Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) during the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Where Does Alex Smith Rank as a Quarterback?


It’s been just under one year since the rumors of the trade that ultimately brought Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers to the Kansas City Chiefs began to circulate around the internet. Now, after his first full season and a playoff game, it’s time to take a look and see exactly where Alex Smith stacks up with the rest of the NFL quarterbacks.

Though Alex Smith was labeled a “game manager” coming out of San Francisco, and even I’ll admit he did nothing in the first half of the season to shake that tag, coming out of the Chiefs Week 10 bye week there was nothing “managing” about his gameplay. During the first nine games Smith’s Passer rating was a slightly below-average 81.1. He only threw nine touchdowns in the those games — actually he threw nine TDs in four games because five of the nine games he never found the endzone — and only completed 59.7 percent of his passes.

Still, thanks to the legs of running back Jamaal Charles, the fact that even though Smith was lighting up the scoreboard he wasn’t turning the ball over and a defense that nobody in the NFL had figured out yet, the Chiefs were able to win those first nine games.

As the Chiefs came out of their bye week, everyone know what the result was. Despite opening up the playbook offensively, opposing teams had figured out a way to neutralize their pass rush, thus exposing their weak secondary. No matter how many points the Chiefs put up, the other teams were able to put up more.

Smith, however, was a different quarterback. Despite the fact the Chiefs lost five of their seven remaining games in the second half of the season, it wasn’t because of Alex Smith. His passer rating jumped a ridiculous 20 points to 101.7. That included the Week 15 match up against the Oakland Raiders in which Smith achieved a perfect passer rating of 158.3, completing 85 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and no interceptions.

Yes, in the second half of the season, Smith truly had stepped out of the “game manager” role and was simply a “gamer.”

Many people still said that he wouldn’t be able to survive without his “go-to” receiver, Jamaal Charles but he proved everyone wrong in the Chiefs first playoff game since 2010. After losing Charles to concussion six plays into the game, Smith went on to throw for 378 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Many would say that Smith did everything he could to win that game.

But, where does all of that rank Smith among other NFL quarterbacks? We all know who number one is. That’s been pounded into our collective heads since day one of the season by the folks at ESPN and the NFL Network. Looking at the stats, let’s see if Smith is truly a “Top 10″ quarterback in this league as general manager John Dorsey claimed he would be at the beginning of the season.

Judging a quarterback by who has the most passing yardage in the NFL is silly at best. By that statistic, after 15 games, Smith ranks 17th in the NFL. The problem with that statistic is it puts him behind — well behind — quarterbacks like Matt Ryan (4), Matthew Stafford (3) and Ryan Tannehill (10) who all had inferrior seasons to Smith. The next stat to break down would be touchdowns.

Alex Smith found the end zone a total of 23 times with his arm. That ties him with the 15th best number along with Indianapolis Colts signal caller Andrew Luck. Again, though, it’s tough to use this as the end-all, be-all stat because again, this puts guys like Matt Ryan with 26 touchdowns and Matthew Stafford with 29 ahead of Smith.

Perhaps the best stat to size up quarterbacks is the passer rating. This takes into account just about every statistic quarterbacks can achieve, puts them into a mathmatical forumla you need to have a master’s degree in calculus to understand and spits out a number. The problem is, it isn’t perfect either. As we said earlier, Smith’s passer rating on the season was 89.1. That’s much lower than it should have been because of his slow start to the season. Lining up all quarterbacks with more than 300 passing attempts on the season, that puts Smith as the #12 quarterback in the league.

Again, it’s a misleading representation because the No. 1 quarterback according this statistic is Nick Foles from the Philadelphia Eagles. While the second year QB had a great year, I really don’t think he’s better than the guy running things in Denver. You just can’t convince me of it; just like you’ll never convince me that Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler are better than Alex Smith. But, according to the passer rating statistic, it says they are.

So, in that vain, I will give you my list of starting quarterbacks in the league who rate as “Top 10″ based of off their performance this year as I see it.

1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

It hurts me to say it, but he was the best guy in the group this year. He broke the major records that define quarterback play — total touchdowns and total yardage — and will likely lead his team to a Superbowl victory.

2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Brees is consistently good. He is in the right system playing for the right coach in the Big Easy. Granted, he has one of the best tight ends playing the game in Jimmy Graham, but he can utilize his weapons well. His 39 touchdowns and 5,126 yards were second best in the league, only behind Manning.

3. Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

At the beginning of the season I said that this would be a defining year for Rivers. With a new head coach and new system, it was bound to be a make or break year for the quarterback and if he continued to play poorly — as he has the past couple of years — he would likely find himself on the way out of San Diego. Suffice it to say, I think he’s safe.

4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Rodgers getting injured definitely hurt his stock, and his team, like anyone knew it would. You can’t expect a guy like Rodgers to continue through a broken collar bone and perform as he has in the past. In fact, the only reason he’s this high on the list was because he was able to come back from that injury and put on a show to beat the Chicago Bears to make the playoffs.

5. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

I want to be clear. Tom Brady only gets put here because, as one AA reader put it, “he took chicken poop and made chicken salad.” Having an above average passing attack with nobodies at wide receiver isn’t easy. This wasn’t your dad’s Tom Brady this year. He didn’t look at all like he has in seasons past, but he still managed to put up 4,343 yards and 25 touchdowns.

6. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

Smith came into an offense he wasn’t familiar with, with team mates he didn’t know, to a team that was 2-14 last year and led them to the playoffs. With his arms and legs he combined for nearly 3,800 yards of offense and 24 touchdowns. Conversely, he didn’t turn the ball over, throwing only seven interceptions which was an NFL best for all quarterbacks who played the entire season as a starter.

7. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Luck was awesome this year and he will be a hall of fame quarterback. However, he’s still young and while he make some big plays he makes a lot of mistakes as well, which was especially evident in the playoffs agains the Chiefs and the Patriots.

8. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles

I’m tentative to put Foles here because he didn’t even play a full season, but he’s going to be good. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid definitely knew what he was doing when he drafted Foles last year. He’s going to be good for years to come.

9. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

There’s a lot of hooplah that surrounds young Mr. Wilson, especially with the Seahawks making their Superbowl run. However, if you look at the stats this quarterback has put up, they’re not any different or more spectacular than Smith’s. He’ll continue to be good as long as he has a strong running game and solid defense. Sound like anyone else you know?

10. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

Romo is good and will always be good. Yes, it’s true he hasn’t led his team to the big game, and that’s why he’s not any higher on the list. He is an elite quarterback in this league and will continue to play at a high level. If he could get some help from his defense, he’d be a playoff contender.

There they are, Addicts. My top ten quarterbacks for this year. Sound off, I want to hear what you have to say!

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • micah stephenson

    P.ManningT.BradyA.RogersD.BreesA.LuckEli ManningBig BenP.PiversR.WilsonC.NewtonT.RomoM.StaffordKopernickJ FlaccoRG3J CutlerM.RyanALEX SMITHA.DaltonTannehillN.FolesGENO SMITH is closer to how I have them. Its not just about stats ether, some of it is just talent and ability. I’m at work I will elaborate more later

    • Jason Seibel

      The fact that you put Eli, Ryan, RGIII and Geno (really?) on this list for this year says a lot.

      • micah stephenson

        Eli has 2 rings, Ryan is decent, and I put 23 qbs ahead of geno.

        • Jason Seibel

          The list was based on THIS year.

          • micah stephenson

            I was going b every year not just this yr.

          • Jason Seibel

            What’s your list for THIS year?

          • kcpauly

            His list is anybody other than Alex, he just can’t get over it, he still has a hidden hard on for Geno
            Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • micah stephenson

            Lol. I don’t care about no Geno. He so last yr. You should know by now I like Bridgewater and Menziel nowdays.

          • micah stephenson

            If I was going to go by this yr I would need to do some research but I know Alex ain’t in the top ten and I think anyone who is not a fan of his from the 49s or now the Chiefs would not find him a top ten QB Ether.

          • Jason Seibel

            Research away. And I’m sorry, but you’re wrong, because I did the research and looked at it in a non-biased way.

          • micah stephenson

            Thats yo favorite player and it was non bias, lol. Yea right. I guarantee it wasn’t non bias. if you ask anybody outside of San Francisco and kc if Alex Smith is a top ten QB this yr and they will say hell no!

          • Jason Seibel

            Biased would have been making him 1 or 2.

          • Jason Seibel

            Believe what you want. Even the greatest QB of all time, Joe Montana says Smith is legit. And you’re wrong about people outside of SF and KC. There’s plenty of people outside the two fan bases that see his talent and worth. Face it. You’re the minority with this opinion. Everybody sees it but you.

          • micah stephenson

            I’m may b in the minority in AA but if you took a nation wide poll, Alex is not a top ten QB.

          • Jason Seibel

            If you say so.

    • jeffromac23

      You do know he said this year? To put Luck, RG3, Big Ben, Flacco, Romo and Cutler ahead of AS11 just goes to show how much of an As11 hater you are. Get over it Micha I have read your posts all season and I believe everybody her at AP knows how you have felt since before the trade but the fact is the second half of this season after he got used to the system and his players AS11 played like a Pro Bowler so you really need to get past your hatred of him or you will have a lot of seasons typing your fingers off and nobody listening.

      • micah stephenson

        I hadn’t realized he meant this year only, so RG3, Big Ben, Flacco had bad seasons they would b moved down. But Luck showed us how its done. 2 yrs in the lg and 2 playoff appearances. Yea he threw some pics but that comes with territory when you’re trying install a high octane high scoring offense. Cutler has a stronger arm and more ability than Alex but I don’t know what he did in chi this yr.
        Romo has all the ability in the world and is better than Alex but idk who had a better yr stat wise.

        • toperspective

          Luck has also carried the team on this back for big wins.

          • micah stephenson

            YEA like that playoff win vs the Chiefs.

          • Jason Seibel

            Something that had nothing to do with Smith.

          • micah stephenson

            And Everything to do with Andrew Luck.

        • Calchiefsfan

          I would not put Romo or Cutler ahead of Smith because of their terrible decision making. Part of what makes Alex a good QB is that he doesn’t put opposing teams in good positions with untimely turnovers.

  • Matt Dickson

    Good, rational and balanced analysis Jason. I wrote on this subject elsewhere and came to a similar opinion based on the facts.

    Why this should really excite Chiefs fans is what this means in the seasons to come. All of these facts would strongly suggest that Smith will only continue to improve for these following reasons:

    (1) Smith showed improvement consistently throughout the season; it appeared that his play improved as his familiarity with his players improved. That familiarity should only improve as he’s able to stack season upon season with many of the same players.

