Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Anthony Fasano (80) during the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
How much did Alex Smith miss having a healthy Fasano?
Alex Smith loves to throw to tight ends. It is a reputation he built in San Francisco where he made Vernon Davis one of the most productive tight end in all of football because Smith would take advantage he could to get him the ball.
A quality, consistent tight end is incredibly valuable to a guy like Smith who is looking to make the smart play and protect the ball. Much was made about Smith’s lack of downfield throwing in 2013, but a lot of that had to do with Smith not having an outlet to dump the ball off to downfield. Smith became “Captain Checkdown” because for the most part there wasn’t anybody to throw to beyond the line of scrimmage.
A healthy Fasano could change this for Smith. While he does not possess the upside of a Kelce, Fasano has been a consistent short yardage and red zone threat in his career. He’s very good at finding space and taking the yards that are available to him. How much does the offense change if Smith is dumping the ball off to Fasano five to seven yards beyond the line of scrimmage as opposed to checking down to Charles one or two yards behind the line of scrimmage?
Should Fasano be back to his normal consistent self, the ability for the Chiefs to sustain drives just improved significantly. So to does the freshness of Charles’ legs.