Smith to go deep often in past years was because we had a bunch of scrubs as WR’s

      • berttheclock

        Plus, last year, supposedly his best wide out, Maclin, was injured and tried to play with a groin pull which hurt his speed.

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          Yeah…..IMO Maclin just didn’t know how to take a fall.
          He seemed to always go down awkwardly.

          • berttheclock

            But, yet, he only had one drop all year. Hill only had two.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            I didn’t know that….hmmm
            I guess it was just a money thing.

  • ladner morse

    According to Colin Cowherd’s Power Ranking… the Chiefs have already beaten 2 of the top 5 teams in the league.
    .
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3c7c799013d23ea2a7f98117b3573ff24b415edc948ba6f8827df6fd0684829e.jpg