Everybody—especially Fantasy Football fans—wants to talk about running back Jamaal Charles after Kansas City’s 56-31 win over the Oakland Raiders.
Everybody—especially Fantasy Football fans—has a good reason to talk about Charles.
He was simply amazing in Kansas City’s win, and his performance solidified him as one of the best overall players in the NFL, in my humble estimation. Should Charles be considered as a MVP candidate? Well, that’s an article for a different time. But, I will say this: He deserves some major consideration.
Charles was unstoppable this past Sunday in Oakland, and he gave Raiders fans plenty to boo about every time he crossed the plane into the end zone. Amazingly, that happened five times, which was one short of the NFL record. He hauled in four touchdown passes and ran one in on the ground; finishing with an impressive 215 total yards.
Surprisingly enough though, only 20 of those yards came through the ground, and that leads me to the point of this article.
Charles got the headlines this weekend, and deservedly so, but lost in his epic game was an equally as great performance from quarterback Alex Smith.
Don’t forget, it was Smith who was on the passing end of all four of Charles’ receiving touchdowns, and that fourth throw in particular—a wheel route that ended up going 71-yards to pay dirt—was beautifully thrown.
Smith had himself a great game, and if you’re looking for a reason the Chiefs’ offense looks dramatically different during the second half of the season; look no further than No. 11.
Kansas City’s quarterback was nearly perfect against the Raiders, completing 17-of-20 passes for 287 yards and five touchdowns. He didn’t throw a pick, and haters be damned, he averaged almost 17 yards per completion. Smith was accurate, he was confident, and he has been a huge reason Kansas City has made the playoffs a year after going 2-14.
Sure, he may not be Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers, but he’s proven over the past few weeks that he can run this offense at a high level, and he can make the big throws. Ever since the first Broncos game, which is arguably when the Chiefs started clicking offensively, Smith has put up 1,241 yards, 14 touchdowns and has thrown just two interceptions.
He’s also gotten it done with his feet. Smith extended plays and picked up yards on the ground against Oakland, and finished with 17 yards off of four carries; which isn’t half bad for a quarterback.
For as many detractors Smith had heading into this 2013 season, I’d say the proof is in the pudding. Hey may never be “elite” in the sense of putting up stats and star power, but he’s certainly elite enough to lead this Kansas City team to the playoffs.
We’ll have to wait and see if he can lead them through the playoffs as well, but one thing is for certain: He’s good enough to do so.