    (2) In the vein of reason #1, Smith’s improvement throughout the season can also be attributed to his familiarity and comfort with the offensive season. Going into season two, he should be able to play more and “think” less. His natural athleticism and decision making will improve even further, as will his confidence to challenge defenses down the field. Imagine what we can expect to see from Alex after three or four seasons in this same system? His comfort and confidence will be complete.

    (3) The offensive playmakers around Alex should improve dramatically over the next couple years as younger receivers (like Kelce, Hemingway and Jenkins) develop and new, top tier talents are drafted. Alex played like a top ten QB throwing to a small smattering of talent, probably average at best. Imagine what his numbers will look like when he’s actually got more than Jamaal Charles to stack up YAC?

    (4) Lastly, Alex is only 29-years-old. Conventional thinking is that a QB ENTERS his prime between 27-29 years old. Conventional thinking is also that most QBs remain in their prime until about the age of 34- 35 years old; though that number seems to be trending older as sports medicine and nutrition improve. In other words, Alex is really in the earliest stages of what are considered a QBs prime years. Chiefs fans can look forward– all thinks being equal– to at least 5+ years of Smith playing to his potential before age eventually takes hold.

    When you take all four of the above factors into consideration, Smith’s arrow is definitely pointed up. Chiefs fans can look forward to “very good” QB play from Smith for at least half a decade. I couldn’t be happier for Alex; he’s a class act, intelligent and dedicated. The good guys like him, deserve the opportunity for stability with a good organization who’s arrow is also pointed up.

    Go Chiefs!

    • KCMikeG

      Great comment! The future is very bright.

    • phantomebb

      Couple of things to add.

      Don’t forget that early in the year the offensive line looked live a sieve and the makeup it had the last couple games of the season really made a difference in how much time Smith had.

      Smith only started 50 games in 6 years. So he is fresher than most 29 year old Qbs. But who knows how much it takes out of you when this happens, “As it turned out, it didn’t matter because Smith, just a couple of weeks later, while throwing a deep ball in practice, broke a bone in his shoulder. A wire left behind from his surgery sawed the bone in half, requiring more surgery, and ending the quarterback’s fourth season.” per http://www.sltrib.com/Sports/ci_12031011

      Honestly I am more worried about the defense Andy and Alex managed to turn meh talent into the 3rd scoring offense. Now the defense needs a FS, DE, CB and oh yeah depth everywhere, the Chiefs literly have no good depth players on the defense. A real TE to help Kelce, and 2 better receivers to help McCluster would be nice but I rather have a defense than an offense.

  • KCMikeG

    Excellent post Jason. One change though. I would put AS11 ahead of Brady this year. Smith ranked higher in QB rating, only had 2 fewer TD’s (while playing one less game) and had the same completion % as Brady this year. He was a new system, new team and all new receivers yet Smith was able to exceed Brady’s performance in a system he has been in for years. The “chicken poop” post was wrong about the receiver comparisons too. Edelman was ranked #21 with over 1,000 yards and 6 TD’s. Bowe was ranked #58 and Amendola was #62 with just 40 yards less than Bowe. Gronk #74 only played in 7 games and had 4 yards less than Avery our #2 WR at #71. Looks like Alex Smith was the chicken salad expert to me.

    • micah stephenson

      Eldelman would not get anywhere close to a 1000 with Alex throwing him the ball. . Of corse Bowe is ranked low, new system and Alex at QB. The Chiefs wrs stats suck becus alex is never gone pass for more than 3500 yards. If you spread 3500 yards out over 4-5 wrs, 3 tes, and 2 running backs, its just not a lot of yards to spread around, so how will our wrs ever b ranked high based on yards? Enter Tom B into our offense, Bowe get 1200 yards 15 tds, Avery gets a 1000, Fasano gets a 1000, Dex about 750, Jenkins 200-300. If Alex had Eldelman and Amedola they numbers would b horrible and all of kc would b ready to run them out of town.

      • kcpauly

        >(**)< fingers in ears LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALAL!!!!!!!
        Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!Go AS11!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • micah stephenson

          Lol. I’ll give you an upvote for having a sense of humor.

      • John

        Someone with some common sense!

        • Jason Seibel

          If you think Michah has common sense, I don’t know what else we can do for you! LOL! Just kidding, Michah!

      • John Gabbard

        How is bowe’s stats down just because alex is throwing him the ball? His stats are down because a) he had a lot of drops and b) he obviously wasn’t getting open because that’s who alex threw to was the open receiver. When he did try to force it to bowe, to try to get him involved that’s when bad things happened. It doesn’t matter who the qb is, if the ball HITS YOU IN THE HANDS OR NUMBERS AND YOU DROP IT. Brady had a mediocer recieving corp this year too and his numbers suffered as a result. A few of his stats look very similar to Smith’s this year so I guess the pats should cut him and go after geno

        • micah stephenson

          Bowe has always had drops, all wrs do. And no wrs shud get wide open unless its a blown coverage. Alex is scared to throw into tight coverage.

      • phantomebb

        You realize you have it backwards right? Edelman had a catch rate around 70% and Amendola around 65% only Dobson there 3rd receiver had a bad catch rate of around 51%. Average for a good( and by good I mean top 15) receiver seems to be about 60-70%

        Now we go to the Chiefs Avery 55% Bowe 56% McCluster is the only one with a respectable catch rate of 65%( I always thought he was the Chiefs best receiver). Now Alex Smith for the past 3 years has been one of the most accurate short passers in the league. I don’t know how many times I have seen Bowe, who is suppose to be a top physical receiver try to go up and get a pass not catch it with his hands (his hallmark) and get out physicaled by a 5’11 180 DB. Whenever Alex tries a throw to a spot (throwing them open) the receivers has no extra burst that great receivers are known for and miss the ball by about a foot.

