Chiefs season could swing on Alex Smith in Week 3
By Ryan Tracy
The teams also both feature an experienced but sometimes inconsistent quarterback. We’ve seen two sides of Alex Smith in two consecutive weeks. Will the determined, feisty take-it-for-the-score-himself version of Smith reappear in Arrowhead? He had better for the sake of this team’s season. If the version of Smith that played in Houston returns, it could be a major concern. Smith’s second outing of the season was marked by uncharacteristic lapses in focus, accuracy and fire. The Reid offense will sink or swim on Smith’s shoulders.
It is likely that Smith flips one more time and returns to his steady and productive, if not exhilarating, self. He has shown resilience over his tenure in Kansas City. So long as he does, this team can move forward toward the goal of the AFC West title.
Turning it Around
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The Chiefs may be on their way to getting their young offensive line patched back up. Laurant Duvernay-Tardif returned to practice, in a limited role, on Wednesday. Jah Reid struggled in place of LDT while lining up against Houston’s impressive front. His return could be key in moving the offense forward against the Jets. New York’s front seven are not as impressive, but they feature their best player, Muhammad Wilkerson on the left side. LDT’s athleticism is an asset that will serve him well in that battle. Reid simply cannot match it.
The left guard spot will likely see Zach Fulton get a second start, with Parker Ehinger still in the concussion protocol. After a poor outing in Houston, it will be important for Fulton to rebound with a solid performance.
Getting Berry Right
After missing training camp, Eric Berry has been a little slow in getting started in 2016. Against the run and up near the line of scrimmage, Berry seems to be playing up to his usual high level. Bob Sutton would be best served to leave him in that role.
Back as a single high safety in Houston, Berry was exposed. With options like Ron Parker and even Eric Murray available, Sutton should let Berry do what he does best. Berry also sat out Wednesday’s practice with a knee issue. His mobility may be compromise this week.
A step late and a low angle against speedy Will Fuller.
Quarterbacks eyes hold right. Berry’s reaction comes late when the quarterback throws left.
Stat of the Week
Seventy seven. That’s the number of yards the Chiefs were penalized in Houston. Or think of it as 26.5% of the total yards the team put up. That’s how far the offense needed to move the ball in addition to its field position. That’s a field goal drive at the very least, more likely a touchdown drive. That is the difference in game #2.
AFC West Power Rankings
Chiefs drop after tripping in Houston, but stay ahead of Raiders, who slipped as well. they’ll need to get on track soon to complete for the AFC West title.