Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jamaal Charles Stole The Headlines, But Don’t Forget About Alex Smith

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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Tags: Alex Smith Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs

  • Stacy D. Smith

    158.3… #nuffsaid

    • Bosco Cletus

      Might be my favorite stat from yesterday, he completed 17 passes, FIVE of em for touchdowns. That’s a pretty decent average.

  • berttheclock

    Still love to see that photo up on Jason’s thread about the recap, showing the ball landing softly directly into the hands of Charles, as he was clearly ahead of Burris, the Raiders backup linebacker, down the sidelines. Remember, that pass was on a 3rd and one play. Perhaps that play should be labeled “The Back Breaker” as it really took any fire left out of the Raiders.

  • Justin R Groth

    Sorry but this offense revolves around Charles. Did Alex play good yes. If those passes were caught by nearly every other rb in the league does are they scores… maybe. Simply put Charles did exceptional but so did his blockers. I believe the Blocking>Smith when it came to the screen passes. Now before im called a hater. Im just saying that credit for those passes should go 1)Charles 2)Blocking by whole team 3)Smith. Some of the easiest touchdown he ever threw.

    • berttheclock

      On the 71 yard pass, blocking had little to do with it, as it was a wheel route on a 3rd and one. The Raiders expected to see, either, a run or a quick slant. The reason the swing passes were called in the first place was to negate the blitzing and pass rushes of the Raiders, who had hit Smith so much in the first game. Another thing is, finally, Smith and Charles were on the same page. Earlier in the season, Charles dropped several swing passes and Smith did not throw him the best passes.

      • guest

        The game plan was perfect. They knew the Raiders wld play the run agressively. JC wasnt meant to take too many hand offs out the gate. Thats my opinion.

      • Justin R Groth

        I believe the Blocking>Smith when it came to the SCREEN PASSES. Now before im called a hater. Im just saying that credit for those passes should go 1)Charles 2)Blocking by whole team 3)Smith. Some of the easiest touchdown he ever threw.

        • Justin R Groth

          sorry for the all caps didn’t know how to bold

    • guest

      So not a hater for saying that. I think more ppl use that term out of context these days. A “hater” is a doubter based upon jealousy. Your honest take doesnt have a “crabs in a bucket” vibe.

  • micah stephenson


  • micah stephenson

    Alex gets credit for the yards but charles took 0 yard passes and 1 20 yrd pass and turned it into 195 yards and 4 tds of Alexs stats. Lets try not over hype Alex, like he some prolific passer. KC is the only city that attempts to over hype Alex. Outside of kc, they keep it real about Alex.

    • tigerfan6884

      He sure is no Tony Romo.

    • stevekozak

      I reckon I am obligated (and honored!) to say again that AS 11 is the best thing that could happen to this team. He brings it all together.

    • LGB

      He takes care of the ball and wins games. Which means he gets the job done. What more could you ask. The hype for Alex is credible. You don’t need a prolific passer to win in this league in Dec and Jan. I will take ball security over anything else. He is the best qb since green. And is one of the best this franchise has had.

    • Battlespeed

      The time and effort that you devote to trashing Alex Smith – no matter what he does or how well – is worthy of some more noble cause, don’t you think?

      • KCMikeG

        Brady is the King of the check down and short pass. His yards in the air per attempt is 3.6 just like Rothlesberger and Romo. Even lower are Cam Newton is 3.5 and Luck is 3.2 while our hero’s is 2.9 and 55% of his yards are YAC. Rodgers is 53% while Rothlesberger, Foles, Ryan and Luck are all around 52%. Newton, RGIII, Brees, Manning, Stafford, Brady and Rivers are all 48-50%. Most of the QB’s listed here are the top of the “elite” list. The big arm vs game manager is more hype than reality. Shorter passes have a higher probability of completion and create space that a running play can’t.

  • kcpauly

    Andrew, did you get married? why the name change?
    anyway you just wrote all kinds of fuel for Micah’s AS11 hate….good one
    Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • steve james

      Hu your right. For some reason it didn’t click with me. Wonder what’s up with that?

  • KCMikeG

    Charles wasn’t the only player to have 5 TD’s yesterday! AS11 certainly has been a major part of our success and a brilliant pick up by R&D. Thanks for your article as many want to discount AS11′s role and slather all the praise on Charles (which he so richly deserves) but as you mentioned that 71 yard pass was a perfect pass. It was 25 yards in the air, dropped like a feather into JC’s hands over a LB and in front of the safety. JC was able to catch it “in stride” which allowed him to immediately make the move left, allowing Hemingway to make yet another great downfield block (check out his block on the first screen TD), leaving nothing but a green pathway to the black hole. Alex’s throw to The Beard for his FIFTH TD was a lightening strike between two defenders also. The future is so bright for this team.