Play #9 – Shotgun Formation – 3 WRs, 1 TE, JC in the backfield
Situation – 3rd and 6
Results – Pass to Jamaal over the middle for 13 yards and a first down
Once again the Saints drop everyone back in coverage. There are three rushers and three defenders visible in coverage. That means there are another five defenders back in coverage that we can’t see here. Smith has Charles one on one with a LB and decides that’s his best option. Not surprisingly, Charles avoids the lone defender assigned to him and takes the ball down to the one yard line setting up first and goal (which they converted on the next play). I have a hard time faulting Smith for not going downfield to one of the other targets when there were seven defenders back there on them.
I don’t feel you can objectively look at what Alex Smith did on this drive and complain that he played it too safe. In my opinion, on 6 of the 9 plays Smith made the unquestioned correct call. On plays 4, 6, and 8 one can make an argument that Smith could have done more, but it’s not clear cut based on what we can see on TV. So on one hand, I think it’s fair to say that Smith did a good job of accurately putting the football where it needed to go. However, I also think it’s fair to say that the defense that the Saints played was not representative of what the Chiefs will see during the regular season. In most of these plays the Saints had multiple DBs back out of the picture defending the deep part of the field. When teams face the Chiefs with a RB like Jamaal Charles and a quarterback in Alex Smith who is known more for his accuracy than his deep ball I think it’s safe to say the defensive schemes will reflect that. So while Smith does deserve the praise many have given him for this first game it is probably best that KC fans temper their expectation until Smith faces a more representative defense.
My final verdict is that the tape shows that Smith was smart and accurate against the Saints and doesn’t deserve to be criticized for checking down. However, it is fair to say that he does still have something to prove as the preseason continues and he faces better defenses.
What do you think Addicts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!
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