Film Room: While Kansas City Chiefs Look For Answers, Alex Smith Isn’t The Problem

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Sack No. 1: 3rd-And-8, 1st Quarter (7:33)

From a protection standpoint, this sack screams five-man crapshoot. It’s embarrassing.

Jamaal Charles stays at home, adding a sixth blocker to the mix. Anthony Fasano also chips DeMarcus Ware, so we’ll call it six and a half.

Denver’s personnel allows T.J. Ward to vacate his usual position (strong safety) and creep into the box.

Though not with base personnel, Denver deploys a variant of the Tampa 2: a middle linebacker roaming between two deep safeties and short zone coverage near the sidelines.

As Mike McGlynn engages defensive end Malik Jackson, Eric Fisher finds himself in no-man’s land, as Ward blitzes through the B-gap and DeMarcus Ware rounds the corner. Since McGlynn doesn’t disengage, Fisher attempts to reroute Ward, but his initial hesitance results in poor leverage, giving way to Smith being corralled by both the safety and Ware.

The coverage closes any possible window(s) for Dwayne Bowe or Donnie Avery. And by the time Travis Kelce breaks, freeing himself from a clinging defender, his quarterback is being lassoed.

Given the pressure, the only practical option would’ve been to dump it off in the flat to Anthony Fasano. However, due to zone coverage, he would’ve likely had to elude two tacklers before reaching the chains. So, basically, “Good job, good effort.”

Two Broncos breached Kansas City’s wall via a four-man rush. Or rather, six-plus blockers managed to keep two of Smith’s pursuers at bay, while the other two crashed the party.

No matter how you spin it, it oozes with ugliness.

The field as Smith plants:

Full play:

View from the end zone: