In his second season under Reid, Smith’s stats mirrored his first season, despite zero touchdowns to a wide receiver. The Chiefs finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs, something that was unexpected after getting off to a 7-3 start with wins over the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots.
Last offseason, Dorsey decided to revamp the receivers with the signing of Jeremy Maclin, something that triggered the release Dwayne Bowe. The addition greatly fueled an offensive turnaround by Kansas City in the second half of the season. Smith showed he trusted Maclin more than receivers in prior years. He made throws that he hadn’t made in his time in K.C.
It is never good to lose your biggest playmaker, but the loss of Jamaal Charles against the Chicago Bears in Week 5 made the Chiefs change their offensive gameplans. With the loss of Charles, Reid had to get more creative and find other ways to move the ball. Kansas City started to become better running the ball and the offensive line started to gel following the infusion of Charcandrick West and the move of Eric Fisher to left tackle.
Alex Smith also began audiblizing and picked up the pace in the second half of the season, helping Maclin to become his first 1,000 yard receiver.
When Kansas City lost the New England Patriots in the playoffs it became obvious this team is close. The loss of their two biggest offensive playmakers was too much to overcome and without Justin Houston the team was not able to slow down the Patriots offense. Smith didn’t tear up the playoffs, but he did show growth and the ability to move the ball without much help.
Next: Where are we headed?