        And the Tight Ends? Well Fasano was ranked #37 by pro football focus this year and Mcgrath was worse and the stats prove it. In a position in which under Andy Reid historically produces 100+ catches had 74 TARGETS. I know Kelce got hurt but come on, Fasano is horrible.

        I think this Article has his position pretty accurate. Ale Smith has done the most with the least. The one point i would disagree on is this myth of opening up the offense. Its more like the offense needs time to gel plus the offensive line changes allowed Alex to have more time to throw. Also why bob sutton changed his defense around mid year is mindblowing. He is the single biggest reason the defense failed.

        • micah stephenson

          If Edelman and Amedola started for the Chiefs next yr would they rates go up or down? If BOWE and Avery started for the pats would they rates go up or down? I don’t think Fasano is good ether but the same people saying Alex is good was saying Fasano is good.

          • phantomebb

            I picked the Pats because there situation is similar, I think Bowe wouldn’t be any more than a #2 on any other playoff caliber team, and the Colts let Avery go for a reason. I think Edelman and Amendola would stay about the same and so would Bowe and Avery if they switched places. A 10-15% difference is crazy large for mostly short passing game.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            Brady’s the better quarterback. That’s not even open for debate. Though I do think Amendola and Edelman would both have good numbers in this offense. Edelman certainly wouldn’t have caught 105 balls here though. Smith spreads the ball around too often for that to happen.

        • KCMikeG

          Excellent fact based analysis!

      • KCMikeG

        So when when it’s Brady throwing the receivers suck but when Smith is throwing it is the receivers are great. Got it. So with Brady as our QB Bowe would have a season like he did in 2010 with Cassel? So then I guess Brady equals Cassel.

        Smith ranked higher in QB rating, only had 2 fewer TD’s and had the same completion % as Brady this year. Stop making excuses for Bowe or why doesn’t your excuse extend to Smith? It was a new system, new team and all new receivers yet Smith was able to exceed Brady’s performance in a system he has been in for years. Meanwhile Bowe stunk it up ranked #58.

        Brady would throw for 4,300 yards in our system just like he did in NE? So that means our receivers aren’t any better than the ones NE you are saying held back Brady. Plus you are saying Charles wouldn’t get any reception yardage in our offense with Brady even though he was our leading receiver this year? Wrong. The WR’s stats don’t suck because of Smith they are going to be lower because Reid’s offense has always had a RB or TE as the leading receiver. You might want to reconsider your yardage distributions and the logic behind your excuses for Brady and Bowe.

        • micah stephenson

          So when when it’s Brady throwing the receivers suck but when Smith is throwing it is the receivers are great……swith the names around to make this statement true. And Brady = Cassel, ok your losing credability now. Quit trying to put words in my mouth. never said how many yards Brady wud have, unless you add n up the yards our said our wrs would have. I didn’t eve mention JCs check down yardage, I figured you got the point by then.

          • KCMikeG

            Brady = Cassel was a joke but makes a point too as the year you said Bowe would have with Brady is the same as he had with Cassel in 2010. Bottom line is even Cassel & Bowe got it done. It takes two to get it done. You can’t discount JC’s yardage by calling it check down yardage or leave it out of the totals because either JC or a great TE (if we ever find one again or Tony G. comes back) those are the two positions that will lead the receiving yards in Reid’s offense. Check the history in Philly – WR’s rarely are the leaders.

    • Troy Utt

      Mike…This is what gives me hope / makes me excited about KC’s future!
      Getting a healthy Kelce, (Fasano?) or other TE back in the fold should only multiply Smith’s/offense’ numbers. Not to mention what that TE would mean for JC & his game! Opposing D’s really had it easy this year as they focused on JC… Funny thing is JC was still 39% of KC’s offense & put up the numbers that he did… Seeing Reids true WCO in action would be a thing of beauty! WAR CHIEFS!!!

      • Chris Tarrants

        We need to draft another TE and sign 4 or 5 more FA TE’S just to break this freaking curse that seems to be over our heads since Tony G. Left town. Go into camp with 7 or 8 and surely they won’t all get hurt right?

        • KCMikeG

          I know I’m a dreamer but do you think there is even a snowball’s chance in Hell we could get Tony G. back in KC? Maybe one more year as a player/mentor/coach would be huge for our needs at TE.

    • Jason Seibel

      I went back and forth with the Brady/Smith placement. But I agree with you completely. I could have just as easily flipped them.

  • Jon

    Good article. No offense, but I would put Alex ahead of Drew Brees and Ryan Leaf as well. A lot of the typical fans don’t seem to understand that the offense and coaching were new basically. If the Chiefs did not have the cerebral quick tactician that Alex is, they would not have gotten the to the play offs. He literally helps everybody by his quickness to comprehend and lead. Now put in his accuracy and ability to run. He is so much better than people give him credit for.

    • Jason Seibel

      Wait…Ryan Leaf? LOL?

    • John

      Better than Brees, come on man – put the joint down!

  • micah stephenson

    Don’t the 49s run west coast too? One minute you will brag on how smart Alex is and how he been in so many systems, and that he learns it fast. Then you will turn around and say its a new system do its gone tale a while for himnto learn.

    • Jason Seibel

      The 49ers run a version of the WCO just like Reid runs a version of the WCO. However in Harbaugh’s system where a simple Z fly, X drag and Y post might be called a Shark Shovel 42 Over, the same play in Reid’s system might be called a Bronco Buster Break Right 62. It’s like learning a whole new language. Smith has done it like 7 times in his career. Brady has only done it once.

      • Calchiefsfan

        What?

        • Jason Seibel

          It’s a football play. It goes back to what Micah said about different systems. I was simply pointing out that while one play in one version of the west coast offense might be called something, the terminology in a different version of the WCO might be completely different. Thus, even though it’s the same “system” in this case the WCO, it’s still different. Smith has essentially had to learn a different language every season. Tom Brady (because he’s played for the same coach and thus, the same system his whole career) hasn’t had to do that so he could just concentrate on getting better every year instead of starting over.

          • Calchiefsfan

            I was just trying to be funny. Glad I’m not a QB, though the money would be nice :)

      • micah stephenson

        I get that but he still know the plays already, yea different names but same execution. If he so smart like you say he is, learning new names for the plays should b easy.

  • micah stephenson

    Do anybody know what the most yards and tds a wr has had in a season with Alex as his QB? I want to know if any wr has ever had really good numbers with him at QB.

    • D forte

      13 td’s for Vernon one year, I know he is a TE but he lined up as WR half the time that season. The real question is who did he even have to throw to when he was in SF except Vernon? Arnaz Battle was his #1 for 2 seasons.

      • micah stephenson

        I mean between V.Davis, Crabtree, Manningham, Moss, and all other wrs, has any reciever had a monster season with Alex at QB. Prolly not.

        • D forte

          He only played 8 games with Moss & Manningham. Vernon tied the TD record for a TE at the time, so that was a monster year. Crabtree (lazy WR) never went to a training camp while Alex was there, and that will hamper production. Last year while Alex was starting in SF Crabtree was well on his way to 1000 yards 8 td’s.

  • toperspective

    Don’t mean to be critical, but in other words, the statistics don’t support my beliefs so I’ll ignore them and pull a ranking out of my hat based on my feelings. However, I do agree you can’t rank a QB solely on statistics. I tend to look at it this way – if there was a big game or 1:30 on the clock, who would I want at QB? Alex would be much lower than #6. He’s a fine QB but he’s not among the best yet. It’s also funny that at the beginning of the season, his weak stats didn’t matter because they were winning, but at the end of the season his good stats mattered but the losing didn’t.

    • Jason Seibel

      Yes you do mean to be critical, and that’s okay. It’s your right as a reader and I welcome it. Yes, the point of article was that ranking QBs had to be based off of more than stats. I stand by where I put Smith. I made a point to say he managed the Chiefs to 9 wins in the beginning of the season and then when he caught fire,, the defense went to crap and started losing games for the Chiefs. It all matters and I appreciate your opinion.

      • toperspective

        Ha, yeah you are right. It was one of those lame passive-aggresive intros. I just didn’t want to be an ahole since I appreciate that you take the time to write for AA. I agree it is so much more than stats and it’s almost impossible to quantify because you have so many variables. When AS puts the team on his back and carries them to victory as Ben, Brady and Luck have done then I’ll rank him higher. For me, so much of it is whether I have confidence in this QB at the end of a game. Again, very subjective.

        • Jason Seibel

          I base a lot of this off of the Chiefs playoff game against the Colts. Yes they lost as a team and I get that. But all season long, people said that Smith (or this team) couldn’t survive without Charles. Smith proved he could. I just wish the defense had come back on the field for the second half and they would have won. I think a lot more people would be believers. Smith did all he could to win that game.

          • toperspective

            No doubt he had a terrific game but the Chiefs got the ball with 4;21 left in the game and he wasn’t able to drive for a score. Of course, Charles, Avery and Davis were out of the game, so it’s probably not fair. If the defense does their job versus Indy, Smith is a hero. Same with the 1st SD game. The defense was brutal the 2nd half of the season and I’d like to see that addressed in the draft.

          • Calchiefsfan

            If only Bowe had been able to get both feet in.

          • toperspective

            I’m not sure it was possible….the pass was thrown too far outside.

          • Dock42

            Bowe needed to go up for that ball. Catch it at its highest point. If he had he would have gotten it farther inside and would have come down in bounds.

          • Calchiefsfan

            I was also reading that if he had caught it with his hands instead of his body he would have had a better chance of staying in bounds. Kind of a coulda, shoulda, woulda deal. But we were that close, in spite of the poor D, to Smith being a hero.

          • toperspective

            Maybe but I’ve watched it numerous times and it would have been an incredible catch. AS should have thrown it more inside.

          • phantomebb

            Your kidding me right it was a perfect pass, ANY other receiver on the team could have got in. Bowe said himself he didn’t want to try because he felt his foot was sprained and didn’t want to break it.

          • berttheclock

            Against the Colts, Alex Smith showed how fine a QB he can be and I am thrilled the Chiefs have him. Alex Smith did everything he could to win that game. He did not lose the game, Bob Sutton lost the game because he refused to adjust his so-called man coverage and ended up letting Hilton have a field day.

            Your positioning of Alex Smith works very well for me. What I really liked about him was he grew as the season progressed which, for myself, speaks volumes about how he will do next season with the expected, from Dorsey, help added to this team. I see the Chiefs at this point being a team as a glass one hell of lot more than just half full.

