The Kansas City Chiefs are a very good team, but can they win it all with Alex Smith?
After going 11-5 and winning a playoff game for the first time in 22 years, the Chiefs are being talked about in many circles as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
The defense is rock solid, the offense has a trio of playmakers in Jamaal Charles, Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin, and the coaching is quality. In short, Kansas City can play. However, there remains a real question about whether or not Alex Smith can quarterback this team to a championship, something he could not do with the talented San Francisco 49ers.
Smith is 32 years old and nearing the end of his prime. He came into the National Football League as a 21-year-old so he’s a bit more seasoned than the typical player, already having played 11 seasons. At this juncture, you have to wonder how many more hits the scrambling Smith can take before something goes.
Still, he’s been healthy in Kansas City and with the offensive line looking good, Smith might be able to stay upright ion 2016. If he does, the Chiefs will end up in the playoffs and likely as a division winner. If that happens, the Chiefs will have their best chance to make real noise in the postseason since the days of Trent Green and Priest Holmes.
So, can Smith do something with that opportunity? Last year, Smith completed 17-of-22 passes for 190 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 30-0 win over the Houston Texans. The following week, Smith hit on 29-of-50 throws for 246 yards and a score despite being without Jeremy Maclin.
The Chiefs have proven to be a very successful team with him under center. Hell, the best game Smith ever played in Kansas City was that disastrous loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the 2013 AFC Wild Card Game, when he threw for 378 yards and four touchdowns. Smith can play, but the doubts loom.
The real question is when Kansas City needs Smith to make some big throws, can he rise to the occasion? When it’s 3rd and 9 and Kansas City desperately need a throw to Maclin in a tiny window, can he fit it in. When the Patriots are crowding the line and Smith’s only option is to run or go downfield, can he drop the dime?
We won’t find out the next edition to this answer until January. For now, faith and doubt remain.