How is it that every time something goes wrong or gets just slightly our of kilter in Kansas City, otherwise reasonable people just assume it must be Alex Smith’s fault?
There are few things more absurd in the world of professional football today than the idea that Patrick Mahomes is the guy to fix what ails the Chiefs.
When the Chiefs were 5-0, folks were already preparing to hand Smith the MVP award, but there was still a significant portion of the fan base looking for something to blame him for.
The way we hear it, of all the things plaguing the Chiefs right now, Smith isn’t even in the same area code as the leading issues, and head coach Andy Reid knows it.
Only Tom Brady has played the quarterback position more efficiently this year, with a 109.7 passer rating to Smith’s 107.2, and only Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and Carson Wentz are in reasonably close pursuit.
Only Brady, at 26:4, has a better touchdown-to-interception ratio than Smith’s 23:4. Smith is seventh in passing yards, third in average yards per attempt at 8.1 and Smith is among the NFL’s top running QBs — with 48-305 rushing, good for a 6.4-yard average, with a 70 yard run and one rushing TD.
The Chiefs are sixth in total offense and sixth in points scored, and there’s no way they’d be there without Smith.
Kansas City has dropped six of its past seven games because it’s 30th in total defense, 30th vs. the run, 29th in sack percentage and 25th in the NFL getting off the field on third down.
The slide actually began Week 1 of the season when the Chiefs lost the one player on either side of the ball they couldn’t afford to in Eric Berry, who many thought should have been the NFL’s defensive MVP in 2016.
It didn’t kick in until Week 6 because it took a little while for the age of this Chiefs’ “D” to show its impact, and it came to a head last Sunday when they couldn’t keep the epically average Jets offense from dropping 38 on them.
Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Ron Parker are all on the wrong side of 30, Justin Houston will be 29 in January but has 40-year-old knees, and there’s no way 32-year-old Darrelle Revis will be rising to the rescue after spending most of the season on the street.
Remember last summer when we were all scratching our heads over the sudden, unexpected and unceremonious ouster of general manager John Dorsey?
The way we hear it, it was the lack of preparation or a contingency plan for exactly this kind of a collapse that had a lot to do with it.