            BTW, my comment about Sutton does not mean I expect to see him go, but, I do expect to see far better players brought in to play opposite Berry and better corners who can play man in his system. Have you read the latest PRF reports concerning the Chiefs posted by Teicher at ESPN? PRF gave upgrades to many of the players, but, the one player who really fell off was Flowers. If his injuries were really affecting him and they can be healed, that is one thing, but, if he has peaked, then, Dorsey must find someone to fill his position and, if that means a trade, so be it.

          • berttheclock

            BTW. PRF ranked the Chiefs as the 2nd, only to Carolina, best team which improved their roster in 2013. With several of the picks returning healthy and a new off season of acquiring talent, as the crooners sing, “The best is yet to come”.

    • phantomebb

      Alex Smith is the 49er record holder for single season come from behind victories with 6 better than Montana, Young, Garcia, Y.A Tittle. Let that sink in for a second and then say hes not clutch. Also Smith has the highest active player playoff passer rating with 108. Just look at the Saints 9ers game in 2011 and tell me hes not clutch.

      • toperspective

        So given a choice of Montana, Young or Smith with 2 min on the clock, you’d take Smith? How’d he do in his final drive vs Indy? Final drive vs Denver? I think AS is a fine QB, I just don’t think he’s elite.

        • phantomebb

          I wouldnt take him over two Hall of Famers. To me both his drivers vs Denver and Indy were on Bowe. Indy he was hurt didnt take himself out and didn’t want to hurt himself more thats why he didnt come down with a perfect pass. In Denver he misread the safety coverage and ran the wrong route, letting the safety get inside on a nice high ball in the back of the end zone.

  • Tristian Shelley

    Agree with the list completely. The elite are the elite and id put Romo higher because if not for him the Cowboys would never have a shot to win the division every year. Our defense is bad but his has been worse for years so he is always fighting a losing battle. As for Alex theres no way im taking anyone not named Brady Manning Roethlisberger Rodgers Rivers or Brees over him. I may even take Wilson because his work ethic demeanor and ability to take care of the football at a young age are incredibly impressive. And Romo. U put him on a 49er type team and I guarantee the last few years the niners win the big one at least twice and ppl would talk of him differently. I think Smith vaults himself into top 5 conversation next year because I believe he beats 3 of the 4 nfc west teams next year and shows the world and micah that he is no “game manager”.

  • DangeRuss

    What is this? Russell Wilson underate day? Wilson makes the plays he needs.

    • Jason Seibel

      Wilson is a good QB and after only two years in the league I think he’s one of the best 10 QB’s in the NFL. But let’s be honest, he rode an awesome running back and a defense that didn’t collapse on hi m to the Superbowl.

      • toperspective

        And AS had the best running back in football and the easiest schedule in football.

        • Calchiefsfan

          If Smith had Seattle’s D he’d be going to the Super Bowl.

          • toperspective

            Most likely in the AFC.

        • phantomebb

          Lets compare for arguments sake.

          RBs – both great great KC a bit better
          OL – Seattle
          TE – Seattle
          WR -Seattle
          DL – Seattle
          LB – KC
          DB – Seattle
          ST – KC

          So Seattle is as complete a team as they come, and the Chiefs had the 32nd ranked defense the last 9 games of the year……..

  • Calchiefsfan

    I like it Jason. I would like to see where Smith ranked if you just used the second half of the season, total passing yards, completion % etc. I know you said his passer rating was 101.7. That would have put him at the fifth highest rated QB in the NFL

    • Calchiefsfan

      Oops! I was looking at post season stats where he was #1. He would have been at 3rd on the list for the regular season.

  • John Gabbard

    if you were to to compound out smith’s performance based on the last half of the season when things started clicking, for the first half of the season, what would his stats look like? Probably one of the best in league. We have to keep in mind that qbs flip flop from year to year (unless your manning,brady, brees, rodgers) so there will be a handful of qbs that are better than they were this year and vice versa. I will be looking for alex to continue his success next season with it being his second year in reids system. For that matter, the whole offense will be better since everyone will be on the same page. Some people that post on this sight don’t take that into consideration when they hate on smith for whatever their reason is (micah). I know you talk about his stats most of the time but the only one I care about is Ws and he is one of the best in that category. Talk about stats all you want, but if receivers caught the damn ball, his stats would be better. He didn’t throw too many balls off target, receivers can’t catch and that’s not his fault

  • berttheclock

    It took Jenkins over half the season to, finally, find his confidence and start catching passes. If you look at the West Coast offense, whether here or in SF, you will notice the emphasis placed on having TEs who can get open and catch passes. When, the season began, the TE looked rather rosy. However, Kerce went down, Fasano was injured, McGrath turned out to be a blessing, but, it really was his first season and the Chiefs had little help from anyone else. Kind of tough putting up great numbers when injuries can affect your list of targets.

    • Calchiefsfan

      I’m intrigued by Jenkins. Could that be another find by Dorsey?

  • Grandfield66

    Eli is the MOST overrated QB in nfl, I don’t care how many rings he has, and its not a mistake that Romo and Flacco both rhyme with CHOKO. Is Smith an elite QB not compared to todays QBs but where should he rank as a chiefs QB. Well we’ve had Len Dawson back in the 60s and 70s and Trent Green for what 5 years in the early 2000s that’s it! Will he play the roll until we find that franchise QB, HE”S GOT MY VOTE. Its nice to finally see a QB under center that’s not afraid to use his legs instead of force a pass that will ultimately turn into an INT. Give the guy a chance. Let him play a few years in the same system with the same coaches he just might turn into “OUR” guy. Yea he had like 8 years to prove something in SF but heck look at what they are used to MONTANA, YOUNG, GARCIA id say they’ve been spoiled with guys who know how to toss the pigskin yea they are gonna expect the best. We’ve been used to guys like Grbac, Huard, Croyle, Cassel, Blackledge. Id already rank him top 3 of QBs in Chiefs history. Yea I know we had montana for a couple years but who wants 2 bites of leftovers. NO PUN INTENDED JOE thanks for the only playoff victories we’ve had for 2 decades. Get him another “good” receiver some healthy TEs and a healthy offensive line he might just shoot the lights out. HERES TO YEAR 2 OF THE NEW REGIME

    • Calchiefsfan

      And a good D.

