Alex Smith has changed and so has the Kansas City Chiefs offense

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 02: Quarterback Alex Smith
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 02: Quarterback Alex Smith /

Alex Smith is showing pocket presence and downfield aggression that no one has ever seen since the former No. 1 pick first entered the NFL.

If you read my article yesterday on Alex Smith’s excellence vs the Texans, consider this article part two. The traits Smith displayed in Houston are but a small sample of how he has performed for a large portion of the first five games. Smith is displaying poise in the pocket, deep ball accuracy, and the ability to keep his eyes downfield when the pocket collapses.

All of these are areas that Smith struggled with in years past. This is even more impressive when we consider his stats through five games in his first four years with the Chiefs:


108/185, 58.4 Comp %, 1,202 yards, 7 TD’s, 3 Int, QBR 83.6 – Team record: 5-0


100/158, 63.3 Comp %, 1,049 yards, 8 TD’s, 4 Int, QBR 88.8 – Team Record: 2-3


109/173, 63.0 Comp %, 1,291 yards, 5 TD’s, 4 Int, QBR 88.0 – Team Record: 1-4


128/190, 67.3 Comp %, 1,297 yards, 5 TD’s, 4 Int, QBR 91.0 – Team Record: 3-2

And this year?

121/158, 76.5 Comp %, 1,391 yards, 11 TD’s, 0 Int, QBR 125.7 – Team Record: 5-0

I don’t think I fully appreciated the level that Alex is playing at until comparing it to the past five season’s. For him to put up these numbers at this point in his career is incredible.

Quarterbacks are notoriously creatures of habit, you don’t expect a guy like Smith to change his game this drastically at age 33. So just how is he doing it? Pocket poise and aggression downfield.

Lets take a trip back to last Monday night for some evidence.

This was a killer throw by Smith. Third and long, backed up deep in your own territory, delivers a strike to Kelce for a first down. Later in the first half, Smith would deliver a gorgeous touchdown pass to Kelce.

I absolutely love how aggressive Smith has become this year. Executing throws like this in the red zone changes games. You probably aren’t going to lose to a team that only kicks field goals when your quarterback is making these throws.

Smith isn’t only making these plays in the first half. He is dominating the fourth quarter.

This is a clutch throw from Smith. A dagger like this late in the game is what puts a quarterback over the top. Smith has made plays like this in nearly every game this year.

Smith still has his flaws, most quarterbacks do. But what Smith has done through five games this year is simply remarkable, even more so considering he is 33 years old. Most quarterbacks cannot change their game so drastically at this stage in their career.

A lot of people will tell you that Kareem Hunt is responsible for the offensive dominance the Chiefs have displayed, and there is some truth to that. The threat of Hunt on the ground has opened things up for Smith. But with the ability to take the top off a defense, Smith is making life easier on Hunt as well. They are playing great complimentary football.

Smith continues to run the show. The offense lives and dies by his hand. He has changed the Chiefs offense through five games this year, and he did so by first changing himself.