Chiefs vs. Buccaneers: 3 storylines to watch
By David Thomas
Alex Smith Is Continuing To Struggle
In the first four games of the season Alex Smith was averaging 42 attempts, 268 yards, and 1.25 touchdowns a game. In the four games since then he’s averaged 26 attempts, 186 yards, and .75 touchdowns a game. Much of the drop in production could be attributed to playing from behind for most of those first four games. However, as a whole Smith is on pace to match career lows in yards per attempt (6.7), QB rating (90.3), and QBR (50.7) since joining the Chiefs.
So what’s the deal? Only one defense Smith has faced even ranks in the top half of the league in pass defense (Texans at third). His struggles could be largely attributed to the early struggles of the Chief’s offensive line. Smith’s first four games of the season he was sacked 13 times, but has since only been sacked five times.
In the two games Smith was sacked four times the Chiefs had their only two losses. Smith’s two best games of the season by rating he was sacked just once. Against the Carolina Panthers Smith was sacked three times, and as could of been predicted, he struggled.
So what am I looking for in today’s game? I think Smith needs to get outside the pocket and run every once in a while. I know Smith has supposedly dealt with a concussion already this season, but Smith is noticeably more effective when he gets his legs moving. Smith’s first three years with the Chiefs saw him averaging 26 rushing yards on 4.6 attempts per game.
So far this season Smith is averaging … six rushing yards on 2.9 attempts per game. Which is unacceptable. The Chiefs need to get the offense moving and they need Alex moving too. Smith’s run ability is part of what makes him such a threat. Without it defenses will rush him in the pocket forcing the quick decision, and the Chiefs wind up with a 5-yard checkdown on 3rd and 8.