Alex Smith must play great in second half


The Kansas City Chiefs are 3-5 going into their BYE week. Yet, suddenly, they are full of life and beginning to make some believe they could amass a serious run at a playoff berth.

After beginning the campaign 1-5 and losing both Jamaal Charles and Phillip Gaines to torn ACLs, all seemed lost. Then the Chiefs beat the Pittsburgh Steelers and crushed the Detroit Lions. With an easy second-half schedule, the impossible seems within reach once again, but to make the postseason dreams a reality, Alex Smith must be terrific.

Smith has thrown for 1,969 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. If you multiply those statistics by two, the 31-year-old would be sitting on 3,938 yards with 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. It would easily be a career-high in yardage and a nice 3:1 ration for touchdowns to picks.

Still, Smith has to be even better than that. Kansas City will be playing the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers twice each, and the Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns one time apiece. Outside of Denver, all of those teams range from beatable to atrocious.

With Charles out and the offensive line showing serious improvement, the veteran signal-caller needs to put this offense on his back. Charcandrick West can’t be shouldering a larger load than Smith. This needs to be an offense that knows its leader is throwing the ball, not handing it off and hoping for the best.

Smith has the ability to make plays. We have seen games where Smith has played brilliant football. Nobody expects him to throw for 400 yards and four touchdowns on a consistent basis. Nobody believes Smith can morph into Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady for a couple of months. Still, Smith can be prolific when he needs to be, converting third and longs while firing a strike into the end zone.

In the AFC, going 9-7 would certainly land the Chiefs a postseason spot as a wild card team and could even be good enough for the No. 5 seed. If Smith plays well, there is a very good chance of it happening when you look at the aforementioned circumstances and a defense that is starting to look dominant once more.

This season appeared dead and over with. It was time for mock drafts. Now, the Chiefs have risen and have a chance to make something of what was shaping up to be a dreadful season.

If they can make it all the way back, it will be because of their much-maligned quarterback.