The Chiefs problems Pt 1: The Offense

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The 2015 Kansas City Chiefs have been a shameful site to start the season.  While most seem to have found their favorite scapegoat or target, I’m here to tell you that it is not as simple as one or two people.  Somehow the Chiefs have allowed for a culture of losing and failure to permeate through the organization, and NOBODY has been untouched by it.  The truth is, there are no individuals at fault for what we’re seeing.  Every single member of the organization is holding some share of the blame.  Some have erred in obvious form, while others have dropped the ball behind the scenes.  And I’m here to hold every last one of them accountable…

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I’ll start with our most obvious culprit.  This offseason the Chiefs front office made some pretty big moves to bring in talent.  The acquisitions of Jeremy Maclin and Ben Grubbs had fans excited.  There was some quality developmental talent taken in Mitch Morse and Chris Conley.  Many of us felt that the Chiefs had done a lot to get Alex Smith the tools he would need to be successful this year.

Of course, there were also some concerns.  The most notable of those was the team not addressing the right guard or right tackle positions.  With several notable linemen coming available, it was a very popular opinion that the Chiefs should be active in acquiring some more talent for the trenches, especially Andy Reid’s former star offensive guard, Evan Mathis.  Of course, later (despite the dubious reports of a Denver AM radio host) we would find out that the Chiefs never even reached out to Mathis.

But still, there was no question in any of our minds that the offense would be better this year.  Our young players had more experience, we replaced some poor scheme fits with better options, and we finally really spent money to bring in some talent.  It had us all excited.  So what is going wrong?  Well…


Alex Smith is the same quarterback today that he was when this team went 11-5 and 9-7. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Yup, everyone’s favorite whipping boy, Alex Smith, is going to kick this off.  Except, I’m not going to give a lot of fans what they want here.  The truth is…Alex Smith really hasn’t been that bad.  In fact, he hasn’t been any worse than he was in 2013 or 2014.  Smith is the same exact quarterback today that he was two years ago when the Chiefs were rolling over opponents.  He’s the same quarterback today that he was when the Chiefs beat the Patriots and Seahawks last year.  Alex Smith has led this franchise to back to back winning seasons and pulled off some big wins.  He has been the “steady eddy” that Andy Reid and John Dorsey were looking for.  In short, he has been the ideal bridge until the Kansas City front office could locate a legit franchise starter to lead the team.

So what’s the problem?  Alex Smith is the same quarterback today that he was in 2013 and 2014.  He is the “steady eddy”.  He’s an ideal “bridge”.  All of those things that made Smith a great acquisition in 2013 are now backfiring.  The problem is that Smith can’t be any more than what he is.  He can’t be the gun-slinger.  He can’t be the “put it all on me” leader.

Alex Smith is limited in what he can do.  And when you max out those limits, you are going to come up short more often than not.  Smith is the guy that you want when the defense and running game are rolling.  He’s not the guy you want when it is time to air the ball out all over the field.  And that’s not a ding on his arm strength.  Smith can make every throw in the NFL.  He just can’t make them repeatedly and/or 100% accurately.  The deeper the pass, the smaller the margin for error, and Alex Smith simply doesn’t have that pinpoint accuracy or elite arm strength required.

Next: Don't think it's all on Smith