    • phantomebb

      You know the offense that Eli works with is like 20 years old right? Defensive players going against it literally can call the play they doing. Honestly I wish somehow the Chiefs could get rid of Avery, Bowe, and Fasano. But they carry cap penalties and they probably are sticking around :-(

  • Grandfield66

    HOW GOOD WAS ELWAY. Well lets just say that chiefs fans despised him. He was the worst thing EVER. We could of sworn he was gods creation to the broncos and the other gods rath on us. Now look at his stats he really wasn’t that good of a QB “STAT WISE” Heck Montana only threw for more then 30 TDs in a season ONCE and his stats as a Chief really weren’t ELITE QB stats he had a passer rating of like 87 one year and 82 the next and BARELY completed over 60% of his passes so yea as a STAT guy, Montana was just an average QB in KC

    • toperspective

      I realize it’s sarcasm but you can’t compare stats for that era. Different rules, different game.

  • http://KIDK.com Racyman

    Great post! I’m a long suffering Chiefs fan, and I mean LONG SUFFERING (over 40 years, I’m 56), but I’m more optimistic going into 2014 than any season in recent memory. I think Alex Smith has as much to do with that optimism as anyone. The Chiefs got him at the perfect time in his career (he turns 30 this year), after two really good seasons with the 49er’s, including coming within a couple of muffed punts/kickoffs of going to the Superbowl, in 2011 and being the highest rated QB, in the league and winning games, when Kap. took his job. So, we now have 3 seasons (about, including playoff games) to base our opinions on him, not just a successful season with our Chiefs. The guy is cool under pressure, can extend plays with his feet or even shovel passes,( like we saw in the playoff game), is accurate, doesn’t turn the ball over (his interception rate actually improved the more passes he threw, during that 2nd half of the season), is a team-first guy, hard worker, well-liked by teammates a good leader and can throw a better deep ball, than given credit for. I’m glad to see him getting the respect he deserves on this site. (I admit that I generally go to Arrowhead Pride first and more often and the feelings are more mixed about Smith, on that site). However, I think I am a convert! I have enjoyed this site everytime I have logged on and I see allot more objectivity. Oh and I think Smith is ranked just right (still maybe a question regarding switching with Brady, but if you use just the 2013 season, i think he stays put).

    • Jason Seibel

      Glad to have you here Racyman and we’re glad you like what you see here at AA. We hope you stick around and comment as often as you like.

      • http://KIDK.com Racyman

        Thanks Bud! I plan on it!

  • 44WinMag

    I have to admit, when it comes to Middling QBs Alex Smith has to rank at the top of that group.

  • Pessimisticchiefsfan

    I understand your rating for this year but there are probably about 15 starting qbs in the league I would trade smith straight up

    • Jason Seibel

      Like who?

      • Pessimisticchiefsfan

        Manning, Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Newton, Wilson, Ryan, stafford, romo, luck, kap, Roethlisberger, flacco, Griffen, dalton, others would be debatable.

        Before you all freak out I know smith may in some aspects had a better statistical season this year in some aspects than these qbs. In my opinion the cheifs would be better with any of these qbs at qb.

        • gjrchief

          Andy Dalton? The Bengals don’t even want him anymore… the Bengals! Give Smith AJ Green and you would see who is better.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Not sure I agree with that order, but I think he was a Top 10 quarterback in 2013.

    • Jason Seibel

      So what’s your order Stacy? Curious to see where you had him.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        1. P. Manning
        2. Brees
        3. Rivers
        4. Romo
        5. Foles
        6. Wilson
        7. Brady
        8. Smith
        9. Luck
        10. Roethlisberger

        • Jason Seibel

          My only two problems with that list is how do you put Foles that high when he didn’t play a whole season and Romo choked two games away.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            That’s even more reason why Foles deserves that spot. 24 TD’s and just 2 INT’s in 10 starts? 27 touchdowns overall, on just 203 completions. Phenomenal second year for the kid.

            Say what you want about Romo. Remember though: 3-to-1 TD:INT ratio and a near-64% completion rate. 30+ plus to paydirt. Less than 200 yards shy of 4,000 yards.

          • micah stephenson

            Tell him Stacy. Lol

          • Stacy D. Smith

            There’s not much debate between Seibel and I over Alex Smith. He has him at 6th on this list, I had him at 8th. You had 16 other quarterbacks ahead of Smith. If I have a bone to pick with anyone, it’s you Micah.

          • micah stephenson

            I didn’t know he was talking bout this year ONLY and one minute he say stats don’t matter, then when it is convient he say look at the stats, so I don’t know if he mean who is the top ten QB period at this time, or top ten by some stats, or what. He is not a top ten QB by any measurement.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            There are actually several metrics you could use to arrive at that conclusion. We get it though. You’re wed to the hatred you have for him. You don’t have to pretend that’s a football take. You could just say you don’t like the guy. That doesn’t require any justification.

          • micah stephenson

            He is a alright person, just don’t like him as a long term solution at QB. If he blows me away next yr I will leave him it alone, but he prolly wont.

          • micah stephenson

            Alex Smith didn’t play a whole season ether. Where was he the 1st 9 games? Lol

        • micah stephenson

          Luck beat Smith in both the head to head matchups and advanced in the playoffs, without his number 1 wr. I feel like that puts Luck ahead of Smith.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            It’s a team game, but even to your point, Luck only outperformed him in one of those two games. I gave Smith the edge there because they had similar numbers. Smith threw 62 fewer passes though. So he posted those numbers with what basically works out to two fewer games (in terms of passing opportunities).

      • micah stephenson

        To you and Stacy, sinse the goal is to win the Superbowl and Wilson has his team in it, don’t that mean he shud b number 2? Manning and Wilson have they teams in the Superbowl, that has to mean they are having the best yr to me.

        • Jason Seibel

          Wilson is a step above game manager. Seahawks are in the Superbowl because of the defense and Lynch.

          • micah stephenson

            Something tells me if they had Alex instead of Wilson, you would b giving Alex waaay more credit that you seem to b wanting to give Wilson.

  • D forte

    Great read! I keep hearing Alex is at his ceiling, but yet he has gotten better every season in the NFL (minus the two injury years). I can’t wait to see if this offense picks up where it left off. If they do, look for this to be a top 5 offense in the NFL.

    • micah stephenson

      You should get better and better when your not that good in the 1st place. He had about 3300 yards passing. This is his 9th season. How many more seasons will it take him to pass for 4000?

      • D forte

        I’d put the over under for yards next season at 3800, but if you add in his rushing stats he will go over 4000 yards. I’m basing that off how he finished last season. Also, this year was his first year in a passing offense, before he was in a bunch of different versions of run,run,pass offenses. His 500+ passing attempts were by far the most he ever had. I’m not mad at you for having an opinion that isn’t the same as mine about the guy. As of right now, being the 3rd alternate to the Pro Bowl means the NFL rates him as the 9th best QB.

  • micah stephenson

    This article is funny. Jason b like when you look at yards alex ain’t a top ten guy so we can’t go by them stats, when you look at tds, o well he ain’t in the top ten there ether so throw that out, QB rating, still not top ten, can’t use that ether, dam dude ain’t top ten any anything but in my mind. I know what ill just make a list of who MY OWN personal favorite top ten, that will have alex on it.

  • micah stephenson

    At the end of the day the only stat that matters is superbowl win or not. Manning and Wilson have a chance to win it, so they HAVE to b the 2 QBs that had the best season this yr. So I have my top ten QBs for this yr and this yr only as Manning
    Wilson
    Brees
    Rivers
    Rogers
    Brady
    Luck
    Romo
    Kopernick
    Foles

    • gjrchief

      You never make sense. If your only metric was putting your team in position to win a super bowl… how does Romo who couldn’t get his team in the playoffs make it over Smith? Rogers needed Matt Flynn to win games for his team to make it into the playoffs. And Rivers never would have made the playoffs if the Chiefs didn’t let him. I may be the one billionth person to say it but you are a joke.

      • micah stephenson

        It makes perfectly good sense. If you make it to or win the superbowl you are obviously having a good season. They rest are then lumped into a group. Then you you can start to look at stats and different variables, like wins, yards, tds, coaching, his weapons, strength of scedule, injuries, playing time and so on.

  • Paul Cook

    I agree with your assessment of Alex Smith. I am sick and tired of hearing how he is ‘a game manager’ and cannot throw the deep ball. He is not Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers, but I would definitely put him in the top ten. With another good receiver, he may show how good he really can be.

  • jimfromkcj

    I would place him at #16, right in the middle of the pack. The reason is that Alex hasn’t shown he can win a game against good teams let alone great teams. I also wouldn’t be looking for a QB in the draft until I get other positions solid. We need better players on both lines and until they get that fixed it reaqlly doesn’t matter who the QB is, they aren’t going to win consistently. Why do you think that Peyton chose Denver? He could see that they had a really young and athletic off line who could keep him protected. We didn’t come close.

  • andy

    I live in realville. I think Smith is great for our system. Heis underrated in the league, his tendency to not turn the ball over is very underrated. But he is rated to high, mainly because of his slow start. He is 9, ahead of Wilson. Everyone else on the list played a much tougher schedule. I also think, like most on this sight, that he will get better. He proved something to me in the Indianapolis game playing well without most of his playmakers.

  • JimHarbaughsguys

    @Jason Seibel

    What about drops? When analyzing a QB, one really can only analyze the decision making and whether the pass he threw had a good CHANCE to be caught. Drops though can really hurt all of those stats. They lower the yards, completion %, and they are drive killers.

    Looking at your list, how many of those QB’s suffered from the most drops? I know Alex had his WR’s drop a lot of balls. And I know Kap didn’t. From what I’ve seen of Manning and Wilson, they didn’t have many in those games.

    And nice comparison of Alex to Wilson. The attitudes of both are really similar as well. Both of them are very even emotionally during a game. Never too up or down. Charles said something similar about Alex, and Wilson said in an interview that it is important to not get too up or down during a game.

  • Mark M

    wow, what an obnoxiously stupid homer piece. Good luck with Alex’s ceiling

    • Jason Seibel

      While I appreciate your honesty I’m curious who you would put ahead of Smith.